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Revelation 18:11-24 “Warnings To Depart From Babylon (2)”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Rev 18:11-24

(11)  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
(12)  The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
(13)  And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
(14)  And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
(15)  The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,
(16)  And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
(17)  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,
(18)  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
(19)  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.
(20)  Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
(21)  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
(22)  And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
(23)  And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
(24)  And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 17: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom.  In this text, we have the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom symbolized by the two main characters being presented to us… “the Great Whore” (the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom) and “the Scarlet Colored Beast” (the political aspects of Satan’s kingdom).

[Please note Revelation 13: where the “Great Whore” in this passage symbolized as the “Beast from the Earth”, while the “Scarlet Beast”  is symbolized as the “Beast from the Sea”.  This description also links these to a description of Satan as the scarlet dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12:]

In chapter 18: we will see warnings that are given to mankind to depart from these kingdoms that are destined to fall under the hand of Almighty God.

A brief outline of chapter 18:

Chapter 18:  The Warnings To Depart From Satan’s Kingdom
18:1-3 – Announcement Of Babylon’s Fall
18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People
18:9-10 – Warning To Kings
18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants
18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners
18:21-24 – Angel With The Millstone

The background for these warnings comes from Ezekiel 26-28

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 18:11-24

(11)  And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

John’s attention is now turned to the merchants of the earth and their relationship with Mystery Babylon, the false religions of the world.  Keep in mind, all of this is being said to warn the merchants living on earth during John’s day, and forward, to not unite with Satan’s religious kingdom.

This beneficial relationship between the religious kingdom of Satan and the merchants are shown in these verses:

  1. vs 3 – Much of Mystery Babylon’s luxury was created through the purchase of the goods of merchants.
  2. vs 11 – The merchants received monetary gain from these religions.
  3. vs 15 – The merchants were made rich by her.
  4. vs 23 – The merchants were greatly respected due to their wealth given to them through Mystery Babylon

Many to the false religions fill their buildings and the pockets of their leaders with great riches producing a great marketplace for merchants.  Also, many times, merchants who are members of a false religion will be favored by other members of their religion.

The loss of all these business opportunities is the cause of their great grief.  It is a selfish mourning due to the great loss of wealth and social standing now that Mystery Babylon is defeated.  They are said to “weep” showing an outward display of sorrow, while also mourning feeling a great inward sorrow at their losses.

Please note: the fall of Mystery Babylon is pictured by the fall of Tyre in the OT prophets (Ezek 27:26-36).  In these verses, the fall of Tyre results in great economic loss for the merchants of the earth.

(12)  The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,  (13)  And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.

All the merchandise of the merchants that is listed in these verses are used by false religions in the performance of their ceremonies…

Role In Worship Merchandise of Merchants Verse
Idols, Chalices, Building Decorations Gold, Silver, Precious Stones, Pearls 12
Clothing, Building Decorations Fine Linen, Purple (Material Dyed Purple), Silk, Scarlet (Material Dyed Scarlet) 12
Furnishings, Idols, Utensils, Candle Sticks Thyine Wood, Ivory, Precious Wood, Marble, Brass, Iron 12
Incense, Potions Cinnamon, Odours, Ointments, Frankincense 13
Ordinances,  Celebrations Wine, Oil, Fine Flour, Wheat 13
Sacrifices,  Manual Labor, Ceremonies Beasts, Sheep, Horses, Chariots, Slaves 13
Worshippers, Contributions, Spiritual Servitude Souls of Men (Trading men’s spiritual welfare for worldly riches) 13

Folks, we can see EVERY area of merchandise sold by these merchants can play a role in the false religion’s worship and their continuance.  Based upon the individual needs and desires of each false religion, the merchants would profit through the selling of their goods to these religions and the members of these religions.

(14)  And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.

The fruits (merchandise) of the merchants was lusted after by Mystery Babylon.  At her defeat, Mystery Babylon will have these fruits taken from her.  All that she desired will be lost, never to be regained.  This is describing the great scope and permanence of her fall as the Lord brings her to an end at His second coming.

 

(15)  The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing,  (16)  And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!  (17)  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.

The merchants will separate themselves (much like the kings – vs 10) fearful that they will be judged along with her.  Their fear of judgment is also causing them to “weep” (crying in sorrow) and “wail” (crying in pain).     They both feel sorrow due to their loss and they are pained due to their fear of coming judgment falling upon them.

These merchants cry out “Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.”

“alas, alas” – they give an emphasized, outward, sound of grief

“that great city… precious stones and pearls” – they remember her times of greatness (and their great transactions with her)

“For in one hour so great riches is come to nought.” – they realize the Lord’s greatness as He quickly brought her greatness to rubble.

 

 And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,

John’s attention now turns to a warning given to the mariners who supplies these goods to the merchants.  John now sees them standing in separation from Mystery Babylon as well.   Although most, but not all of their profiting came indirectly from Mystery Babylon, by way of the merchant’s sales, they still understood that they were in great danger of being judged for their uniting with Mystery Babylon.

This is a very important point that we should not miss.  They understood that not only those who were directly connected to Mystery Babylon would be judged, but also those who were indirectly related to them.  For many of the mariners, they did no business with Mystery Babylon, they simply sold their goods to the merchants who then entered into financial transactions with Mystery Babylon.

Why are these mariners in jeopardy of judgment also?  Perhaps, the solution to this question should be sought based upon this principle…

We must take into account not simply our personal relationships with others, but also what types of relationships they form with third parties.  By doing this, we learn much about the character and lifestyles of our relationship candidates.   These mariners knew that the merchants were selfishly, greedily, selling the goods they supplied to Mystery Babylon.  Therefore, by extension, they were guilty of forming alliances with those who are known to be corrupt and, based upon their knowledge of the merchant’s activities, were guilty of dealing with Mystery Babylon as well.

(18)  And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!

They were amazed at seeing her great fall… she had been so great and had come to such a total ruin.

 

(19)  And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.

Again, we see signs of selfish mourning… “cast dust on their heads” (done during times of mourning and remorse) and  “weeping and wailing” (outward displays of sorrow and pain).

Again, just like the merchants, they have in mind the great financial loss that they will bear and the great fear at seeing her sudden total defeat at the hands of Almighty God.

(20)  Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.

God’s people who are in heaven, both OT saints (“prophets”) and NT saints (“apostles”), eagerly awaiting His second coming, are being addressed.   They are told to “rejoice” at Mystery Babylon’s defeat.  Why rejoice?

Because God hath found her guilty of sins and punished (“avenged”) her.  All of her sins against the people of God are now being punished.  He is keeping His word to avenge His saints.

 

(21)  And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.

Following the warnings given to the different groups of mankind to separate themselves from the religious aspect of Satan’s kingdom, we now see the overthrow and total defeat of the false religions of the world illustrated.   John sees a “mighty angel”, perhaps the same angel described as “another angel) in 18:1.

To illustrate Babylon’s great defeat, this angel takes a huge stone, (much like a grinding wheel) and through it into the sea.  As it sinks to the bottom of the sea, no proof of its prior existence can be seen… this pictures the complete, total destruction of Mystery Babylon which leaves no evidence of its previous power, wealth or presence.

See Jeremiah 51:63-64

 

(22)  And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;  (23)  And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee:

The destruction of the religious kingdom of Satan is symbolized by a city which becomes deserted due to a great catastrophe:    

Verse Desertion In Text Effects of the Desertion
     
22 the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; No longer will songs of worship be sung or played on instruments
22 no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee No longer will buildings, idols, or utensils of sacrifice be made.
22 the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; No longer will food be prepared for celebratory feasts, and worship observances
23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; No night-time activities, no candle-lit  ceremonies
23 The voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: No more marriages, or joyful, celebrations
     

This symbolism paints the picture of total, complete destruction of Mystery Babylon.  See Jeremiah 25:10

Why did such devastation take place?

for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.  (24)  And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.

Three basic reasons are given:

  1. for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; – She enriched and empowered others through her sinful deeds
  2. for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. – She deceived all lost mankind through her potions, enchantments, false doctrines and rituals
  3. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth. – She opposed God’s people, abusing and martyring them.

The Lord, justly, rewarded Mystery Babylon with absolute destruction and total cessation of her activities due to the great evil and harm that her actions brought about.  This is an act of a just Lord who will give back what is deserved to those who oppose His people and commit great atrocities to mankind.

CHRIST REVEALED:

Once again, we see Christ as the One who is Holy, Just and Almighty One that will punish the Kingdoms of Satan with a perfect, complete judgment.    How wonderful it is to see Christ as the perfectly Sovereign, All-powerful One that will someday bring utter defeat to Satan and his kingdoms!

1Jn 3:8 – “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Here, we see the inevitable, total, destruction wrought during the wrath of Christ against the kingdoms of Satan.  Keep in mind, the longsuffering of Christ has led Him to give all who are in Satan’s kingdom more than an ample opportunity to depart from Mystery Babylon and turn to Him in saving faith.   However, when the time of His judgment comes to pass, there will be no mercy shown to those who have chosen to be a part of Satan’s kingdoms.

There is a time for repentance and there is coming a time of wrath and punishment against sin.  There is a time for God’s mercy and grace to take the forefront in God’s dealings with mankind on earth and there is coming a time when God’s holiness and justice will be placed on display.

May we all be ready for the day of justice and holiness by turning to Christ in saving faith while His mercy is still being shown to lost mankind.

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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:

  1. the merchants
  2. that great city
  3. every shipmaster
  4. cast dust on their heads
  5. cried,
  6. weeping and wailing
  7. mighty angel
  8. stone like a great millstone,
  9. cast it into the sea
  10. Babylon

THE RELATED SCRIPTURES:

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDIES/NOTES:

Revelation 18:1-10 “Warnings To Depart From Babylon (1)”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 18:1-10

(1)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.
(2)  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird.
(3)  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
(4)  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
(5)  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
(6)  Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
(7)  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
(8)  Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
(9)  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,
(10)  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 17: we took a step back and reviewed the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom.  In this text, we have the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom symbolized by the two main characters being presented to us… “the Great Whore” (the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom) and “the Scarlet Colored Beast” (the political aspects of Satan’s kingdom).

[Please note Revelation 13: where the “Great Whore” in this passage symbolized as the “Beast from the Earth”, while the “Scarlet Beast”  is symbolized as the “Beast from the Sea”.  This description also links these to a description of Satan as the scarlet dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12:]

In chapter 18: we will see warnings that are given to mankind to depart from these kingdoms that are destined to fall under the hand of Almighty God.

A brief outline of chapter 18:

Chapter 18:  The Warnings To Depart From Satan’s Kingdom

18:1-3 – Announcement Of Babylon’s Fall
18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People
18:9-10 – Warning To Kings
18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants
18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners
18:21-24 – Angel With The Millstone

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 18:1-10

(1)  And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory.   (2)  And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying,

Perhaps this is the same angel that we saw in 5:2 and 18:21.  In both of these texts we find an angel that makes very important announcements, and it is said to be done with “a strong voice”.

He is described as:

  1. come down from heaven – he is working on behalf of God Himself, proclaiming the Lord’s great victory
  2. having great power (authority) – he possessed the very authority from God to make this important announcement
  3. the earth was lightened with his glory – being God’s representative, his message and work is to be honored. His announcement brought the words of God into the world resulting in the enlightenment of this world.

(Either this angel is symbolically teaching us this message of victory comes from God Himself, or perhaps, this angel is symbolic of Christ Jesus declaring His victory over the powers of darkness.  Please note all three descriptive phrases concerning this angel could easily be referring to Christ (Ezek 43:2).  In any case, the most important point is that the message being delivered has a divine sinless origin that is the complete absolute truth.)

 

The angel now forcefully screams out with a large, loud voice, commanding everyone’s attention…

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 

In this text, the beast from the earth, the false religions of this world are described as “Babylon” which means “confusion” or “the seat of confusion”.  This is because, joining with the beast from the sea (the political kingdoms of this world) they wreak havoc through the attempted confusion to all mankind.

Just as Satan confused Eve in the garden, so too, Satan’s kingdoms seek to confuse all mankind.

The mighty Babylon (the seat of confusion) has been brought down.  It has become desolate of anything good and profitable for mankind.  She has fallen to the wrath of God and her teachings and works have been made desolate and vain.

It is now become:

  1. “the habitation of devils” – the dwelling place of demons and the powers of darkness
  2. “the hold of every foul spirit” – the burrow of every dirty, sinful spirit
  3. “a cage of every unclean and hateful bird” – the prison holding every impure and opposing bird (Note in Matt 13:4 – birds are symbols of powers of darkness.)

 

Babylon’s defeat pictured as desolation (Isa 13:19-22, 34:11; Jer 50:39)

 

Why did God’s wrath fall against Babylon bringing her to defeat?

(3)  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

“Fornication” comes from the Greek word for “uncleanness”.  In the Bible, it is used to describe a variety of sinful actions and desires.  Here, we can see that the sinful union between the false religions and the nations of the world are placed into view.

The religious powers have deceived lost mankind and lost mankind has willingly joined with them to further their cause.    They are described as:

  1. “becoming drunken” – no self-control, no shame, destructive
  2. “committed fornication”- union that is sinful by nature, against the will and purposes of the Lord
  3. “waxed rich” – prosperous, successful, wealthy

 

Based upon Babylon’s defeat, sinful nature, and unclean fruits, the Lord now graciously gives warning to any who might be misled to join up with her.  There will be a total of 4 warnings given to four different groups:

18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People;        18:9-10 – Warning To Kings;      18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants;

18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners

(Note that much of the content of these warnings come from Ezek 26-28.)

 

(4)  And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.  (5)  For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.

Warning to God’s people…

Please notice “MY people” implies God is speaking.  He commands for them to “come out of her”, in other words… separate yourselves from her.  In doing so, they will avoid having part in her sins and then, not receiving her punishments.   God knows her sins and will not forget her acts of disobedience.

This message of separation from the sinful people and groups in the world is taught throughout the Bible.  In the Old Testament, it was symbolized by the Jews separating themselves from the idolatrous Gentile nations around her.  In the New Testament, we find many instructions to Christians to remain separated and live lives of holiness for Christ…

2Co 6:14-18 – “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?   And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?   And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.  Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,  And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.“ 

1Pe 2:9 – “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” 

 

(6)  Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.

Since God knows her sinful deeds and motives, He is capable of giving back in return her deeds upon her head.  In 17:4 we saw her deeds were described as “abominations” and “fornications”.

These two-fold sins, will deserve a two-fold judgment…

Jer 16:18 – “And first I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double; because they have defiled my land, they have filled mine inheritance with the carcases of their detestable and abominable things.”

Keep in mind that “to fill her double” refers to bringing to total defeat, destruction…

Jer 17:18 – “Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction.”

 

(7)  How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.

The sins of the false religions of the world include a glorification of herself and abuse of her followers.  She does both of these to receive the fulfillment of her sinful desires and sinful pleasures. She is prideful, thinks she is above judgment, and lacks of concern for her future welfare and the welfare of her followers.

Because of her sinful acts, attitudes and motivations, the Lord promises to place upon her torment (rubs her against touchstone) and sorrow (mourning).   In other words, the Lord will rub her raw and cause her to mourn greatly for all the harm she has done.  This takes place at her defeat at the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 19:11-20a) and throughout eternity in the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20b-21).

 

(8)  Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.

Her sins bring upon her sudden judgment (in one day) with no remedy.  Her judgments will bring upon her:

  1. “death” – separation from riches, power, destruction,
  2. “mourning” – sorrow due to her great loss of all she possesses
  3. “famine” – great hunger to regain that which was lost
  4. “utterly burned with fire” – God’s judgment at Armageddon and throughout eternity in Lake of Fire.

Her desolation and destruction will be complete and never remedied.

The Lord, by His grace, wants to stop these judgments from falling upon His people, that is why He has so graciously given them a warning to remain separated from her seductive influences in this world.

Note there is a similar picture given to us in the account of Sodom and Gomorrah:

Vs 4 – Saints removed – Gen 19:15-17
Vs 5-6 – Judgment falling based upon their sinful works – Gen 18:20-21
Vs 7 – Self-Righteous, Self-Reliance – Gen 19:4-11
Vs 8 – Judgment By Fire – Gen 19:23-28

 

(9)  And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning,  (10)  Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Warning  to the kings of the earth..

The Lord now warns the political authority holders of the world to stay away from her influences.  When joining with her they are said to be committing uncleanness (fornication) and living in luxury (deliciously) .    When she is judged, these political powers will cry out in sorrow and loss knowing that their sinful pleasures and indulgences will now come to an end and she is now answering to God for her sins.

