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When I poured out the first bowl of wine (along with water) on “the earth” on October 21, 2000, within a month the economy began to decline. This occurred while the election was yet being contested over the voting problem in Florida, if you recall. By the time George Bush took office in January of 2001, the economic decline had already been in progress for two months. By the middle of March 2001, investors were in full panic.
The same type of pattern occurred with the second bowl in October of 2001, which was directed at the religious church system. Within a month the judge in Boston ordered the Roman Church to open up its records concerning John Geoghan, and by the first part of the year 2002 the scandal dominated the headlines. By the end of the year over 600 priests had been implicated in the scandals, and more were discovered in the years following 2002.
But in both cases, we understood that the full judgment would not hit either the economy or the church. The seven bowls of wine represented the final “day” in the Battle of Jericho, in which the Israelites marched around the city seven times. Jericho's walls did not collapse until the Israelites had completed their spiritual warfare. We understood this and applied it to the seven years in which we were called to pour out the bowls of water and wine from 2000-2006. It was clear to us that we would not see the collapse of “Jericho” (i.e., Mystery Babylon) until the work had been completed.
And so the economic downturn in the year 2001 was repaired for a season, and the church scandal in 2002 died down as well.
The third bowl of wine, along with a bowl of water, was poured out on the Mississippi River on Sept. 27, 2002. This was in accordance with Rev. 16:4-6,
4 And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things, 6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink. They deserve it.”
Upon whom was this judgment directed? Verse 6 gives us the answer. It is those who killed the saints and the prophets. These people are defined more specifically by Jesus Himself in Luke 11:47-51,
47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets, and it was your fathers who killed them. 48 Consequently, you are witnesses and approve the deeds of your fathers; because it was they who killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they will kill and some they will persecute,” 50 in order that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be charged against this generation 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the house of God; yes, I tell you, it shall be charged against this generation.
Jesus prophesied that the blood of ALL the prophets and apostles from Abel to Zechariah would be charged against this “generation” (i.e., offspring). That judgment makes sense only when we see that the leaders of these people have taken over Mystery Babylon and are its present rulers. Thus, they are the “feet” of the Babylonian image seen in Daniel 2. Thus, when the time comes for the Stone to strike the image on its feet (Dan. 2:34, 35), whoever is the ruler of Babylon at that time will be made accountable for the actions of all the preceding nations from the head of gold to the feet of iron and clay.
For this reason also, when Rev. 18 speaks of the downfall of Babylon, verse 24 says,
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all that were slain upon the earth.
That is, the end-time rulers of Babylon will be the ones held accountable for all the innocent blood shed in past years.
We were led to pour out the water and wine upon the Mississippi River at the Islands of Peace in the northern suburb of Minneapolis known as Fridley. It is less than a mile from my office. Pouring the wine upon the Islands of Peace signified judgment upon peace itself. By the following March, America and other nations invaded Iraq and overthrew Saddam Hussein. We have been in war ever since, and even the President has said that this war could last a generation or more.
We were even given the beginning date of this invasion of Iraq as early as October 21, 2002. On that date we were in Orlando, Florida for a Tabernacles conference, and the Lord indicated that it was the beginning of two 76-day periods to watch. This in itself was not unusual, because every year the feast of Tabernacles is the culmination of what I call “the prophetic year.” The following “prophetic year” then always begins with two periods of 76 days which establish the precedents and patterns for the coming year.
In 2002 the next prophetic year was revealed to begin on Oct. 21, 2002. The first 76-day period ended on January 5, 2003. As we watched this date, two suicide bombers in Tel Aviv blew themselves up, killing 23 people. The timing of this event suggested that we were to watch the Middle East in the year 2003, particularly March 21, which was the end of the second 76-day period.
And so, I wrote a report on March 9, 2003, saying,
“The second 76 days ends on March 21. It would be interesting if we saw the beginning of a military attack on Iraq on that date.”
Of course, that is precisely what occurred. The attack was called “Shock and Awe.” It had been revealed in 2001 that “the beast of war” had been released on Sept. 11, 2001, and that the ultimate purpose of this beast was to bring about the destruction of Jerusalem. Some think America invaded Iraq to control its oil fields, but that was certainly not its primary purpose. I believe that the underlying purpose of attacking Iraq was to guarantee “the security of Iraq's neighbors,” specifically the Israeli state.
For this reason, America has attempted to stand in the way of the beast of war and its mandate to destroy Jerusalem, as described in my book, The 1986 Vision of the Two Gulf Wars. I do not believe it is possible to stop Jerusalem's destruction, since this event is prophesied in Jer. 19:10, 11 and in Isaiah 29:1-6. America's interference may have delayed the inevitable judgment, but it also means that America will find itself hurt badly by that same judgment. In fact, America has spent so much money on that war that it has drained our resources and ensured our current financial collapse.
The third bowl of wine in Revelation 16:4-6 is said to be directed at those who have killed the saints and prophets from the beginning. Jesus said in Luke 13:33, “for it cannot be that a prophet perish outside of Jerusalem.” America's attack on Iraq, designed to save the Israelis from divine judgment, has simply put America in the line of fire that is even now bringing judgment upon the whole nation and the world.
This too was in the divine plan, of course, because the lawlessness in the American church will not go uncorrected. God fully intends to bring a certain level of judgment upon America (and other nations as well), not for the sins of the unbelievers, but for the lawlessness in the Church itself, as seen clearly in 2002.