It will be at that time that they will then hypocritically separate themselves from her in fear that they will receive the judgment that she is currently experiencing.    Stop and think about this.  As long as they received fulfillment of their fleshly desires and goals they stayed in a close relationship with her, but once they could no longer gain form their relationship with her, they selfishly deserted her.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Christ is revealed in this passage as the patient, merciful Lord that warns mankind of the powers of wickedness and the horrible eternal consequences of joining with them.  Think about it.  The Lord could easily step back and allow mankind to continue choosing to follow the powers that will lead to their ultimate destruction.  But He does not.  Instead, He mercifully gives all men a clear warning of the dangers of joining with these sinful world powers.

Truly our Lord is a longsuffering Lord who gives mankind ample warnings and opportunities to avoid His wrath that is to come.

Psa 86:15-16 – “But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.   O turn unto me, and have mercy upon me; give thy strength unto thy servant, and save the son of thine handmaid.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all take the patient mercy of the Lord very seriously and not abuse His longsuffering towards us.  Although He patiently waits for men to come to Him, He will not always withhold His wrath…

Nah 1:3 – “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.”

 

May we all very quickly take advantage of the Lord’s invitation to come to Him in repentance and faith, knowing that He is waiting to receive any that will come to Him in Godly sorrow, repentance and faith…

Joe 2:12-14 – “Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning:   And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.   Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God?”

 

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Revelation 17: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON

 

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

After looking at God’s wrath that falls against the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom in chapter 16, John now receives a new set of visions.  In chapter 17, this judgment is continued to be described by presenting to John the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom…

  1. Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
    1. The identity and characteristics of Satan’s Kingdoms 17:1-18
      1. Scarlet Beast (Satan’s Political Kingdom) 1-3
      2. Woman (Satan’s Religious Kingdom) 4-6
  • The Mystery Of The Woman and The Beast Revealed – 7-18

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

  1. Revelation 17:1-6 – The Woman And The Scarlet Colored Beast

In this section of John’s vision, the woman is described.  This woman symbolizes the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdoms.  This involves the false religions and false teachers that can be found in the world around us.

She is given the title of “Great Whore”, expressing her sinfulness, seductive nature, shamelessness and also her unfaithfulness to the Lord and His Word.  She is described as sitting on “many waters” speaking of the great authority and control that she exercises over the masses of lost humanity.  The sins she causes in the midst of mankind are described as fornication and drunkenness.  This speaks of acts of uncleanness that flow from sin natures that are left to run uncontrolled in the lives of the lost.

John is taken to the “wilderness” to receive this vision of the woman and the beast.  The term “wilderness” is describing a desert, the place where no life can be found.  This is the type of area where this Satanic duo is found and prospers, in the hearts and lives of those who are destitute of spiritual life.  Also lifelessness is the end result of those who follow the messages and dictates of these kingdoms.  Her close relationship with beast (the political powers of Satan) is shown by her riding upon it.

The angel begins a look at the scarlet beast.  Its color reveals the bloodshed and death that was inflicted upon God’s people by the oppressive nations of the world.  Its chief end is to speak evil of (blaspheme) the true God.  It’s seven heads are symbolic of the seven political world empires that have existed prior to John and will exist following John’s death until the second coming of Christ.

The woman is described as being dressed in the colors and adornments of royalty and wealth, picturing her great attractiveness in the eyes of lost mankind.  Her temptations are pictured by a gold cup being offered to mankind which is filled with sinful abominations.  She is given a series of four titles: “Mystery”, “Babylon The Great”, “The Mother of Harlots”, The Mother of Abominations of the Earth”.  From these we can learn the following truths…

“Mystery” – the true character of this woman is known to the saints of the Lord, but unknown to the lost who have been deceived.

“Babylon the Great” – The message of Satan’s false religions are worthless to man and only causes confusion.

“The Mother of Harlots” – She produces great sins among men by seducing lost men to share her sinful acts and teachings and actively seek her preservation.

“The Mother of … Abominations of the Earth” – She also produces great abominations through seduction  She seduces lost men, they, in turn, begin committing great acts that God hates.

Finally, she is shown as being drunk with the blood of the saints, picturing the great martyrdom that is committed at her hands and the enjoyment she receives from the taking of life of God’s people.

John then says that he “admired” her telling us after he had studied her, he was dumbfounded, he was amazed at how powerful, deceitful, and seductive she was.

 

  1. Revelation 17:7-18 – The Identity And Characteristics Of The Beast And Woman 

The angel begins to describe the beast with a three-fold description: “thou sawest not and is not” – speaking of the beast’s existence in the kingdoms prior to, and following, John’s life on earth;   “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit”

The origin of this beast is Satanic, sinful and deserving of divine punishment;  “and go into perdition”… the beast’s destiny is destruction and absolute ruin.  The greatness of this beast causes mankind to be amazed and wonder at it.

The beast is described as “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is” and later as seven kings that of them, “five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come”.  These both speak of the existence of the world empires in relation to John’s life.  “Was” and “fallen” – the world empires that had existed prior to John’s day; “is not” and “not yet come” – the world empires that are yet to exist following John’s day;  “and yet is” and “one is”– the world empires that existed in John’s day (Rome).

The woman being pictured as sitting on the seven mountains reminded John of the World Empire that existed in his day…. The Roman Empire.

The ten horns on the seventh head of the beast symbolically represents the variety of kingdoms that would rise to world powers, be short lived, and never be allowed to rule over the entire world.  They would all exist following John’s life on earth.  It would be these nations that would be in existence at Christ’s second coming and unify to oppose Christ at His coming.  This is the eighth kingdom being talked about by the angel.  The angel assures John that even though the nations will unite to oppose Christ, Jesus will be the ultimate Victor over the united foe.

The waters upon which the woman is seen sitting pictures the mass of fallen mankind under her influence.

Although both aspects of Satan’s kingdoms are under Satan’s control, the Lord places in their hearts to fight among themselves.  Throughout history we have seen the political powers of the world go to war against the false religions of this world seeking, unsuccessfully to destroy them. This would be done through putting to death those who held to a particular religious faith.

Finally the angel describes the woman as “that great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth.”  The great city is speaking of Babylon (vs 5), the seat of rebellion and pride of mankind.  She is the one that exercises the ultimate control over the political powers of this world.  The false religions of the world, in many ways, rule over the political kingdoms of this world.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

Beginning in chapter 17: we have seen the recipient of God’s wrath, the kingdoms of Satan presented in great detail. Both the characteristics and identity of both aspects of Satan’s kingdom are brought into view.  In the next section of our study, chapter 18, will present various warnings for mankind to separate themselves from the kingdom of Satan…

  1. The Results of Babylon’s Judgment 18:1-24
    1. Victory Announcement 1-3
    2. Invitation for God’s People To Separate Themselves 4-20
  • Millstone Cast Upon Sea… the Final Destruction Of Babylon 21-24

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 17:7-18 “Identity Of The Scarlet Colored Beast & Woman”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 17:7-18 KJV

(7)  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.
(8)  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.
(9)  And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.
(10)  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.
(11)  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
(12)  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.
(13)  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
(14)  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.
(15)  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.
(16)  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
(17)  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
(18)  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

 

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In the previous chapter, we have seen the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7,  which spoke of God’s wrath being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms at the second coming of Christ.   As bowl seven was poured out, we saw the wrath of God being brought to completion and the kingdoms of Satan totally destroyed.

Now, in chapters 17: and 18:, we see a detailed look at this kingdom that has just been destroyed…

  1. In chapter 17: we take a step back and review the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom. In this text, we have the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom symbolized by the two main characters being presented to us… “the Great Whore” (the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom) and “the Scarlet Colored Beast” (the political aspects of Satan’s kingdom).

[Please note Revelation 13: where the “Great Whore” in this passage symbolized as the “Beast from the Earth”, while the “Scarlet Beast”  is symbolized as the “Beast from the Sea”.  This description also links these to a description of Satan as the scarlet dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12:]

  1. In chapter 19: we will see warnings that are given to mankind living now to depart from these kingdoms that are destined to fall under the hand of Almighty God.

 

A brief outline of the coming chapters:

Chapter 17: The Identity and Characteristics of Satan’s Kingdom

17:1-6 – The Woman and The Scarlet Beast Introduced
17:7-17 – The Scarlet Beast In Detail
17:18 – The Woman In Detail

 

Chapter 18:  The Warnings To Depart From Satan’s Kingdom

18:1-3 – Announcement Of Babylon’s Fall
18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People
18:9-10 – Warning To Kings
18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants
18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners
18:21-24 – Angel With The Millstone

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 17:7-18 KJV

(7)  And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

The angel now comforts John telling him that the two symbolic characters of this disturbing vision (the woman and the beast) will be explained in detail.

 

First, the angel explains the scarlet colored beast…. 

(8)  The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition:

Keep in mind the beast is a symbol of the earthly political kingdom of Satan.  It is symbolic of the seven great world empires:

  1. Egypt;
  2. Assyria;
  3. 3.Babylon;
  4. Medo-Persia;
  5. Greece;
  6. Rome;
  7. The Variety of World Powers following Rome.

 

The angel begins to describe the beast with a three-fold description:

  1. “thou sawest not and is not” ….

The kingdoms not in existence when Rome ruled the world in John’s day:

  1. prior to John – Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece,
  2. following John – Variety of World Powers following Rome.

These are the political kingdoms that John never “saw” (experienced) because they did not exist in John’s day.

The political kingdom of Satan is cyclical in nature.   One rises to power, falls and another one takes it place.  They are all a part of Satan’s political kingdom, which embodies all the nations of the world.  His kingdom simply takes different forms as each individual nation ascends to power.

 

  1. “shall ascend out of the bottomless pit”….

The origin of this beast is Satanic, sinful and deserving of divine punishment.  Keep in mind, the first nations of the world came into existence at the Tower of Babel.  The nations were formed when mankind was divided into separate locations on earth as the Lord confused their languages.  This was done as a judgment against their pride, selfish and rebellion against the Lord. (Gen 11:1-9).  This is the very beginnings of Satan’s political kingdom of this world.

 

  1. “and go into perdition”…

The beast’s destiny is destruction and absolute ruin (“perdition”).  Even though it is empowered by Satan and very dreadful in alliance with the false religions of the world, this beast was already defeated at the cross (Col 2:14-15). His final end will be eternal destruction from the face of the Lord (Rev 19:20).

 

and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

The lost of this world will find themselves gazing in amazement and admiration at the greatness and majesty of the political kingdoms of this world.

The lost are described as “whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world”.  This refers to the book of life that was written in eternity past through the divine counsels of Almighty God.  This book contains the names of those who were foreordained to come to faith in Christ.  This results in their justification before God; their life lived in holiness and service to Him; and their adoption into His family …

Eph 1:4 – “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,”

 

The beast is described as “the beast that was, and is not, and yet is”.  This refers to the many world empires this kingdom represents:

  1. “was” – the world empires that had existed prior to John’s day (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece)
  2. “is not” – the world empires that are yet to exist following John’s day (Variety of World Powers following Rome)
  3. 3  “and yet is” – the world empires that existed in John’s day (Rome)

During all of these empires the beast existed because all of these kingdoms were a part of the beast.

 

(9)  And here is the mind which hath wisdom.

This is the thinking of those who possess Godly wisdom.  This is insight into the true character, identity and nature of this beast that comes from God Himself.  

The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

(Note: Please remember, prior to this, the woman was seen sitting upon the scarlet beast (Rev 17:3).  This helps us to understand that the mountains and the beast are two symbolic characters that speak of the same political kingdom of Satan.   The seven heads of the beast are representative of the same world empires as these seven mountains.)

The woman is seen setting upon seven mountains.  In John’s day the coins of the Roman government were embossed with the picture of a woman sitting upon seven mountains.  The seven mountains on the coin were representative of the seven mountains upon which Rome sat:

  1. Palatine
  2. Aventine
  3. Caelian
  4. Esquirine
  5. Uiminal
  6. Quirinal
  7. Capitoline

This pointed John directly to the Roman Empire, the current reigning World Empire.  He had just pointed John’s sight to the political kingdoms of the world.  However, the angel then went further explaining the beast was not limited to this current world empire, but was representative of all the world empires of all time … 

 

(10)  And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

This beast, in its entirety, symbolized seven kings (or the kingdoms over which they ruled, the seven world empires):

  1. “five are fallen” – the world empires existing prior to John’s day (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece)
  2. “one is” – the world empire existing in John’s day (Rome)
  3. “the other is not yet come” –– the world empires existing future to John’s day (Variety of World Powers after Rome)
  4. “he must continue a short space” – this is speaking of the seventh king (the Variety of World Powers future to John). He explained to John that these future kingdoms will not exist into eternity.  Although it is described as coming last in time, with no other world kingdoms to replace it, that does not imply it will be eternal.

Each of the individual kingdoms will only have world dominance a short time and never able to completely rule the world.  As a whole, this aspect of Satan’s political kingdom would only last from the end of the kingdom in control at Christ’s first coming (Rome) to the second coming of Christ.  This very time period is described as a single period of time (Heb 1:1-2, Acts 2:16-17) throughout the Word of God.  This same time period is also described as being short, coming quickly (John 4:35, James 5:8, Rev 22:20 etc)

 

(11)  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

The beast himself (a combination of all world nations):

  1. “is the eighth” – this beast, the combination of all nations, will have a turn being a unified world empire. This takes place following the varied rule of the nations making up the seventh kingdom. This will take place at the Battle of Armageddon when all the nations of the world will unified as a singular world power under their own authority…

Rev 19:19 – “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

(Notice how all the unitied kingdoms are described in this text… “the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies” … this is the eighth kingdom that the angel is speaking about.  It will come into existence as Christ comes in the clouds with His spiritual nation, spiritual Israel (all saved makind in glorified bodies).

(Also please note: there will still be “kings” and “armies”, they will simply be united in effort against Christ.  They will not be melded into just one nation with one ruler.  They will continue to possess their own national identity, but be united fighting as one world power.)

  1. “And is of the seven” – this beast is made up of all the seven world empires throughout history.
  1. “goeth into perdition” – this beast is headed for total destruction. 

 

(12)  And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.

The ten horns represent the ten kings (kingdoms) that will come to power after John’s day.  This is the many varied nations that will become world powers.

These many, varied nations will take exist following the Roman empire and leading up to Christ’s second coming.  This is why it is believed these ten horns are located on the beast’s seventh head.  It is the seventh head only that is said to be coming into existence following the Roman empire of John’s day.

These many varied nations will hold individually the position of world powers for a short period of time.  They will aspire to achieve true World Empire status, ruling over all the known world, but will never fully achieve their aspirations.    

 

(13)  These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.  (14)  These shall make war with the Lamb,

Leading up to Christ’s second coming, all of these aspiring world kingdoms will become united in purpose and goal.  They will willingly join forces with all the other nations and put all of their efforts towards a unified goal.  This goal is to go to war against Christ and defeat Him at His second coming.

Please note the term “These”.  This helps us to understand that these nations are still identified as individual nations, but they are united in goals.  They still have individual kings, but these kings are leading them to join up with all the other nations. (see vs 11 and Rev 19:19)  In the future, the nations will always have individual identities.  They will be individual nations fighting as one.  Nowhere in the Bible do we read of the nations literally unifying to the point they will no longer have national identities, becoming one literal world nation.

 

and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings:

At His second coming Christ, the Lamb, will subdue and prevail over them.  He holds the dominating authority and strength over them.  His predominate strength and authority are revealed to us in the titles “Lord of lord and King of kings” 

and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

The army accompanying Him will be made up of His spiritual nation of Israel, the Israel of God, which is made up of all believers of all time.  More on this Battle of Armageddon in Rev 18: and 19:. 

 

(15)  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.

The waters that this woman sits on, spoken of in vs 1, symbolizes the multitudes of lost people on the earth.   This includes all the lost from each race, nationality, language and family. 

 

(16)  And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.

Although they work together for mutual benefit, the political kingdoms of the world are ultimately controlled by the false religions of the world.  This is shown by the woman riding the beast in vs 3.

People will rebel against or oppose political authorities at the request of their false religious authorities.  They would act thinking they are pleasing their god as opposed to pleasing the human authorities over them.  The reverse is not true.  This makes the false religions of this world a constant threat to the existence and well-being of the political kingdoms of this world.   This is why the political systems of the fallen world hate the religious systems of the fallen world.

This can be seen in the many differing types of persecution of opposing religious systems by the world’s nations.   These types of persecution include:

  1. “make her desolate and naked” – economic and persecution of their members forcing them out of their religion.
  2. “shall eat her flesh” – feeding their members to wild animals, a common practice in the times of John
  3. “burn her with fire” – burning her members at the stake was also a common practice in the times of John.

This principle seems to be greatly magnified at the second coming of Christ.  The nations of the world will understand they have been misled by these false religions and now must go to war against God and receive His wrath due to the woman’s false teachings.  This will cause great hatred in their hearts and a desire to bring her to utter destruction.

Please note that the false religious systems are not listed as being a motivating, warring, nor important, character at the moment of the kingdoms unifying and soon defeat at the hand of the Lord…

Rev 19:19 –  “And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.”

However, she is mentioned in the very next verse as being present, in the symbolism of the false prophet, emphasizing her role in misleading the people to follow the political kingdoms to their defeat.  In this passage, she is sharing in defeat at the hands of our returning Lord…

Rev 19:20 – “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” 

 

(17)  For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

All of this “in-fighting” between the two kingdoms of Satan take place under the Sovereign hand of Almighty God.  He is the One that controls the nations allowing them to abuse, persecute and attempt to destroy themselves.

God has worked in their hearts and minds in three ways:

  1. “to fulfil his will” – to do what God has decreed
  2. “to agree” – to willfully perform the dictates of His sovereign will
  3. “ to give their kingdom unto the beast” – to submit to the leadership of the unified nations of the world.

All of these work up to their utter defeat, which brings fulfillment to the end time prophecies of the Lord 

 

(18)  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

As described before, the false religions of the world control the political kingdoms of the world.

This is symbolized in three ways in this chapter:

  1. The whore riding the beast in vs 3
  2. The woman sitting on the seven mountains in vs 9
  3. The whore sitting on the waters in vs 15

All of these symbolize the same truth.  The false religions of the world, in many ways, rule over the political kingdoms of this world.

Note the woman is described as “that great city”.  This points us back to her title, “Babylon the Great” in vs 5.  Babylon, the symbolic capital of the evil religious kingdom, exercises authority over the political powers of the world and lost mankind in general. She is why the nations of the lost world submits to the political authorities of the world and, ultimately, unite to do battle against Christ.   See verses 3, 5, 9, 15, and 16 for much more detail.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Rev 17:14 – “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”

In this verse, we can see Christ presented as the victorious Lamb , the Lord of lords and King of kings.

Normally, when we think of Christ as the Lamb, we think of Him as the suffering, humble, sinless, Savior who unjustly died on the cross bringing salvation to His people.   However, in this passage that same Lamb is shown as being victorious Lord and King gaining the ultimate victory over the powers of darkness at the Battle of Armageddon.

 

Why would Christ, as He leads His people to victory, be symbolized as a Lamb?

The key is to understand WHEN the victory over the powers of darkness was actually gained.  Christ had won the victory long before Armageddon… Armageddon was simply the outward display that proved the victory had been won.

 

So when was the victory actually won?

This is where Christ, as the Lamb, comes into our view.  Christ’s victory over the powers of darkness took place at the cross.  Our humble, sinless, suffering Savior won the victory at His death.   Because of this, it is only fitting that He be shown as a Lamb as the His victory over darkness is clearly shown to mankind.

 

This was a victory He had won as the Lamb of God hanging on a cross defeating the powers of darkness and bringing salvation to those He loved…

Heb 2:14-15 – “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all remember that Christ has already won for us the victory over the powers of Satan and his dark kingdoms of this world.  He overcame them so that we might be overcomers with Him….

1Jn 4:3-4 – “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.   Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

 

Because we are overcomers in Christ, we can rejoice in the midst of trials, heartaches, times of loss and when face with seeming impossible situations.  How can this be?  We know we will ultimately be given the victory over this world and all the issues it may hold for us.

We are His redeemed… He has gained the victory over this world … and will deliver us from her grasp someday…

Psa 97:9-10 – “For thou, LORD, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.  Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.”

 

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“The Choice Has Been Made” (What the Supreme Court Decision on Homosexual Marriage Proves to Us All)

SIH STSTA ICONNote: For an in depth study of the Biblical teaching on same-sex marriage, please see my posting: http://wp.me/pU88A-nE

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On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States in a 5 to 4 ruling that, in effect, rules that states can no longer prohibit same sex marriages.   Over the past 50 years, we have seen our country ban school-sponsored Bible reading in schools; it has prohibited state-sponsored prayer in school; it has legalized the taking of unborn life; and now, it has mandated the allowance of gay marriage in all 50 states.

In this sequence of events, we can see our country’s gradual rejection of honoring, respecting and obeying our Lord Jehovah, replacing these with an exaltation and submission to the gods of this world (including man himself).

No longer are God’s desires what is important… they have been replaced with the desires and sinful lusts of man.

No longer is our Creator Jehovah looked upon as our Lord and King… now, mankind sees themselves as the one to whom we owe our allegiance.

No longer is what the Lord says that is important, now all that is important is that we all are politically correct, never condemning any action of others, but being accepting and aiding in the commission of sin.

Obviously, in the eyes of our society, it is more important that man be allowed to have his way than to be restricted by a Lord who only desires what is for our good and His glory.   Paul addressed this very issue in Romans 1:21-32.  In this text Paul addressed the gradual decline of the Gentile world as they rejected the witness of God they had received and turn instead to the ruler ship of another…

Romans 1:21-32

“Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.  

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

 

Sounds like our country, does it not?

Folks, our Lord has graced us with the truth of His Word and we have willfully turned from these principles.  We have chosen to follow the desires of the creature instead of the desires of our God.   According to the above passage of Scripture, we have now entered the last stages of this rebellion against the Lord.  What we saw take place with the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage is the official, public declaration of our nation’s condition, just as rebellious gentiles of Paul’s day, who turned from God and then steadily lost the truths of His Word that they once possessed.  We have now, officially, publically, arrived at this place.

God has turned us over to our own lusts, taking His Word out from among us, which is now clearly seen by the immorality that is taking place around us.

At the founding of our nation we were given a choice by Jehovah, much like the choice given to the Israelites by Moses… the choice was to choose between good and evil which would be, in essence, a choice between the life and death of the nation.   If the Israelites chose the path of obedience to God, following the good, they would be insuring the future life and health of their nation, as it would be surrounded by the blessings of God.

If, however, they chose the path of evil, it would be laying a foundation of wickedness that would result in their eventual death as a nation….

 

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 KJV

“See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;  I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, and that ye shall not prolong your days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:  That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”

 

Folks, we have made this choice, the path of evil has been now interwoven in our society.  Our Lord has been rejected by our government, our future now is headed on the path of continued departure from the Lord, wickedness on every hand, and eventual ruin.  I truly believe that now, it is simply a matter of time.

Is there no hope?  With each passing day our hope grows more dim.  Of course, the Lord could always graciously, mercifully intervene and work a true miracle of repentance and restoration in our nation.  At this point in time is there any indication He will do this?  Absolutely not.  He can, but based upon the last 50 years, I am hard pressed to say that He will work such a miracle; especially, for a people who have willfully turned away from Him, and continue to do so in our government, churches, and families with no sign of repentance in sight.

Why am I writing this posting?  To accomplish three basic ends.  I desire to remind us, as the people of God:

  1. We should not be surprised if we see things decline at a faster rate. It seems as if the more truth we turn from, the more quickly truth is taken from us.  We have seen in over the past 50 years and I have no reason to believe this will decelerate in anyway.  I believe it is very possible that a greater persecution of God’s people (those who attempt to continue to stand in the truths of God) is on its way.
  1. We should recognize that we are living in the last days and that the Lord’s coming is close at hand, closer than it has ever been before. There is a great need for us to seek to meet the spiritual needs of those around us because our time of service may be drawing to a close.
  1. We should seek the riches of the Lord that is found in His Word and His promises, prayer, and service to Him . We should be constantly guarding our hearts to make sure that our affections are not turned from our Lord and His Word.  May we never allow this attitude we see in our nation rub off on us.

Folks, it is just as Paul says, “we are dead and our life is hid with Christ”.   If our nation continues on this path of decline, let’s not be discouraged our Lord is still on the throne, we are hid in Him, and soon, we will be home with Him!!!

Colossians 3:1-4 KJV

“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.  Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.”

 

 

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Revelation 17:1-6 “The Woman and The Scarlet Colored Beast”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 17:1-6 KJV

(1)  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:
(2)  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
(3)  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
(4)  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
(5)  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
(6)  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In the previous chapter, we have seen the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7,  which spoke of God’s wrath being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms at the second coming of Christ.   As bowl seven was poured out, we saw the wrath of God being brought to completion and the kingdoms of Satan totally destroyed.

Now, in chapters 17: and 18:, we see a detailed look at this kingdom that has just been destroyed…

1.   In chapter 17: we take a step back and review the identity and characteristics of Satan’s kingdom. In this text, we have the two aspects of Satan’s kingdom symbolized by the two main characters being presented to us… “the Great Whore” (the religious aspects of Satan’s kingdom) and “the Scarlet Colored Beast” (the political aspects of Satan’s kingdom).

[Please note Revelation 13: where the “Great Whore” in this passage symbolized as the “Beast from the Earth”, while the “Scarlet Beast”  is symbolized as the “Beast from the Sea”.  This description also links these to a description of Satan as the scarlet dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns in Rev 12:]

 

2.   In chapter 19: we will see warnings that are given to mankind living now to depart from these kingdoms that are destined to fall under the hand of Almighty God.

A brief outline of the coming chapters:

Chapter 17: The Identity and Characteristics of Satan’s Kingdom

17:1-6 – The Woman and The Scarlet Beast Introduced
17:7-17 – The Scarlet Beast In Detail
17:18 – The Woman In Detail

 

Chapter 18:  The Warnings To Depart From Satan’s Kingdom

18:1-3 – Announcement Of Babylon’s Fall
18:4-8 – Warning To God’s People
18:9-10 – Warning To Kings
18:11-17a – Warning To Merchants
18:17b-20 – Warning To Mariners
18:21-24 – Angel With The Millstone

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY: 

Rev 17:1-6 KJV

 

The Woman and the Beast Introduced: 

(1)  And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me,

One of the seven angels that had just delivered the seven vials of God’s wrath, comes to John and reveals details about the target of the vials of wrath, Satan’s kingdom… 

 

Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore

Remember, the judgment of the great whore, has just been fulfilled.  The angel now wants to review what John has just seen taking place.  He is doing this to clarify in John’s mind the wicked character of Satan’s kingdom (chapter 17) and the need for mankind to separate themselves from that kingdom before it is too late (chapter 18)

Who is this “great whore”?

We will see that she is a picture of the religious kingdoms of Satan…

  1. She is unfaithful to the Lord,
  2. she is guilty of seducing men away from the truth to error,
  3. she is guilty of committing spiritual fornication (spiritual unclean unions with the world)
  4. she is guilty of spiritual adultery (spiritual unfaithfulness to those she has been united)
  5. she is shameless and publically seeking others to join her in sinfulness
  6. etc etc etc

This is why she is symbolized as a “whore”. 

These descriptions will be taken from Isa 23:15-17, Jere 3:1-10, 4:30, 5:6-7, 51:6-8, Ezek 16:15-34,  Zechariah 5: etc. 

 

that sitteth upon many waters: 

Satan’s religious powers are said to be sitting on many waters which symbolizes her great influence and sway over masses of unsettled humanity.  The lost are her “throne”.  although rejected and opposed by God, in these vast numbers of lost humanity that she receives authority and strength.  She is both exalted over and in control of lost mankind.

Think of all the false religions of the world and the amount of lost humanity that are under their authority.  These lost people are like a sea tossed to and fro with untrue teachings , ungrounded,  and constantly wavering in error.     

(Please keep in mind that when the Bible pictures false religions these include not only those groups who lead men to worship a false god, but also humanism, atheism, mammonism, and other belief structures that lead to worship/submission of men or other idols found in this fallen world).

 

(2)  With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,

The political authorities of the world create unlawful unions with the religious kingdoms of Satan.  We see this all the time with national religions.  They then work together hand in hand.  The national religion encourages its followers to submit to the laws of the land, while the political powers threaten punishment to those who teach in opposition to the national religion.

“fornication” comes from a Greek word for “uncleanness” and is the root of the title “whore” as well.  Both of these emphasize to us that these unions are sinful unions, not made under the Lord’s approval and authority, just as physical fornication is a sexual union that takes place without the Lord’s approval or authority.

 

and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.

Because of this unlawful union between the political and religious kingdoms of Satan, we see all of lost mankind seduced to take part in this illicit union as well.  They come to these two great kingdoms and join with them, creating a union that displeases the Lord and commits heinous acts of uncleanness in the world. 

Here, the sinful condition of the kingdoms, and those who participate in them, is pictured by being drunken with wine…  uncontrolled behavior, the constant seeking to fulfill their fleshly lusts, being overcome with their own sins.  This is symbolism being given to us to show these kingdoms, and their members, slavery to their carnal lusts. 

These are the characters that the angel will now show John in greater detail… 

 

(3)  So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness:

John is said to be “carried away” only twice in Revelation.  Here, he is taken away to see Satan’s kingdom, and also in Rev 21:10 when he is taken to see New Jerusalem, the eternal kingdom of God!

What does it mean that John was “in the Spirit”?  He was totally surrounded by the Holy Spirit’s power which allowed him to see these wonderful visions.

John is said to be taken “into the wilderness”.  The word translated “wilderness” means “desert” or “a place that is destitute of life”.  What a statement to make.   For John to be shown the kingdoms of Satan, he will have to be taken to the place where there is no life (spiritual life).    He will be looking at Satan, his kingdoms, and lost mankind…. no evidence of spiritual life exists within any of this group of sinful beings.

 

and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast,

John is now shown the two aspects of this kingdom.  The religious powers are symbolized by the woman, the political powers symbolized by the beast upon which she sits.

The woman sitting upon the beast symbolizes three things for us:

  1. she is associated to the beast – the nations of the world and the beast work together (forming of national religions)
  2. she is supported by the beast – citizens are forced to participate in the national religion
  3. the beasts is controlled by the woman – the false religions keep the citizenry in submission to the beast and hold great influence in the policy making of the beast

The beast is said to be scarlet colored.  Compare the following description of the scarlet beast with the description of the beast from the sea in Rev 13: Clearly this is speaking of the same Satanic kingdom.

Scarlet symbolizes:

  1. shed blood (of Christ – Exo 25:-29:, Josh 2:18-21) –
  2. great authority (Gen 38:28-30, Dan 5:7,16,29)
  3. sinfulness (Isa 1:18)

Satan’s political power is guilty of martyrdom (shedding the blood of Christ’s people);  holds great political authority over its citizens; and is characterized by sinful laws, deeds and motivations.

 

full of names of blasphemy,

Each of the nations of the world are overflowing with laws and works that speak evil of God, opposing His will and ways.  Even the most Godly of nations (USA for example) can be seen gradually falling away from the truths of God and accepting the sinful ways of the world (abortions, homosexuality, taking Lord out of schools, silencing truth through politically correct speech etc.) 

 

having seven heads and ten horns.

This beast is said to have seven heads, each of which symbolize one of the great world empires:

1.  Egypt;
2.  Assyria;
3.  Babylon;
4.  Medo-Persia;
5.  Greece;
6.  Rome;
7.  The various, diverse kingdoms who became world powers following the Roman Empires fall … (some of these include Russia, China, Japan, USA, Italy, etc etc )

This beast is said to have 10 horns. The horns represent the power and authority held by the kingdoms.   The number 10 symbolizes diverse, multiplicity, of these kingdoms.  These horns, if located on the seventh head,  reinforce the truth that the seventh head does not represent one world empire but many, various,  world powers that never gained control the known world (as did the previous 6 world empires).

These quickly summarize the world kingdoms of Satan and their influence in the world over the centuries.

 

John’s attention is now turned to the “Great Whore” (religious kingdoms of Satan) who is seen riding the beast, once again, if we compare this description with Rev 13 we quickly see this is the same Satanic Kingdom that is described as the “beast from the earth”… 

(4)  And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour,  and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, 

The color of purple is the color reserved for those held in high honor (royalty, those of beauty or wealth).  The color scarlet pictures shed blood, martyrdom, authority, and sinfulness.  The gold, precious stones and pearls that adorn her emphasize her perceived great earthly value.  They beautify her clothing making her more desired by lost mankind.

Basically the clothing of this woman reveals her as being highly sought after.  Due to her seductive ways and teachings, lost mankind is deceived into thinking that she is valuable, beautiful, exalted, and they want to be united with her.  However, her clothing also reveals her true character one of abusive of God’s people, sinful and very deceptive and misleading.

This is the perfect representation of the religious kingdoms of Satan.   Although these religions are sinful, harmful to the cause of Christ, because they are masters of deception, lost mankind values the false religions of this world.  The lost see them as key to eternal happiness and self-fulfillment.  They desire to become a part of them seeking to follow their teachings and practices.  They are totally deceived and blinded to the true nature of these worldly religions.

 

having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:

The woman is seen as holding a golden cup, picturing a cup of great value which is great desired by the lost.  This is a cup that is filled with her sins.  Once again we see that, although her actions and teachings are sinful and to be rejected, lost men under her influence are totally deceived into seeing her deeds and words as highly valuable.

Her sins are described as “abominations” (that which God greatly hates) and “fornication” (unclean, filthy).  Her actions and messages are sinful, dirty, and rebellious, causing the Lord to hate them.   Throughout the Bible, idolatry is one of the most commonly mentioned of all abominations.   Idolatry is one of the main goals that lie behind Satan’s use of false religions.  It is used to get lost mankind to worship any one,  or anything, other than the true God. 

 

(5)  And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

The Lord reveals this woman though a series of titles:

  1. Mystery – a secret that is known to the initiated, but unknown to the uninitiated – the true character of this woman is known to the saints of the Lord, but unknown to the lost who have been deceived
  1. Babylon the Great – Babylon comes from a root meaning “confusion”, “clamor”, or “noise”.   The message of Satan’s false religions causes confusion.  Spiritually, their teachings are of no greater value than un-orchestrated noise that holds no meaning.
  1. The Mother of Harlots – She produces great acts of sin by seducing lost men to join in her efforts joining into unlawful unions with her. They join up with her sharing in her sinful acts and teachings and actively seek her preservation.
  1. The Mother of … Abominations of the Earth – She also produces great abominations in the same way she produces fornications and harlotry. As she seduces lost men, they, in turn, begin committing great acts that God hates.

 

(6)  And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus:

John’s reaction to this vision.  As a child of God, He sees her for who she is.  He is not deceived by her beauty and seduction…

He sees her great opposition to the Lord and His people “blood of the saints and the martyrs of Jesus”.

He sees her uncontrolled sinfulness “drunken”.

 

and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration. 

It is important to note that the root word for “admiration” means “to examine closely” or “to have eyes affixed” on something.  It DOES NOT imply that John approved, respected, or in any way coveted her teachings, works, or being.

John is simply saying that after he had studied her, he was dumbfounded….  In other words, after seeing her for who she is, through an extremely careful examination, he then was amazed at how powerful, deceitful, and seductive she was.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this passage of Scripture, we can see clearly what Christ IS NOT.  Please remember, we have been looking at the two kingdoms (religious and political) of Satan.  They stand in glaring contrast to the kingdoms of God.

What a wonderful comparison is set before us.  Note the comparisons:

Satan’s Kingdom (Both Aspects)      Rev 17: The Kingdom Of God     Rev 21:-22:
Sinful Sinless
Temporal Eternal
Members are Lost Mankind Members are Saved Mankind
Located on this Fallen Earth Located on the New Earth
Satan Is King Over Them God Is King Over Them
Headed For Destruction Experiencing Eternal Glory
Deceitful and Seductive Honest, Transparent, Truthful

 

Folks, after we look at this comparison, may we stop and honor Christ today:

We could be serving a deceitful, unreliable king who only seeks his own welfare at the expense of his citizens…. But we don’t!

We could have only eternal judgment and destruction to look forward to… But we don’t!

We could always doubt his truthfulness and sincerity… But we don’t!

 

We serve a sinless, wonderful, gracious, kind Lord that works for our good as well as His Father’s glory.  He keeps every promise, He never misleads us, He always is honest, transparent and speaks for our welfare!

As we think about Satan’s kingly rulership and work within his kingdoms, may we always have grateful hearts… we serve the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who wonderfully cares for His people and works according to His sinless, gracious will! 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, may we use this lesson to be a constant reminder of our need to be on guard against the activities of these Satanic kingdoms and see them for what they really are:

  1. 1  May we always recognize error when it is taught
  2. May we recognize sinful laws that should not be followed
  3. May we recognize temporal gain for what it is… short-lived and eternally vain.
  4. May we recognize no matter how great the earthly authority or power, it cannot stand up to the Lord’s sovereign rule

And may we all learn to separate ourselves from these Satanic kingdoms and live lives of holiness as citizens of the kingdom and family of God!

 

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Revelation 16: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON

 

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

We continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath.  The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet.  The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols.  These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.

In chapter 16, we will see the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7, being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms…

I.  Revelation 16:1-21
A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B.  Vial One (16:2)
C.  Vial Two (16:3)
D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)
E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)
F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)
G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)
H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER: 

 

  1. Revelation 16:1 – Command To Pour Out Vials

John hears God’s voice coming from the temple… “Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth”.

This was the command for His wrath to begin, teaching us that the wrath that falls at the second coming proceeds from God and is under His absolute control.

 

  1. Revelation 16:2 – Vial 1 Poured Out

This judgment caused sores to break out upon lost mankind.  Sores symbolize direct punishment from God resulting in a state of great need.

This symbolizes that the wrath of God that falls at the second coming of Christ is being sent as a direct punishment for the sins.  This also reminds us of lost mankind’s great need of Christ and the public disgrace for sin that they will face.

 

  1. Revelation 16:3 – Vial 2 Poured Out

The second vial results in the sea being changed to the blood of a corpse.  This sinful earthly sea pictures the false philosophies, worldly wisdom and false scientific theories that are put forth by the powers of darkness in this world.

Although the world promises these as beneficial and truthful for all mankind, in actuality, they are sinful messages that only bring harm and suffering to man.

These will be clearly shown as false and harmful as those who originate and proclaim these messages feel the wrath of God fall upon them.

 

  1. Revelation 16:4-7 – Vial 3 Poured Out

This vial is poured out upon the fresh water sources, corrupting them and changing them to blood.  The fresh water sources based on the fallen world are speaking of the false gospels found in Satan’s kingdom.    When men follow these false teachings, they will only lead these men to their eternal spiritual death.

This death and destruction that comes upon those who are followers of Satan’s religious kingdom is brought upon them as a part of God’s judgment against their sin.  The Lord receives praise from this judgment and the saved men who were abused and martyred for the true gospel message as their voices begin praising God for avenging their abuse at the hands of those who opposed their teachings of the truth.

 

  1. Revelation 16:8-9 – Vial 4 Poured Out

This vial is poured out upon the sun, causing lost mankind to be burned.   The sun throughout the Bible was an object of  false worship.

This is a picture of God’s judgment falling upon those who worship idols and those who propagate that false worship.

At the conclusion of this wrath, we see mankind refusing to repent of their wickedness, but simply hardening their hearts  and continuing to stubbornly rebel against Him.

 

  1. Revelation 16:10-11 – Vial 5 Poured Out

This vial is poured out on the seat of the beast causing darkness and great pain to fall upon the members of Satan’s kingdoms.  The pain of this judgment is so great they are seen chewing their tongues due to their suffering.

This helps us to understand that, as these vials continue to progress they will bring about the final, total, physical destruction of Satan’s political and religious kingdoms.  His wrath will be brought to a completion during the Battle of Armageddon which will be covered in Vial 7.    Both the darkness and pain reflect this utter defeat.  The darkness represents the total desolation that follows this destruction, while the intense pain describes the painful process of being punished to death.

 

  1. Revelation 16:12-16 – Vial 6 Poured Out

In this vial we first see the Euphrates River dried up making a way for the “Kings of the East” to come.  The Euphrates is a picture of the holding place for wicked powers and the fertile beginning point of God’s judgments of God.

The Euphrates is like a plowed field (the field that holds all the wicked powers of the world) awaiting seed (God’s judgments) to be sown.  This symbolizes the wrath of God falling upon the wicked powers of this world.  This then prepares the way for Christ and His people (who will rule and reign with Him) proceeding back to gain victory at Armageddon and then enter a purified earth to live eternally.

Also we see frog spirits coming out from Satan and his political and religious kingdoms.  These represent the false message of the kingdoms of Satan that will mislead men into going to war against the Lord Almighty to fight in the Battle of Armageddon.

In the midst of this vial, we find a parenthetical insertion by Christ reminding us that He is coming as a thief and the need for His people to remain vigilant and faithful.  The lost, on the other hand, will be brought to disgrace at His coming.

 

  1. Revelation 16:17-21 – Vial 7 Poured Out

Vial 7 presents a summary account of the Battle of Armageddon, the final stage of God’s wrath upon Satan, his kingdoms of the world, and lost mankind in general.

In verse 17, we find the command for the Battle to begin and then a declaration  that this battle will mark the end of God’s wrath falling upon the lost.  Next, we see a great display of God’s greatness (his strength, authority and faithfulness) presented in the “noises, thunderings, and lightnings” .

An earthquake is felt, resulting in the city of Babylon being divided into three parts.  The three parts symbolize  “manifestation”, or “a clear display”.   This symbolizes for us that the great power and wrath of God will be clearly displayed as the kingdoms of the world come to utter destruction. Babylon, the seat of rebellion, pride and humanism, will totally fall along with all the other cities in the world.   Also the isolated places (islands) and the strong immoveable places (mountains) of this fallen world will offer no refuge for the lost.  They too will utterly fall.  No one will escape this last stage of God’s wrath, nor will they find any place of comfort or refuge.

Babylon was forced to take her “medicine”, the cup of wrath and now she has fallen.

Finally, the completion of this wrath is symbolized by great hail stones (114 pounds in weight).     Falling upon the lost bringing them to total destruction.   This symbolizes the complete and devastating wrath that will fall upon the lost at Armageddon.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In this chapter, we have seen this last portion of God’s wrath reveled in great detail.  This portion of God’s wrath brings an end to the judgment of the lost on earth and brings physical destruction upon Satan and his kingdoms (political and religious) and those who partake of their sins.

Beginning in chapter 17: and concluding in chapter 18: we will be seeing a recounting of the fall of Babylon in great detail…

  1. Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
    1. Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
      1. Scarlet Beast (Satan’s Political Kingdom) 1-3
      2. Woman (Satan’s Religious Kingdom) 4-6
      3. The Mystery Of The Woman and The Beast Revealed – 7-18
  1. The Results of Babylon’s Judgment 18:1-24
    1. Victory Announcement 1-3
    2. Invitation for God’s People To Separate Themselves 4-20
    3. Millstone Cast Upon Sea… the Final Destruction Of Babylon 21-24

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 16:10-21 “The Pouring Out Of Bowls 5-7

SIH STSTA ICON

 

 

THE TEXT:

 

Rev 16:10-21 KJV

(10)  And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
(11)  And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
(12)  And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
(13)  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
(14)  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
(15)  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
(16)  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
(17)  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
(18)  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
(19)  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
(20)  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
(21)  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In the previous chapter, we have been presented to us the truth that the Lord will deliver His people from this fallen earth just prior to the falling of His wrath upon sinful mankind. This was symbolized by two differing reapings of the earth.  Now we continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath.  The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet.  The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols.  These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.

In chapter 16, we will see the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7, being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms…

I.  Revelation 16:1-21

A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)

B.  Vial One (16:2)

C.  Vial Two (16:3)

D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)

E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)

F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)

G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)

H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

 

Please notice, there is a similarity (with clear differences) between these vial judgments and the 7 trumpet judgments that we have previously looked at:

 

# Trumpets (Rev 8:, 9:, 10:) Vials  (Rev 16:) Exodus Plague
1 Hail, Fire , Blood Sores On Men 9: – Boils
2 Burning Mountain, Sea To Blood Sea To Blood 7: – Water To Blood
3 Star From Heaven , Rivers and Founts To Blood Rivers and Founts To Blood 7: – Water To Blood
4 Darkness Sun Scorching Men 10: – Darkness
5 Locusts Upon Men Darkness and Pain 10: – Locusts
6 4 Angels / 200,000,000 Army 4 Kings / 3 Spirits 12: – Death Angel
7 The 7 Vials Thunder, Lightning, Earhquake, Hail 9: – Hail

Please note that all the symbolic vials can find their source among the 10 Egyptian Plagues.

As we can see that are several similar judgments (2, 3, 6), one opposite judgment (4), and two totally different (1, 5,), and one trumpet is inclusive of all the vials (7).

From this we can see that the 7 trumpets are NOT the same judgments as the 7 vials (bowls).   However, the 7th trumpet is made up of all seven of the vial judgments.

Also, please remember, the first 6 trumpet judgments affect lost mankind, while several of the 7 vials affect Satan and his kingdoms,  this is another very important difference that must be recognized.

One final difference between the trumpets and the vials is found in their severity.  While the trumpets affected large portions of the lost, the 7 vials seem to affect all of the members of the kingdom of Satan resulting their final physical destruction.

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

In the previous 4 vials we saw God’s wrath being poured out against individuals who are members of the kingdom of Satan.  Now, we will begin to see God’s wrath being poured out upon Satan’s kingdom itself.

Rev 16:10-21 KJV 

(10)  And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast;

This vial is sent out against the “throne” (political authority) of the kingdom of Satan.  This would be referring to the beast from the sea, the political aspect of Satan’s kingdom.  

The wrath that will fall at Christ’s second coming will punish, and bring an end to, the political powers of this world.

 

and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,  (11)  And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

 

One part of this wrath is darkness falling upon the kingdom.  This darkness symbolizes a void, emptiness, an absence, or a silence (1 Sam 2:9).   The kingdom is being brought down to desolation, its lights have been put out, symbolizing its final end.

Those in the kingdom chew their tongues do to the great pain involved with their defeat.  Once again, we see the great suffering and loss of this judgment does not bring men to Christ but hardens their hearts against the Lord, blaspheming Him and refusing to repent of their sins which would, by theory, alleviate their judgment.

The symbolism of this judgment comes from the plague of darkness that was placed upon Egypt (Exo 10:21-23) 

 

(12)  And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up,

The sixth angel pours his vial upon the river Euphrates.   The word “Euphrates”, although of foreign origin, is closely related to a Hebrew word that means “to break forth” (as the water breaking forth over a barrier, or seed ready to spring forth from the ground in the field.)   The river Euphrates is used in Revelation to picture the holding place for wicked powers and the beginning point of various judgments of God (Rev 9:14).

The pouring of the vial now dries up the Euphrates.  This allows the judgment of God to break forth and proceed.  This reminds us of the splitting of the Nile which allowed the Jews to proceed to the other side with the Egyptians in close pursuit.

The symbolism of this vial is rich indeed.  God’s sixth vial judgment now begins as it is poured out upon the Euphrates, which will cause the judgment to spring forth.  In this case, Euphrates is like a plowed field awaiting seed to be sown.  The pouring out of the vial is like the seed being sown in the field.  This is all done to bring forth the judgment that awaits the Satanic Kingdoms…

 

that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

God’s judgment against the kingdom of Satan begins…

The literal translation of this phrase can also be “that the way of the authorities of the rising sun might be made ready” (see Youngs Literal Translation, Rotherham’s Emphasized Bible, and American Standard Version).  This is speaking of Christ and His people coming to fight the final battle against Satan’s kingdom… the Battle of Armageddon (this battle in great detail – Rev 19:11-21 and summarized in Rev 16:17-21).

(Please note: Both Christ and His people are described as kings (or “authorities”) because His people will reign with Christ during His kingdom – Rev 20:4.  Christ is the King that is described as “a rising sun” coming from the east in several places in the Bible: [Isa 41:2, Ezek 43:1-4, 44:1-4, Malachi 4:2 “Sun of Righteousness” , Matt 24:27, Luke 1:78 “Dayspring” – Rising Sun, Rev 7:2])

This part of John’s vision is teaching us that the judgment that falls at Christ’s second coming will prepare the way for Christ to enter the world, with His people, to personally fight at the Battle Of Armageddon. The fortresses and holding places of the wicked will be done away (Euphrates being dried up) in preparation for His coming and the battle to be fought.  The wicked in that battle, will have no place to flee, no place to run to, no place to find refuge from His wrath. 

This symbolism is found in Isaiah 11:15-16. 

This is the Lord’s preparation for the Battle of Armageddon…. In the next verse, we will see Satan and his kingdoms preparation for this Battle affecting the kingdoms of Satan

 

(13)  And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.  (14)  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

John now sees three demonic spirits come from the mouth of Satan, His political kingdom, and His religious kingdom.  These three spirits appear like frogs to John.  Biblically, the number three is the number for the trinity but also for completeness of manifestation.  An example of this is found in 1 Tim 5:19 & Hebs 10:28.

Just as the trinity and their work completely reveals the person and work of God, so too, the three wicked spirits from their mouths symbolizes the complete message of the powers darkness of this world.  This tells us, as Armageddon approaches, the entire forces of evil alive on the earth will be joined together to deceive and mislead mankind to go to  war against the Lord.  Their “propaganda machine” will be running full force to gather mankind to battle.

These spirits appear as frogs.  They are considered to be unclean and to be refrained from by God’s people (Lev 11:10-41).   The message of the powers of darkness are unclean, to be rejected by God’s people.  Frogs in the Bible also represent the judgments of God upon wicked authorities (Psa 105:30).  These sinful messages will end up coming back upon Satan and his kingdoms as a part of the divine judgment of God.  All of their lies, all of their deceit, will only increase the judgment that comes upon them.

These misleading messages include:

  1. “ the spirit of devils” – they are empowered and used to advance the agenda of demons and the other powers of darkness.
  2. “working miracles” – a part of the message tools that Satan uses to deceive men into following him are false signs and wonders that deceive. (Matt 24:24)
  3. “which go forth…world” – these messages and false miracles are pointed towards the authorities of the world kingdoms and all of lost mankind.

What is the ultimate purpose of these false, misleading messages?  “to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.”  This is what this entire vial is all about.  It is the Lord and His people preparing for this battle to go against Satan and his kingdoms on earth.  That battle will be symbolized in summary fashion in the last vial.  It will be the final act of God’s wrath against lost mankind on earth, and will bring a complete end to the Great Tribulation which began in trumpet 1 and is now going to be brought to a close.

 

(15)  Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Following symbolism in which we saw Christ and His people, as well as Satan and his kingdoms, preparing for Christ’s second coming and the Battle Of Armageddon, the Lord now reminds us truths about His coming:

  1. “Behold, I come as a thief.” – The lost world will not expect His coming.  The result of His coming and the Battle will be loss and harm to those upon earth. (Luke 12:35-38, 1 Thess 5:1-2, 2 Pet 3:8-13, Matt 24:43, Luke 12:39-40)
  1. “Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments,” – For those who are truly saved will be watching and keeping their garments pure (by remaining faithful in service to Christ), they will be blessed (Eph 4:24, Job 29:14). This will take place when the Lord takes them home to be with Him and they are rewarded for their faithful works.

No saint is perfectly watching nor keeping His garments… but every saint does these to a certain extent.  All who are truly saved will recognize He is coming again, just as everyone truly saved will serve Him in some ways.   No truly saved person totally forgets Christ is coming again, nor does He refrain from bearing any fruits of the spirit in his life.  These would be signs of a person’s lost condition.

  1. “lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” – For the lost who are watching or faithful to Him, they will be exposed for what they really are… rebellious rejecters of Christ and will be put to shame when Christ comes in victorious opposition to them.

In this verse, the Lord not only reminds us of His coming, but also of our need to be prepared for that coming through salvation, watchfulness and faithful service to Him (Luke 12:35-38, Mark 13:32-37).

 

(16)  And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

We pick up with the narrative in verse 14.  The lost on the world are now being assembled to do battle against the coming Christ.

Who is the “he” that is gathering the lost?   There is dispute about this by commentators on this verse.   This same Greek word is translated “they” in most of the other versions of the Bible.  This is because this verse uses a singular verb with a plural noun.  We cannot be certain which was John’s intent.  But really, in the big picture of things, it makes very little difference and no need for any dispute…

“They” would refer back to Satan, the Beast (political kingdoms of world), and the False Prophet (religious kingdoms of the world).

However, if the proper translation is “he”, then it could be referring back to Satan as the ruler of all the powers of darkness.

In either case, it is saying that the lost of this world will be gathered by the powers of darkness, who are under the leadership of Satan.

The place of this final battle is called Armageddon which means, the “mountain of Megiddo”, or “mountain of rendezvous, meeting, or congregation”.   This is the perfect name for it to possess, as all of lost mankind will “rendezvous” in an effort to oppose Christ and His people at their coming.

The area of Armageddon includes the valley where this battle is fought.  This valley is given several titles:

  1. “the valley of Jehoshaphat”… “the valley where the Lord judges” (Joel 3:2, 12)
  2. “the valley of Hinnon”… “the valley of sorrow and weeping” (Jer 19:1-15)
  3. “the valley of Kidron”… “the valley full of blackness and confusion” (Zech 14:2-5)

 

All of these titles helps us to understand different truths about this great battle that will find Christ victorious over all.

 

(17)  And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air;

This seventh vial is speaking of the Battle of Armageddon in summary fashion.  With the completion of this vial we come to the completion of Christ’s wrath falling upon lost mankind and the kingdoms of Satan.    The vial is said to be poured out in the air, a symbolic picture of the wrath of God being spread by the winds throughout the earth.  All of the living lost, Satan and his kingdoms will be affected by this judgment.  There will be no place to find refuge, the wrath of God will miss none.

 

and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Immediately, following the sending of the final portion of His wrath, John hears the voice of God stating “It is done”.  In other words, my wrath against Satan, his kingdoms, and the lost is now complete.

Just as when Christ stated “it is finished” on the cross, announcing His defeat of death, sin and Satan…. So too, now He is announcing the completion of the manifestation of that same victory that He has won for us on the cross.   What He accomplished on the cross is now being brought to full fruition at the completion of the Battle of Armageddon.

 

(18)  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings;

At the announcement of His completed wrath John sees and hears a great display of God’s presence, power and anger on display.  Just as in prior portions of Revelation these displays reveal God’s greatness as Ultimate Victor and Judge over all.

This is what we have seen throughout the falling wrath of God.  We have seen His presence on display through His strength, authority, and dominating control over the powers of darkness and lost mankind. 

 

and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.  (19)  And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell:  and great Babylon came in remembrance before God

Several times in the Bible, earthquakes are directly linked to the falling of God’s wrath and anger (Haggai 12:6-7, Ezek 38:19, Isa 2:19, Isa 29:6).     Never has there been a greater display of God’s wrath and overcoming Sovereignty on the earth as when the Battle of Armageddon takes place.

This great earthquake severs “the great city”, Babylon, into three distinct parts.  Babylon is a picture of the headquarters, or the capital city, of the powers of darkness.   Three is the number for complete manifestation (see vs 14).  When the Battle of Armageddon takes place and Babylon is destroyed, it will be a complete, clearly seen destruction that will bring the powers of darkness to an end.

Not only will the capital of Satan’s kingdom be destroyed, but also all the other cities are brought to defeat.  Once again, we can see the totality of the lost worlds defeat and their complete physical destruction.  No city is left standing, no area is left unaffected.  It is an absolute, total defeat of darkness at the hand of our Almighty Lord.

Remember, it was at the Tower of Babel that the first public display of lost mankind’s united rebellion against the Lord.  Now the Battle of Armageddon is bringing into completion the punishment that was sent upon the members of Satan’s kingdoms for their unified rebellion against Him.

 

to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

This battle is bringing to an end Satan’s kingdom and lost mankind’s “dose” of God’s wrath, by battling them at Armageddon.   It is as if He is giving her a cup of wine that is filled with the “fierceness”,  the most intense part of His wrath.  This will bring her “dose” to completion.  

 

(20)  And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

Even the most isolated spots on the globe, the islands, will be brought to destruction.  Likewise, the highest and most firm parts of the globe, the mountains, cannot give refuge or hiding to the lost.  They, too, will be touched by God’s wrath as it is brought to completion.

 

(21)  And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent:

The hail falling from heaven symbolizes the wrath that proceeds for God and falls upon the inhabitants of the earth.  The hail weighing “a talent” tells us it weighed approx. 114 pounds.   Once again, we have the horrid desolation of all the inhabitants of the earth being emphasized.  This is done with the symbolism of large hail that would cause total destruction as it falls.   

 

and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Once again, we see the refusal of members of Satan’s kingdoms to repent.  Instead they speak evil of the Lord, falsely accusing Him of wrongdoing and demeaning Him.  They are doing this because of the greatness of His wrath that is bringing them to utter defeat.

It is interesting to note that God’s wrath is described as a “plague” in this verse.  The Greek word for “plague” means a wound, or a stripe.   In comparison, we are told that a part of Christ’s work on behalf of His people is to take “stripes” in their place which was the punishment for their sins.  (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24)

This entire vial is based upon Joel 3:9-17.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In the account of vials 5-7, we see the completed work of Christ coming into view.  That which He has completed on the cross,  whether it be the salvation of His people (Phil 1:4-6) or the victory over the powers of darkness (Hebs 2:14) , we find that He will always bring to completion that which He has begun.

What a blessing for us to know…. Just as certain as His victory over sin is our redemption!  We can rest assured that if we have been saved, we will enter eternal glory with Him and escape His wrath that will fall at His second coming…

1Co 1:8 KJV – Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

May we all serve Him with assurance KNOWING without doubt that, if we are saved, we are secure in Him.   This assurance allows us to enter into His presence boldly as we serve Him and know with certainty He is with us, aidin us every step of the way ….

Heb 4:16 KJV – “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Heb 13:6 KJV – “So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.”

 

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Revelation 16:1-9 “The Pouring Out Of Bowls 1-4”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 16:1-9 KJV

(1)  And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
(2)  And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
(3)  And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
(4)  And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
(5)  And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
(6)  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
(7)  And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
(8)  And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
(9)  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In the previous chapter, we have been presented to us the truth that the Lord will deliver His people from this fallen earth just prior to the falling of His wrath upon sinful mankind. This was symbolized by two differing reapings of the earth.  Now we continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath.  The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet.  The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols.  These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.

In chapter 16, we will see the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7, being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms…

I.  Revelation 16:1-21
A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B.  Vial One (16:2)
C.  Vial Two (16:3)
D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)
E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)
F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)
G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)
H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

Please notice, there is a similarity (with clear differences) between these vial judgments and the 7 trumpet judgments that we have previously looked at:

 

# Trumpets (Rev 8:, 9:, 10:) Vials  (Rev 16:) Exodus Plague
1 Hail, Fire , Blood Sores On Men 9: – Boils
2 Burning Mountain, Sea To Blood Sea To Blood 7: – Water To Blood
3 Star From Heaven , Rivers and Founts To Blood Rivers and Founts To Blood 7: – Water To Blood
4 Darkness Sun Scorching Men 10: – Darkness
5 Locusts Upon Men Darkness and Pain 10: – Locusts
6 4 Angels / 200,000,000 Army 4 Kings / 3 Spirits 12: – Death Angel
7 The 7 Vials Thunder, Lightning, Earhquake, Hail 9: – Hail

Please note that all the symbolic vials can find their source among the 10 Egyptian Plagues.

As we can see that are several similar judgments (2, 3, 6), one opposite judgment (4), and two totally different (1, 5,), and one trumpet is inclusive of all the vials (7).

From this we can see that the 7 trumpets are NOT the same judgments as the 7 vials (bowls).   However, the 7th trumpet is made up of all seven of the vial judgments.

Also, please remember, the first 6 trumpet judgments affect lost mankind, while several of the 7 vials affect Satan and his kingdoms,  this is another very important difference that must be recognized.

One final difference between the trumpets and the vials is found in their severity.  While the trumpets affected large portions of the lost, the 7 vials seem to affect all of the members of the kingdom of Satan resulting their final physical destruction.

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 16:1-9 KJV

(1)  And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

In the previous chapter, we saw that the seven angels had been sent out from the Lord’s presence with the authority to send God’s wrath upon the earth against Satan and his kingdoms.  Now John hears God’s voice commanding the angels to begin sending His wrath upon the earth.

There are seven angels that symbolize a complete sending of God’s wrath upon man.  At the completion of His wrath, Satan and his kingdoms will be totally defeated.  Whenever we see angels in Revelation they are symbolic of Godly origin, and authority at work.

Although the seven angels in this section of our study are symbolic, helping us to understand that the wrath that falls comes from the Lord under His authority, there are texts that tell us angels will be literally active in sending God’s judgment upon lost mankind (2 Thess 1:7-9).

This wrath is said to be contained in bowls which contain the hot wrath of God that will be poured out upon the earth (15:7)

 

(2)  And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The first angel immediately follows the command of the Lord and pours out the first bowl upon the earth.   This is the role for the elect angels of God to minister on His behalf, swiftly following His commands (Psa 103:20).

This bowl causes an extremely harmful, painful, malicious ulcers fell upon men who had “the mark of the beast” (members of Satan’s political kingdom) and which “worshipped his image” (members of Satan’s religious kingdom).

Sores in the OT were used by the Lord for the direct punishment for sin.  During the ten plagues (Exo 9:9-11) and the warning of the Lord’s judgment against the sins of Israel (Deut 28:27, 35)  Sores are also representative of the DIRECT results of sin (Isa 1:6).  And finally, sores are used in connection with lowliness, poverty and humility (Job 2:7, 5:18, Lk 16:20-21)

When we see these sores falling upon the members of Satan’s kingdoms, they are teaching us that the final wrath of God that falls at the second coming of Christ is being sent as a direct punishment for the sins that they have committed.  This punishment, in turn , results in their loss of well-being, leaving them in great need and disgrace.

It is interesting to note that in the Exodus account (Exo 9:11), boils were sent upon the Egyptian magicians  bringing them to public shame causing them to no longer be able to deceive the Egyptian citizens.  This is much like these symbolic sores placed upon the members of Satan’s kingdoms, causing them to no longer be able to deceive lost mankind leading them to rebellion against the Lord.

 

(3)  And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

The second angel now pours out his bowl upon the sea changing it to blood and bringing death upon all men and living creatures who were in the sea.  The Greek word for “soul” (refers to both human and animal life) (Rev 8:9).   We saw in Exo 7:19-25, the Nile was turned to blood resulting in all the fish in the Nile dying.

The phrase “the blood of a dead man” basically means “the blood of a corpse”.  This paints a vivid, ugly picture of this blood… it was like clotted blood, useless to support life, and actually caused death instead of sustaining life.

Bodies of water many times refer to teachings… the “water of life” and the “sea of glass” refers to the gospel message.  In this case, the sea located on the fallen earth is symbolic of all types of false teachings, false scientific theories, philosophies and worldly wisdom that proceeds from Satan.  This would include religious, moral, ethical, psychological and philosophical teachings.

The false teachings of Satan’s kingdom which promises to be healthy and life-giving, in actuality contains only the blood of the dead.

 

(4)  And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

The third angel pours God’s wrath upon the fresh water sources (rivers and fountains).  The basic principle being taught is the judgment of the false gospel message in particular that promise life to the receiver, but only result in judgment and death.

Rivers picture cleansing (Exo 2:5) and fountains can symbolize purity (Song of Solomon 4:12).  These are both pictures of spiritual cleansing brought about by God’s Word (gospel message) (Eph 5:26).

The fresh water sources based on the fallen world are speaking of the false gospels found in Satan’s kingdom.    When men follow these false teachings, they will only lead these men to their eternal spiritual death.  This death and destruction that comes upon those who are followers of Satan’s religious kingdom is brought upon them as a part of God’s judgment against their sin.

The main difference between the 2nd and 3rd angel bowls:

  1. 2nd angel judgment affects all those who proclaim the false philosophies and worldly teachings and scientific theories opposed to the Scriptures found in Satan’s kingdom.
  2. 3rd angel judgment centers on those delivering the false gospel messages that are proclaimed by Satanic false religions. These pervert the need of salvation, the Savior, or the way of salvation.  These teachings stand in direct opposition to the message of truth authorized by God and proclaimed by His people.

 

(5)  And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.   (6)  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

The angel that judges the followers of the false gospels of this world now praises the Lord for His wrath.  It was these that opposed His gospel message and those who proclaimed it.

The angel reminds us that this wrath is deserved by the false teachers of Satan’s kingdom (the Lord is righteous in sending this wrath).  He also reminds us that the Lord sending this wrath is the true eternal Creator God over all.  He possesses the authority necessary to righteously judge the lost.

He is justified in His judgment of these men, because they have abused, mistreated and murdered His people and now He is simply shedding their blood as recompense to their shedding of His people’s blood. (Hosea 8:7, Exo 21:23-25, Matt 23:34-36)

 

 (7)  And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

John then hears another voice coming from the brazen altar, symbolizing the death of the saints of God who were sacrificed in His name (Rev 6:9, 8:3-5 etc).   They are now seeing their prayers answered and are praising Him for keeping His promise of divine retribution.

They are in agreement with the angel who recognized His judgments are deserved by those who abused His people.  He is only giving to them what is their due.  His judgments are:

  1. true – genuine, unconcealed, open for all to see
  2. righteous – lawful, impartial, just

(see Deut 32:1-6 where the Lord is praised in a similar way)

 

(8)  And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

The fourth angel is seen pouring out his vial of wrath.  It is poured upon the sun.  Throughout history the sun, due to its prominence in the heavens, has been the most common of all the false gods that have been worshipped in nature (Deut 4:19, 17:3, 2 Kings 23:5, Ezek 8:16, Acts 7:42-43).   Some of the most familiar false sun gods include: Egyptian god RA; Greek god Helios; Roman god Apollo, Hindu god Surya; Babylon god Baal etc etc.

God’s wrath being poured upon the sun symbolizes God’s judgment of idolatry and other types of false worship propagated by the religious kingdom of Satan.  Once again, the Lord is seen as turning wickedness back onto itself as a form of just retribution against sin.  Those who chose to worship the sun will now be burned by it.  This is reminiscent of the 10 plagues of Egypt, each of which was pointed at the very gods of nature that were being worshipped.  Examples of this include:

  1. frogs… they worshipped frogs, so the Lord gave them more frogs then they could handle
  2. sun… they worshipped the sun, so the Lord gave them total darkness etc etc.
  3. bulls… they worshipped the bull so the Lord sent the plague of murrain directly upon the bulls

So it was with each of the ten plagues, and so it is in this judgment.

 

(9)  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

The men reacted to this plague just as in prior plagues.  Instead of humbling them and bringing them to submission to Christ, they are hardened against the Lord and only seek to rebel against Him in greater ways. (Rev 9:20)

This helps us to understand the helplessness of sinful mankind.  After facing such horrible judgments, it is amazing to see they still are not humbled, turning to Christ for their salvation.  Apart from God’s gracious intervention, they cannot come to repentance nor belief in Him.  These punishments only drive them farther from coming to faith.  This type of attitude was perfectly displayed in the life of Pharoah, King of Egypt during the 10 plagues and also in the lives of the Israleites during their wilderness wanderings….

1Sa 6:6 KJV – “Wherefore then do ye harden your hearts, as the Egyptians and Pharaoh hardened their hearts? when he had wrought wonderfully among them, did they not let the people go, and they departed?”

Psa 95:8 KJV – “Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness:”

 

May we all take Paul’s advice and use these things as an example for each one of us to avoid this ungodly attitude…

Rom 2:3-6 KJV – “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?   Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?    But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;   Who will render to every man according to his deeds:”

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In these first four vials of God’s wrath, we are reminded of Christ’s role as the Just Judge of all mankind.  In these vials we have seen Christ as the One that judges Satan and his kingdoms, simply giving to them what is rightfully deserved,    Based upon the actions of the lost, Christ’s judgments fall upon them in an righteous way giving to them their just deserts and bringing back upon thie heads that which they have previously chosen to give to the Lord and those who serve Him.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As fallen mankind, we should all recognize that the choices we make in this life will reap results in our future.   We are all faced with the decision to spend the time we have been given on earth either to live lives of selfishness, fulfilling the desires of our flesh, or living lives of service to Christ, willfully submitting to His desires for our lives.

May we all turn from our sins and turn to Christ, by faith, willfully submitting to His will for our lives.  In doing so, we will be making Him our Lord, Savior and eternal Friend.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
(Joshua 24:15)

 

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Revelation 15: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON

 

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

 

 

In the previous chapter, we have been presented to us the truth that the Lord will deliver His people from this fallen earth just prior to the falling of His wrath upon sinful mankind. This was symbolized by two differing reapings of the earth.  Now we continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath.  The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet.  The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols.  These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.

In chapter 15, we will see the contents of trumpet 7 being prepared to fall upon Satan’s kingdoms.  In chapter 16, we see the actual bowls described in detail as they are poured out…

I.   Revelation 15:1-8
A.  Preparation For Seven Last Plagues (15:1-4)
B.  The Seven Vials Of Wrath Revealed (15:5-8)

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

  1. Revelation 15:1-4 – Preparation for the Seven Last Plagues

The chapter opens with a new vision being presented to John.  He sees angels that are preparing to deliver the final segment of God’s wrath against lost mankind.  This is symbolized for us as the angels holding seven vials (or bowls) of wrath ready to be poured upon the earth.

John sees God’s people standing before the throne in heaven singing songs of praise for His upcoming wrath and victory over Satan and His kingdom.  They are described as victors, those who will be victorious over Satan and his kingdom.   They are seen standing on the sea of glass that lay before the throne.  This pictures their partaking of salvation and the fellowship with God, both of which come through the work of Christ, the Lamb of God.

 

  1. Revelation 15:5-8 – The Seven Vials Of Wrath Revealed

John then sees the bowls of wrath being revealed in heaven.

John begins by seeing the symbolic heavenly temple opened as the angels of God proceed out from God’s presence symbolized by the priestly breastplates that they were wearing.   These angels are seen as righteous wearing pure white linen and actively doing God’s bidding by sending His wrath upon lost mankind.

As the angels departed from the temple they are given the bowls of wrath from one of the living creatures.  These creatures symbolize those who possess eternal life, those saved by God’s grace.  This helps us to understand that the saved play a part in the motivation for God’s wrath to fall.  It is due to the abuse they have suffered at the hands of the lost, and their prayers for divine retribution that they motivate the Lord to send His wrath against the lost.

Following the angels departure from the temple, John sees the temple filling with smoke symbolizing God’s greatness and His anger and wrath which has reached a “boiling point” and is about to be unleashed.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In this chapter, we saw the seven vials of God’s wrath were being prepared to fall upon lost mankind.  In the following chapter (Revelation 16:), we will see this last portion of God’s wrath reveled in great detail.  This portion of God’s wrath brings an end to the judgment of the lost on earth and brings physical destruction upon Satan and his kingdoms (political and religious) and those who partake of their sins…

 

I.  Revelation 16:1-21
A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B.  Vial One (16:2)
C.  Vial Two (16:3)
D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)
E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)
F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)
G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)
H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 15:1-8 “The Preparation Of The Seven Bowls Of Wrath”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 15:1-8 KJV

(1)  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
(2)  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
(3)  And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
(4)  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.
(5)  And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
(6)  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
(7)  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
(8)  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In the previous chapter, we have been presented to us the truth that the Lord will deliver His people from this fallen earth just prior to the falling of His wrath upon sinful mankind. This was symbolized by two differing reapings of the earth.  Now we continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath.  The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet.  The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols.  These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.

In chapter 15, we will see the contents of trumpet 7 being prepared to fall upon Satan’s kingdoms.  In chapter 16, we see the actual bowls described in detail as they are poured out…

I.   Revelation 15:1-8
A.  Preparation For Seven Last Plagues (15:1-4)
B.  The Seven Vials Of Wrath Revealed (15:5-8)

 

II.  Revelation 16:1-21
A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B.  Vial One (16:2)
C.  Vial Two (16:3)
D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)
E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)
F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)
G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)
H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 15:1-8 KJV

 

(1)  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous,

John now has a new subject beginning to be presented to him.  He sees “another sign”  ie a different series of symbols now to be presented to him.  He describes these signs as:

  1. in heaven – helping us to understand that are originating from the Lord and affecting life here on earth.
  2. great – large, attention grabbing, exceeding
  3. marvelous – causes much wonder and amazement, beyond imagination

 

 

seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

John now sees angels appearing in this vision.  Angels throughout the Bible simply speak the message God gives them or does the wrok that God has commissioned them to do.  Being angels, helps us to understand that they are about to do God’s work on His behalf with His authority.  John describes them as:

  1. seven in number – the complete, perfect number. They are going to bring to perfect completion the work that God has given them to do.
  2. having the seven last plagues – these bowls will symbolize the wrath of God that will fall upon mankind. These bowls of wrath are the final stage of God’s wrath falling upon lost mankind.  It will bring His wrath to an end.  The lost of this world will be totally, physically destroyed by the end of this series of bowls.

(Note the angels will actually possess the plagues in verse 7.  John is describing them as holding the plagues now to differentiate them from other angels we have seen and will see in Revelation.)

These bowls are described as “in them is filled up the wrath of God” symbolizing that the bowls hold God’s wrath and, when tipped, will pour out God’s wrath upon lost mankind.

 

(2)  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire:

This is the same “sea of glass” that we saw in the Rev 4:5-6 passage.  It is “mingled with fire” as it reflects the lamps of fire that are positioned near to it before the throne of God…

Rev 4:5-6 KJV – “And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.”

Prior we have seen that this sea of glass symbolized the way of salvation which gives access to God.  The lamps of fire symbolize the cleansing work of the Holy Spirit, and the reflective glass symbolizes the revealing of the lost person’s true condition and the true person of Christ, both of which are accomplished through the gospel message.

 

and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

Those standing on the sea are genuine believers in Christ who have accepted the gospel message.  In the original language they are said to be “caused to stand” on the sea of glass.  In other words, they did not stand upon the sea of simply their own ability but God, through His grace caused them to stand on the sea.  He called them and gave the mthe ability to repent and believe the gospel message (John 6:44, Roms 5:6, 7:18).

They are described as (presented to us as “overcomers” – 1 John 5:4):

  1. them that had gotten the victory over the beast – They have prevailed over Satan’s kingdom
  2. them that had gotten the victory over his image – They have prevailed over the false teachings of the kingdom
  3. them that had gotten the victory over his mark and the number of his name – not selfish, humanistic, rebellious
  4. them that have the harps of God – they are prepared to worship, praise and honor the Lord.

At the very beginning of the time of God’s wrath the saints are praising the Lord for His great works (Rev 7:9-17)… now, as the final stages of His wrath begin, they are continuing to praise Him.  Apparently throughout the time of God’s wrath falling upon the lost, the saints of God will be praising and honoring Him for His justice, grace, and faithfulness to His promises.

 

(3)  And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

A part of the praise that is given to Christ during the falling of His wrath is singing songs of praise to Him.  These songs are described in two ways… the song of Moses and the son of the Lamb.

Perhaps, this is the same song given two different names.  If that is so, it is probably taking about one of the two songs related to Moses found in the Bible:

  1. Exodus 15:1-19 – the song that is sung at the deliverance of the Israelites deliverance from Egypt bondage
  2. Deut 31:30-32:43 – the song sung at Moses’s death.

Why would both of these be called the song of the Lamb?  Both of these glorify Christ (Exodus 15:1 and Deut 32:3)

Or, perhaps “the song of the Lamb” is describing an entirely different song.  If this is the case, this may be referring to one of the two songs that has been sung previously in Revelation (Rev 5:6-10, Rev 14:3) ?

 

The contents of this song include 10 reasons to praise the Lord… 

Great and marvellous are thy works,

  1. Praise for His great works among men (includes both works of salvation and works of wrath) (Psa 126:2, Psa 8:3-9)

 Lord God Almighty;

  1. Praise for who He is, the Master, One who deserves all worship, and All powerful One (Rev 4:8, 11:17, 16:7, 21:22)

 just and true are thy ways,

  1. Praise for His Justice and Truthfulness (Faithfulness) of His lifestyle and leadership (Psa 18:30, Psa 145:17, Isa 55:9)

 thou King of saints.

  1. Praise for His Rulership in the lives of His people (Dan 7:14, Jer 10:7, I Cor 15:25)

 

(4)  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord,

  1. Praise for His greatness and the need to reverence and fear His chastening and punishment of sin (Isa 8:13, Prov 1:7)

 and glorify thy name?

  1. Praise for His deserving of the greatest honor and praise possible. (Psa 22:23, 1 Pet 4:11)

for thou only art holy:

  1. Praise Him for He is sinless, totally separated from sin and separated to the use of God (Isa 6:3, Exo 15:11, Psa 99:9)

for all nations shall come and worship before thee;

  1. Praise Him for He is Savior of All Mankind (Jew and Gentile alike) (John 3:16)
  2. Praise Him for He is so great all men (both lost and saved) will come before Him and bow to Him (Psa 22:27-28, Isa 66:23)

for thy judgments are made manifest.

  1. Praise Him because His decisions are fair and just. (Psa 103:6, Zeph 3:5, Rom 2:2)

In summary this song is sung to praise Him because of His works, His person and His authority that He possesses over all things.

 

(5)  And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

John now sees the doors of the temple in heaven (a symbol of God’s presence and worship in the midst of heaven) to now open.

The title given to this symbolic temple is important.  John describes it as “the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven”.  In other words, it is the:

  1. temple – dwelling/worship place of God
  2. tabernacle – that was associated with the tent of worship in OT
  3. testimony – that testified of the Lord to those who see it
  4. in heaven – located in the eternal dwelling place of God.

This heavenly temple is being emphasized to be the revealer of the Lord.  By studying the symbolism of the temple of Revelation and those that entered and departed from it, we can learn MICH about the Lord and His workings among men on earth and throughout eternity.

 

(6)  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

John now sees seven angels departing out of the temple.  This tells us that these angels are about to do the bidding of God.  They are coming from His presence, indicating they have been sent on a mission.

These angels are described as:

1.  seven angels – their work is perfect and will complete the work that God has given to them.

2.  they possess the seven plagues of God – identifying them from all the other angels John has seen. Their role in completing God’s wrath upon the lost sets them apart from any other angels he has seen

3.  clothed in pure, white linen – they were sinless (not fallen angels). They are about to send God’s RIGHTEOUS wrath upon lost mankind.  It is deserved wrath, they will not be committing sin by sending it.

4.  they wear gold girdles (breastplates)– the priests wore gold breastplates symbolizing Christ’s ministry of mediation and intercession. How can the work of the OT priest help us to understand the work of these angels?…

5.  The work of these angels will be as the “go-between” between God and sinful man, sending His wrath upon them. In that sense, they are God’s intercessors standing between God and sinful mankind at His coming.

6.  Also… they are seen seeking God’s face then coming out of the temple prepared to obey His commands. This, too, is like the priests who would enter the temple seeking to know God’s will and then depart and fulfill His will among the Isrealites.

 

(7)  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

John now sees one of the four living creatures giving these angels the bowls of the eternal God’s wrath.  Remember, the prayers of the saints play a very important role in initiating God’s wrath and final defeat of sinful mankind.  (Revelation 8:1-5)

These are said to be full of His wrath, symbolizing for us that His patience has come to an end and final defeat of the lost is at hand.  The holding back of any of His wrath has now come to an end and it is time for it to be poured forth fully.

 

(8)  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power;

The temple is now filled with smoke as His anger and wrath have reached its “boiling point”.  In this we can see His great glory and power as His wrath will be displayed to its fullest with these final bowls being poured forth.

 

and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

The smoke of His wrath is so great none can enter His presence until His wrath is now brought to completion.  It is not a time for grace or mercy (in allowing men to enter His presence) now is the time for His judgment against sin to commence, as His judgment against sin reveals His majesty.  Job 14:13, Psa 76:7, Nahum 1:6, Exo 40:36, Ezek 44:4, Isa 6:4, 1 Kings 8:10

 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this section of Revelation we see Christ presented as both the Savior and the Holy Judge of all mankind…

  1. As the Savior of His people we see Him receiving the praise, honor and worship of His people throughout eternity.
  1. As Holy Judge, we see His wrath falling upon sinful mankind through His holy angels. This wrath is being sent to punish their rejection of Christ as their Creator, Lord, and Savior; and to recompense their abuse and opposition to His people.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

The truth of Christ being both Savior and Judge goes hand in hand… each role enhances the other…

  1. As He judges the lost, His people see the punishment they deserve and grow in appreciation for what He has done for them.
  1. As Savior, His work on the cross was a clear display of God’s righteous anger against sin. This display of anger enhances our understanding of the greatness of His wrath that will fall at His second coming.

 

As we stop and dwell upon Christ as our Savior and the Judge of all mankind, may we see both His grace and just wrath with a new, greater understanding and appreciation for all He has done for us.

 

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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:

 

  1. another sign in heaven
  2. seven
  3. angels
  4. sea of glass
  5. fire
  6. the beast
  7. his image
  8. his mark
  9. his name
  10. harps of God
  11. the Lamb
  12. the temple
  13. the tabernacle
  14. heaven
  15. was opened:
  16. pure and white linen
  17. breasts girded with golden girdles

18,  seven golden vials

19.. smoke

 

 

 

THE RELATED SCRIPTURES:

 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDIES/NOTES:

 

 

Revelation 14: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Messages Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER: 

  1. Revelation 14:1-5 – The Song Of The 144,000 

This vision opens with John seeing Christ, the Lamb of God, standing in heaven (Mt Sion) with the 144,000 who represent the Old Testament and New Testament servants of God. John hears these servants singing a wondrous song of praise before God, the One sitting on the throne.

This song was only able to be learned by the redeemed in heaven immediately before the second coming of Christ.  It was a song that praised God for the coming deliverance of His people at His second coming.  Although the redeemed of God understand the very basics about His second coming and the deliverance of His people from wrath to come, those in heaven have a much more clear understanding of the great event that was about to take place.  This is why only those in heaven can come to a knowledge of this great song of praise.

The redeemed of God are described as virgins and followers of Christ, who are found without guile and fault, pointing us to their righteous standing and their faithfulness to Christ, their Lord and Savior.  They are also described as the firstfruits unto God and Christ, helping us to understand they are taken out of this all mankind and sanctified for His use and glory.

 

  1. Revelation 14:6-13 – The Messages Of The Three Angels 

John’s attention is now pointed towards three angels who deliver unique messages from the Lord:

The first angel declares the gospel message to the lost and dying world.  They also emphasize the need for the lost to believe in Him by telling them to “fear God and give glory to Him and worship Him” as their Creator.   This helps us to understand that prior to the second coming of Christ, we will see the gospel message permeate the world going to every nation on the globe.

The second angel announces the imminent fall of the kingdom of Satan.  This includes the fall of both the religious and political aspects of the Devil’s kingdom.  Although this message is presented prior to the second coming of Christ, it is presented in the current tense “Babylon IS fallen”.  Emphasizing the certainty of the fall of the Satanic kingdom which was decreed as fallen before time began in the eternal counsels of God.

The third angel announces the coming judgment of anyone who is a member of this demonic kingdom.  He pictures the deliverance of God’s wrath as a cup of wine that is poured out upon their heads.  Along with this message, he emphasizes their eternal judgement which takes place in the presence of the Lord and His angles.  It involves torment in everlasting  fire and brimstone in the Lake of Fire.

Finally, we have explained that the saint’s patient service to Christ while on earth is based upon these three messages.  They understand the need of the gospel message by the lost, the certainty of the defeat of Satan and his Kingdom, and the promised recompensing of the lost who have abused God’s people throughout time.  They are also reminded of the wonderful eternal blessings awaiting them… eternal rest (“they may rest from their labors”) and rewards for their faithfulness (“their works do follow them”).

 

  1. Revelation 14: 14-20 – The Two Reapings Of The Earth 

In the final section of this chapter, John sees the second coming of Christ pictured as two reapings of the earth.  The first reaping represents the Lord’s taking home of His people prior to the falling of His wrath.  The second reaping symbolizes the wrath of God falling upon lost mankind.

 

The first reaping which is called “the harvest of the earth” begins with a vision of Christ sitting upon a white cloud.  This helps us to understand Christ is the sinless God.  His authority over all is pictured by His crown, while the upcoming reaping of His people is shown by the sickle in His hand.

God, the One who has sovereignly decreed the time of the reaping, sends an angel to tell Christ that the time has come for His people to be reaped from the earth.   Christ then proceeds to reap His people from the earth, glorifying the bodies of the redeemed, and taking them to security in His presence in heaven

 

The second reaping of the earth is described as gathering “the clusters of the vines of the earth”.  It is symbolic of the Lord sending His wrath upon fallen mankind on earth following the taking of saved to heaven.

In this harvest, an angel that has control of fire from the altar, delivers the message to begin the sending of God’s wrath.  This reminds us that it was the sacrifice of Christ that not only secured the salvation of His people, but also secured His role as judge of lost mankind.  Also, the wrath of God that falls in the last days will consist of fire falling from heaven.

A different angel, one from the temple, is the one that actually sends the wrath upon the earth.  Coming from the temple reminds us that he is an angel that is simply delivering God’s message and doing the work of God.  It is God’s wrath that is falling, the angels will simply be used as instruments of delivery.  They are not working under their own authority or power.

God’s wrath is shown coming upon the lost in stages.  The initial stages begin with cutting, then gathering, and finally casting them into a “great winepress”.  This pictures all of the “preliminary” judgment that falls prior to the Battle of Armageddon, which is the concluding stage of God’s wrath upon lost mankind.  This final stage is symbolized by the treading of the winepress of God which releases blood that rises to 4 foot over a 150 mile area.  This pictures the greatness of torment and death during this last phase of God’s wrath.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In our next section of Revelation, we will be looking at chapter 15.  In this chapter, we find the contents of the seventh trumpet that was blown in 11:15-19.

Please keep in mind, we saw the contents of trumpet judgments 1-6 revealed in Revelation 8: and 9:.   Then in Rev 11, we saw the seventh trumpet being blown.  Following this, additional background information was given to us in Revelation 12:-14:.   The background information explained in more detail what would be taking place during this 7th trumpet judgment.

Now, in Revelation 15:, the contents of trumpet 7 is being prepared.  It will be presented to us in a series of 7 bowls (vials) of wrath being poured out upon lost mankind on the earth.  Then in Revelation 16:, the 7 bowls will be poured out upon lost mankind and God’s wrath against the lost on earth will be brought to completion.

 

I.   Revelation 15:1-8
A.  Preparation For Seven Last Plagues (15:1-4)
B.  The Seven Vials Of Wrath Revealed (15:5-8)

 

II.  Revelation 16:1-21
A.  Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B.  Vial One (16:2)
C.  Vial Two (16:3)
D.  Vial Three (16:4-7)
E.  Vial Four (16:8-9)
F.  Vial Five (16:10-11)
G.  Vial Six (16:12-16)
H.  Vial Seven (16:17-21)

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

 

 

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Revelation 14:14-20 “The Reaping Of The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

(14)  And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
(15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.
(17)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.
(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note that in our text, two  will be taking place:

  1. Revelation 14:14-16 – The “harvest of the earth” which symbolized the Lord taking His people, from the fallen world, to be with Him just prior to the sending of His wrath upon the lost.
  1. Revelation 14:17-20 – The “gathering of the vine of the earth” which symbolizes the Lord sending His wrath upon lost mankind which remains on the earth.

Please pay special attention to the terminology used in these two events.  To “harvest” means to gather and bring to oneself… to “gather” simply means to bring together it does not imply bringing to oneself.

 

Rev 14:14-20 KJV

 

  1. The harvest of the earth…

 

(14)  And I looked,

John now begins to see another related, but separate vision.  This is a vision of two great reapings of the earth.

 

and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man,

A white cloud appears.   The color white throughout the Bible represents purity (Isa 1:18) and wisdom of elders (Provs 16:31).  Many times a cloud is seen in relation to the Lord, His presence and His glory (Deut 31:15).   This symbolism makes perfect sense when we understand that Christ is the One that is seen on this cloud…  Christ is sinless and wise, God Himself and the perfect revelation of God’s glory.

This vision is taken from Daniel 7:13-14, where Daniel sees Christ as the coming King of Kings.

Why is Christ described as One “like unto” the Son of man?  He is similar to all humans, but not in every way a human … He is God Himself come in the flesh.  He was sinless. He was virgin born.  In these ways, although He was truly human, He was “like unto” the descendent of man.

 

having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

Christ continues to be described as:

  1. wearing a crown of gold, picturing His great authority as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. When Christ came to the earth the first time, He came as a humble servant.   When His second coming takes place He will be coming as the Sovereign over all that perfectly protects His people from harm and perfectly judges lost mankind for this sinfulness.
  1. possessing a sharp sickle, describing the work He is about to undertake. Christ is pictured as a farmer who is prepared to reap the crop He has sown and gather it to Himself. 

 

(15)  And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud,.

John now sees “another angel”.  Just as in other portions of Revelation, this angel is carrying a message from the Father to Christ.

 

Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe

His message is the “go ahead” from God the Father that Christ should begin to reap “the harvest of the earth”.

His instructions include:

  1. thrust in thy sickle – Christ was to actively intervene in the earth, personally performing this reaping.
  2. reap – Christ was to take His people to Himself, much like a farmer reaps the crops and gathers them to himself.

These principles are clearly seen in Paul’s account of Christ’s second coming…

1Th 4:13-17 KJV  – “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.  For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

 

Two reasons why He was to do this:

  1. the time is come – The time for Christ to return, which was appointed by God the Father in eternity past, has finally come (Matthew 24:36-37).
  1. the harvest of the earth is ripe – In other words, the elect of God have now come to Christ by faith. All whom are chosen to salvation have now been saved… the crop is now ready to be reaped… it is time for Christ to take them home.

Keep in mind, once Christ comes there is no other chance for individuals to be saved.   That is why in the counsels of God, the time of Christ coming takes place after all His people have been saved.

The harvest that takes place at Christ’s second coming is the second of two harvest of believers…  the first harvest affecting believers is described in John 4:35-36…

“Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.  And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.”

 

In this harvest, we have:

  1. whitened fields – lost mankind ready to receive the gospel message and come to faith in Christ.
  2. he that reapeth – Christians taking the gospel to the whitened fields (lost mankind prepared to receive the gospel)
  3. the harvest – Men accepting Christ by faith.  This then separates them from the lost world and to Christ as they are made a new member of His family and His kingdom.

This first harvest of men, the lost being saved and spiritually united with Christ, will result in the second harvest (at His second coming) when they will be physically brought into the presence of Christ for an eternity.

 

(16)  And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

We now see Christ, at His second coming, reaping the earth by bringing those who are saved into His presence.  In doing so, He is separating the saved from the lost, by taking the saved and leaving the lost behind on the fallen earth.  In a sense, this is the firstfruits of the harvest, in other words, the portion of the harvest that is reserved for Him and His glory.

This takes place immediately prior to the remaining portion of the harvest, His wrath being sent to the earth, falling upon lost mankind.  This is the second harvest we will be looking at in detail in the following verses…

 

  1. The gathering of the vine of the earth… 

 

(17)  And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

John now sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of Almighty God) holding a sharp sickle.

This part of the vision is taken from Joel 3:12-14 and Isa 63:3.

Perhaps, this angel could symbolize Christ Himself, the One who ultimately sends wrath upon lost mankind.  However, because “another” is the Greek word meaning “another of the same type”, it seems to be saying this angel is the same type of angel as previously seen by John in Rev 14:15.   That would tell us that it is a representative of God being used to send the wrath of the Lord upon lost mankind on earth.

This fits perfectly with other accounts of Christ’s wrath being accompanied by angels…

2 Th 1:7-8 KJV –  “And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”

 

(18)  And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire;

John sees another of the same type of angel (a representative of God) coming out from the altar.

The word translated altar is the Greek word “sacrifice” which helps us to understand it is the brazen altar being talked about.  This is the altar where animals were slain and their blood was shed.  Their blood pictures the shed blood of Christ, the ultimate sacrifice, that was shed on the cross.

This angel is said to control the fire from this altar.    Keep in mind, one element of the wrath of God that falls upon the lost will be “fire” (2 Thess 1:7-8, 2 Pet 3:10-12 etc)  We will see in the following verses, this angel will be initiating God’s wrath upon lost mankind.

 

and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

The angel at the altar now cries out to the angel with the sickle.  He commands him to begin the initial phases of God’s wrath to fall upon the lost:

  1. Thrust in thy sharp sickle – This is a picture of cutting the clusters of ripened grapes (lost mankind) from their vine.
  2. gather the clusters of the vine of the earth – This is a picture of, once they are removed from the vine, the grapes are taken and gathered together.

 

Why now?

  1. her grapes are fully ripe –

All the necessary prerequisites to God’s wrath falling have taken place.  All the elect of God have been saved.  And the saved have been taken safely home to be with the Lord.   Nothing else stands in the way of God’s wrath falling upon man.

Why are grapes used to describe lost mankind?  Grapes emphasize the sinful condition of lost mankind.  In Deut 32:32 grapes represent sinful acts while in Isa 5:2 they represent a rebellious, wicked attitude. 

 

(19)  And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

The angel with the sickle fulfills the will of God which was delivered by the angel of the altar. He brings the initial stages of God’s wrath coming upon lost mankind.  Following the cutting off of the grapes from the vine and gathering the grapes together, casting them into a “great winepress” is the final stage before the wrath is meted out upon them.

Please note, these “initial stages of God’s wrath” do not picture all of His wrath but simply the first, less intense parts to it.  Many believe it is possible that these initial stages may represent the wrath revealed in trumpets 1-4, with the treading of the winepress (see vs 20 below) picturing trumpets 5-7 (the three woes) which includes all 7 vials of Rev 16:. I believe this is possible but not probable.

I believe that the initial stages more likely refer to everything leading up to the Battle Of Armageddon.  The Battle of Armageddon is the final phase of His wrath and brings the period of God’s wrath upon the lost to a close.  If this is the case, then the initial stages His wrath would include trumpets 1-7 and vials 1-6.  These we have seen symbolized in the previous few verses (vs 17-19)  The final stage of His wrath, the Battle of Armageddon (vial 7) is symbolized by the actual treading of the winepress in the following verse (vs 20).    

 

(20)  And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. 

The city where this takes place is New Jerusalem, where God dwells and is worshipped by His people eternally. To have His wrath fall outside the city is teaching us that His wrath is falling against those who are restricted from entering His presence, His place of worship, and His holy eternal dwelling place.  It is saying these have been cast out of my presence and are now facing my wrath, in comparison to His people who have been taken home to be with Him for an eternity and are protected from His wrath.

This is the final stage of God’s wrath falling upon mankind.   It is described as the Battle of Armageddon and is revealed to us in vial 7 and later in chapter 19 of Revelation (Rev 16:17-21, 19:11-21).  Please note in Rev 19:15 the Battle of Armageddon is linked to Him treading a winepress of wrath.  This fits perfectly with our vision here.  Also, throughout the Bible God’s wrath at Armageddon is described as treading of His winepress (Isa 63:2-3, Joel 3:13, Lam 1:15, Rev 19:15)

We can see from the symbolism that a trodden winepress seems to be describing a much more intense type of judgment than the cutting and gathering of the clusters of grapes into the winepress.  This would make perfect sense, because Armageddon involves Christ PERSONALLY warring against Satan, the beasts, and the lost defeating them and consigning them to the Lake of Fire.  Prior to this the Lord’s wrath (fire etc) is sent from heaven, however Christ will not be personally present as the lost are judged.

The enormity of the destruction and harm to the lost is symbolized by the blood of the grapes flowing out of the winepress as high as the horses’ bridals (approx. 4’ deep) covering a space of 1600 furlongs (140-200 miles).   Please keep in mind that the number 1600 is 4x4x1000.  Four is the number of the earth and 1000 is the number of completeness or totality.  This last harvest is the completion, totality, ending of God’s wrath falling upon the earth.    

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In these two harvests, we saw Christ portrayed as both the Savior and Judge of mankind.  He can only do both of these because He is perfectly sinless.

As Savior, it took the sinless One to pay the price for the sins of His people. He was the sinless substitute for those He has chosen to save.

2Co 5:21 KJV – “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

 

As Judge, He must be sinless to be a perfectly just and fair judge.  Being sinless, He is the only One who can render a perfectly unbiased and selfless judgment.

Rom 2:5-11 KJV – “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:  For there is no respect of persons with God.”

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY) 

May we all find great comfort in the fact that our Lord is a perfectly sinless Lord.  As such, He is absolutely trustworthy, keeping every promise He makes to us.  Both the promises concerning our salvation and His upcoming judgment of the world will take place.  May we all praise Him and serve Him out of appreciation, knowing that He is the perfectly sinless One.

 

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Revelation 14:6-13 “The Warnings Of The Three Angels”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,
(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
(11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Warnings Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note in the following passage the messages of the three angels are related and should be taken as one unit.  We can see this when verse 9 says “the third angel”.  This points us to the fact that these three angels present a series of three warnings that refer to the same basic event…. The wrath that falls during the second coming of Christ.

Also, please remember these warnings of coming judgment are being proclaimed prior to the second coming of Christ.

When these warnings are delivered, both lost and saved still dwell on the earth.  It will be in the immediate future that Christ appears, takes His children to be with Him, and begins to release His wrath upon fallen mankind that remains upon the earth…

 

Rev 14:6-13 KJV

 

I…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon All Mankind

 

(6)  And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,

John says that he sees another similar angel flying in heaven.  “Another” implies that there was a previous angel that John has seen.  Which angel is he referring to?  The last angel that delivered a message was the angel written about in Revelation 11:15, the angel that announced the final stages of wrath that would bring God’s punishment upon mankind to a conclusion.

The angel we are reading about in this verse is a similar type of angel.  He, too, is delivering a message of the impending wrath of God that is ready to fall upon lost mankind.

 

having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

This angel possesses the everlasting gospel message (death, burial, resurrection) of Christ that he will be proclaiming to the entire world giving the lost one last chance to repent before the judgment falls upon them.

This angel and his message is symbolic of the gospel being proclaimed throughout all the world during the last days prior to Christ’s coming.  Christ said that this would take place….  Mat 24:14 KJV – “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

The gospel, in actuality would be proclaimed by the Lord using nature, His people and, especially, His local churches.  This is shown to us by the symbol of the “angel” (the gospel proclaimed by a “messenger” of God).

 

(7)  Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The angel, in the context of the gospel message, proclaims mankind’s need to “Fear God and give glory to Him”.  This is describing mankind as coming to salvation and honoring and worshipping their Lord.   Why should they act immediately? “for the hour of judgment is come”.

The angel also reminds mankind that the God they are to worship is their Creator… the One that holds the ultimate authority over them (Roms 9:19-26).

 

 

II…  Warning Of Certainty Of God’s Wrath

(8)  And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

The second angel now explains that God’s wrath has already been accomplished in the eternal counsels of God.  it is as good as done.  That is why he makes the statement “Babylon IS fallen, IS fallen”.  This fall is prophesied in Isaiah 21:7-10 and Jeremiah 51:6-10.

Please note: “Babylon” is a term that is being used to describe Satan’s kingdom(s).  This would include the religious and political aspects to that kingdom.  We will see this in much greater detail in Rev chapters 17-18.

Why does “Babylon” to refer to his kingdom?  Babylon finds it beginning with the tower of Babel event of the Old Testament (Gen 11:1-9).  The tower of Babel was mankind’s first attempt at organized rebellion against the Lord.   It is mankind wanting to pridefully “make us make a name (for ourselves) and seek to always remain united in their rebellion “lest we be scattered abroad”.   This is the epitome of Satan’s kingdom.  Both the political and religious aspects of his kingdom seek to rebel against the Lord, relying entirely upon themselves (their knowledge, strength, and abilities) instead of humbly recognizing their need of God and submit to His worship and service.

Babylon’s fall comes upon her because she has corrupted lost mankind to commit acts of uncleanness (fornication) with her.  Therefore she must partake of the fitting results of her sins and corrupting of the lost.  She entirely deserves the wrath that is about to fall upon her.  Her certain fall brings a just end to her sinful ways.

 

III…  Warning Of God’s Wrath That Is Ready To Fall Upon Satan’s Kingdoms

(9)  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The third angel now delivers his warning to those who are members of Satan’s kingdom.

He describes these members of Satan’s kingdom as those who “worship the beast”, “worship the beasts image”, and “receive his mark in his forehead or his hand”. These descriptions mirror the description of lost mankind found in Rev 13:11-18.  Those who follow the political, religious kingdoms of Satan show themselves to be:

  1. worship the beast – those who honor and submit to Satan and his kingdoms
  2. worship his image – those who worship themselves, their abilities, their works, their knowledge etc
  3. receive the mark in his forehead or in his hand – bear fruits of sinfulness in their thoughts, desires, and outward works

 

(10)  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God,

Anyone with these above marks will face God’s wrath at Christ’s second coming…

 

which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation;

God’s wrath pictured as being undiluted and based upon God’s “indignation” (violent passionate anger).  Sin angers God, especially when that sin is propagated through methods of deceit and enticement of the lusts of the flesh….

Rom 1:18-19 KJV – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;   Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.”

 

and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:  (11)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night,

The wrath of God being poured out involves being “tormented” (tossed and pained) with fire and brimstone. This symbolism comes for the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19:23-28, 2 Pet 2:4-6)

This torment begins at Christ’s second coming when His wrath falls upon sinful mankind on the earth (2 Peter 3:10-12, Luke 17:29-20, Psalm 11:4-6, 2 Thess 1:6-9) and then continues for an eternity in the Lake of Fire immediately following their time of judgment before God (Matt 25:41, Mark 9:43-48).

When both of these punishments take place, at the second coming and the final judgment of the lost, the Lamb and the angels of God will be present (Mrk 8:38, Lk 12:9).

 

Verses that teach the existence of an eternal punishment:

Isa 33:14 KJV – “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?”

Isa 66:23-24 KJV – “And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD.   And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcases of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.”

Dan 12:2 KJV – “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

Mat 5:29-30 KJV – “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.   And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.”

Mat 7:23 KJV – “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

Mat 10:28 KJV – “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”

Mat 25:41 KJV – “Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:”

Mar 9:43-48 KJV – “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.   And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

Luk 8:30-32 KJV – “And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.  And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep.  And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.”

Luk 16:19-31 KJV – “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:  And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,  And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.  But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.  And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.  Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:  For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.  Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.  And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.”

2Th 1:6-9 KJV – “Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;  And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,  In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;”

Heb 6:1-2 KJV – “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”

1 Pe 3:19 KJV – “By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;”

 

Based upon these verses, we can see the teaching of eternal punishment is found in both Old and New Testaments, in a multiplicity of verses and texts.

 

who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

Who are the recipients of God’s wrath?  Those who are followers of Satan and members of his political and religious kingdom.

 

 

IV…  Summary Of Above Warnings

 

(12)  Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Knowledge of the coming judgment of the Lord against the abusers of His people is a source of great patience for His people.  There are the people whose lives are characterized by an obedience to the commands of the Lord and continuing proclamation that hands down to others the truths of God’s Word.

 

(13)  And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

After seeing the horrible end of the wicked, John is now prompted to emphasize the great blessings of the saved who are kept secure in Christ and pardoned from sin’s penalty.

What a drastic difference between the lost and saved!  The lost are destroyed at His coming, and sentenced to an eternal punishment. While the saved, on the other hand, enter into a Godly rest from their earthly labors (Hebs 4:8-9. Isa 57:1-2) and gain rewards for their obedient works (2 Cor 5:10, 1 Tim 5;24-25).

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this text, we find a four-fold revealing of Christ…

  1. In the message of the first angel, we can see the GRACE & GREATNESS of Christ revealed as He consistently presents the gospel message to the lost up to His second coming. This gives lost mankind every possible opportunity to repent and come to faith.   In this message He is also revealed as the True God and Creator of all mankind illustrating His greatness in comparison to fallen mankind.
  2. In the message of the second angel, we can see the SOVERIEGNTY and VICTORY that He has won over Satan and His kingdoms. His victory is an absolute certainty, being won at the cross and manifest at His second coming.
  3. In the message of the third angel, we can see His WRATH and His JUSTICE on display as He clearly displays His victory over the powers of darkness.
  4. In the angels’ instructions to John, we can see the FAITHFULNESS of Christ, as He remains faithful in keeping the promises of future blessings for His people to enjoy.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Servants of the Lord, may we all find encouragement to continue to take the gospel into the lost and dying world around us.

We have learned of the great need of the lost to come to Christ before they face their eternal punishment, the blessings awaiting each one of us, and the Lord’s promise of future victory and retribution in Him.

May we allow these truths to burden our hearts and motivate us to greater service to Christ!

 

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Revelation 14:1-5 “The Song Of The 144,000”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

Rev 14:1-5 KJV

(1)  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

(2)  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

(3)  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

(4)  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

(5)  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

After looking at Satan and his earthly kingdoms and their opposition to Christ and His spiritual kingdom (Rev 12: & 13:), we now begin a new vision.  Our review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth has been brought to completion now we look at the very next event that will take place in time… the second coming of Christ.

In this look at His second coming, we will see Christ being praised for the redemption of His people; the protection of His people; and His wrath that will destroy the kingdoms of Satan…

  1. The Redeemed of God singing a song of praise to their Redeemer, the Lamb (14:1-5)
  2. The Messages Of The Three Angels (14:6-13)
  3. The Two Reapings Of The Earth (14:14-20)

 

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY: 

Rev 14:1-5 KJV 

(1)  And I looked, and, lo,

Following a review of Satan’s kingdoms on earth, John now begins to see a new vision.   This vision shows us events that take place at the final hours of Satan’s kingdoms on earth.  The first part of this vision takes place immediately prior to Christ’s second coming…

 

a Lamb stood on the mount Sion,

John sees Christ standing on “Mount Sion”.  This Mount Sion is located in heaven, the dwelling place of God and the angels (Hebs 12:22).

The symbolism for this part of John’s vision comes from Psa 48:1-3, Joel 2:32.  In these passages Mt Sion is presented as the dwelling place of God and the place of refuge for His people.  Likewise, Mt Sion (heaven) in this vision is the dwelling place of God and the refuge of God’s people for an eternity.

Here, Christ is seen standing in heaven (symbolized by Mt Sion) waiting to descend and deliver His people at His second coming.

 

and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.

John sees the 144,000 symbolizing the people of God who have died prior to His second coming, whose spirits are now in heaven.  Their presence in heaven is the mark of their ownership by God and their membership in the eternal kingdom of God.  Their sin’s punishment has been paid by Christ’s shed blood and they are eternally secure in Him.  They are His redeemed whose spirits are in heaven, eagerly awaiting the resurrection of their body and living an eternity with Him beginning with His second coming.

What a comparison to the “The mark of the beast” from chapter 13 is the identifying mark of the people of Satan and his kingdom. What a contrast we see in these two marks.  “The mark of the beast” is the mark of Satanic ownership and influence, membership in the kingdoms of Satan and the coming judgment that awaits them.

 

(2)  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: 

The 144,000 (saints of God from both OT and NT) now sing with one voice signifying their absolute unity in Christ.  Without their sin natures to now hinder them they are perfectly unified in motive, goal, and love for their Lord and Redeemer.  Their voice I loud, attracting all the attention of John.  Their voice is much like great waters flowing over a falls or the great pealing of thunder announcing a coming storm. 

 

and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

He also hears harps being played in honor of their Lord.  These harps symbolize: joyous celebration, praise, worship of their Lord.

Why this great time of worship?  He is about to being His second coming to the earth.  In doing so, He will be resurrecting their dead bodies and untiing them with it, He will be judging the lost and fully defeating the Satan and his kingdoms.  This will all be done in preparation for their living with Him eternally. 

 

(3)  And they sung as it were a new song

The redeemed of the Lord are now heard singing a “new song” of praise to the Lamb.   Just like the song sung by the 4 beasts and elders in 5:9, this song is a song that the 144,000 is not accustomed to singing.  Why?  Because this song will only be sung immediately prior to the Lord’s second coming.

The two songs are related in 5:9 the Lord is being praised for the salvation of His people based upon His work on the cross.  Here, the song is being done immediately prior to the taking of His people at His second coming… this is the physical salvation of His people from His wrath that is about to fall.

Both Psalm 98:1-9 and Psalm 144:9-10 speak of a new song that was sung by God’s people in the Old Testament.  It is interesting to note the similarities between these songs and the Revelation “new songs”…

Psalm 98:1-9 is very similar to the “new song” spoken of in Rev 5:9, both speak of God’s redemptive for His people.

On the other hand, Psalm 144:9-10 is more similar to the “new song” found in Rev 14:3, in both of these songs, we can see God’s physical rescuing of His people in view. 

 

before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders:

This new song sung by the 144,000 is sung in the presence of God (throne) and His people (the four beasts, the elders, the 144,000).

Keep in mind, the people of God are symbolized in three ways in the book of Revelation:

  1. the beasts represent God’s people as the recipients of spiritual life
  2. the elders represent God’s people as the recipients of divine authority to judge and rule in eternity
  3. the 144,000 represent God’s people formed into His mighty nation by His sovereign intervention in their lives

Literally, the song is sung by the redeemed in the presence of God alone.  The sing being sung by the 144,000 and not the elders nor the beasts helps to remind us that the subject of this song (His deliverance from wrath at His second coming) is a sovereign act of God that will manifest His spiritual kingdom by separating them from the fallen world and uniting them with Him throughout eternity. 

 

and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

Only those who are sovereignly delivered from the wrath of God could learn and sing this new song immediately prior to His second coming.  The angels could not learn this song nor could any other created being.  Those who had already been redeemed and separated from this fallen earth could learn this song (from their personal experiences).

 

(4)  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.   These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.   These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.   (5)  And in their mouth was found no guile:  for they are without fault before the throne of God. 

God’s people who are in heaven are described as:

  1. “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins.”

They are not dirtied with illicit unions of unfaithfulness (Hebs 13:4).  They are totally devoted to the Lord and spiritually pure.  (James 4:4, 2 Cor 11:2)

 

  1. “These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.”

They are in union with and followers of the Lamb wherever He leads His people.  Dedicated obedience to Christ is shown (John 10:26-27, John 8:47, 1 John 4:5-6).

 

  1. “These were redeemed from among men,”

They were bought with a price… the shed blood of Christ on the cross (1 Peter 1:18-19)

 

  1. “being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”

They were separated from other of mankind for God’s use (James 1:18).  This is much like the OT first fruits that were separated from the remaining portion of the crops and then given for God’s use (Deut 18:4-5, Lev 23:17).

 

  1. “And in their mouth was found no guile:”

They speak honest, sincere words that are not touched by deceit.  Here we see their sincerity in service to Him (Mat 6:1-6, John 4:23-24).

 

  1. “for they are without fault before the throne of God.”

In God’s eyes they are looked upon as sinless based upon Christ’s work (Heb 9:14, Jude 24, 1 Thess 5:23, Phil 3:10-14)

 

The above description of God’s people can be also seen in Zephaniah 3:9-13. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

Christ, in this section of Scripture, is shown to us as the ultimate Savior of His people.

Not only does He redeem us through His death on the cross (Col 1:14) but, as a result, He saves us our spirit from the grave at our death (2 Cor 5:8) and later delivers our body at our resurrection (1 Cor 15:52).  As His redeemed people we are welcomed into His presence and forever with Him (1 Thess 4:17).

He truly is the ULTIMATE Saviour of His people, saving them from the penalty, bondage and presence of their sins, and the final wrath to come at His second coming!       

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

As we experience the Lord at work in our lives, we learn new things about His person and workings among us.  We see His grace, mercy, and sovereignty on display in our lives as He intervenes in the affairs of our life, actively bringing about His will.   Based upon these new experiences in our walk with Christ, may we all sing “new songs” of praise as we tell others of His wondrous works.

 

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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:

  1. a Lamb
  2. the mount Sion,
  3. an hundred forty and four thousand
  4. having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.
  5. a voice from heaven
  6. the voice of many waters
  7. the voice of a great thunder
  8. the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
  9. a new song
  10. the throne
  11. the four beasts
  12. the elders
  13. not defiled with women; for they are virgins.
  14. the firstfruits

 

THE RELATED SCRIPTURES:

 

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDIES/NOTES:

Revelation 13: Summary

SIH STSTA ICON

 

SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:

In Revelation chapter 13, we looked at the two great earthly kingdoms used by Satan in his war against Christ and His people.  These kingdoms are the political kingdoms of this world and the religious kingdoms of this world.  Satan uses both of these to oppose the work of Christ by directly persecuting the people of God.

This chapter can be outlined as follows:

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religions of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Man (13:16-18)

 

SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:

 

  1. Revelation 13:1-10 – The Beast From The Sea (The Political Kingdoms of This World)

In this section of John’s vision, we see a Satanic, wild, dangerous beast arising from the sea (the unsettled mass of fallen humanity).

The beast’s seven heads symbolize the seven world empires that will control the world until Christ comes again (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo/Persia, Greece, Rome, Various World Powers).  The physical description of its body, feet and mouth all refer to the previous empires that have existed in history.  The names appearing on the beast’s heads (blasphemy) teach us one of the core roles of the political empires is to speak against God.

The ten horns on the seventh head picture the various countries that will attempt to control the world coming after the dividing of the Roman Empire.

The deadly wound received by the sixth head (the Roman Empire) represents Christ’s death on the cross which won the ultimate victory over this beast.    The appearance of the healing of this wound, speaks of the timeframe following the crucifixion when the beast continues to be active.  At the second coming of Christ, the true deadly nature of this wound is revealed with the beast being cast into the Lake of Fire for an eternity.

This beast receives its power and position from Satan, himself, under the Sovereign will of allowance of God.  Finally in the last portion of this section we read the Lord’s assurance that Divine retribution will be sent against this beast for it’s great acts of rebellion, blasphemy and abuse against the Lord and His people.

 

  1. Revelation 13:11-15 – The Beast From The Earth (The Religious Kingdoms Of This World)

John is now introduced to the second beast, the beast that comes from the earth.  This beast represents the religious kingdoms of this world (false religions, prophets, teachers and antichrists in the world).

This beast is said to resemble a lamb with two horns but speaking like a dragon.  This reveals to us the deceitful nature of this beast that appears to be a gentle, humble, spiritual kingdom but is, in actually, the mouthpiece of Satan, himself.  Although this beast look very different from the first beast, and possesses a different set of roles to fulfill, these beasts still share the same authority, message and leader.  Throughout history the false religions of this world speak great words of comfort and hope while leading lost mankind down a path that leads to their ultimate destruction.

Along with possessing deceitful speech, this beast performs great miracles hoping to attract followers.  These miracles are counterfeit divine miracles that are affective in misleading lost mankind to follow them unquestioningly.

This beast causes their followers to create an idolatrous image as a part of their service to the beast.  This image is symbolic of the fruits of ministry that are born by these lost indivduals.   By creating an image lost mankind is declaring through their works of false righteousness that they have turned their backs on the true God and now are accepting of false worship which is idolatry.  Also they are declaring that they are adherents to a humanistic philosophy that states that men are able, in and of themselves, to create their own gods and worship them as if they were the true God over all.

By presenting these images to the political kingdoms in charge, they are proving beyond doubt that they have been misled by the religious powers of the world and are now followers of the doctrines of Satan himself.  The image receives life in the sense that the outward ancient practices of the heathen are constantly being reintroduced to mankind in a new way appealing to their senses and deceiving them into making them lifestyle choices. 

 

  1. Revelation 13: 16-18– The Mark Of The Beast

Finally, it is revealed to John that these beasts work in harmony to have their followers receive “the mark of the beast” which is also dewscribed as “666” and “the number of a man”.   When these titles are examined closely we can see this mark is a symbolic way of saying that the followers of the beast have taken upon themselves the teachings of humanism, unsuccessful attempts to become perfect in God’s sight through their own works, and sinful rebellion against God.

This mark was to be placed upon their forehead and/or right hand.  This was indicative of the mark of ownership and servitude placed upon slaves in the Roman Empire.  This helps us to understand that anyone who takes part in the ministry of these two beasts are the property of Satan, serving him as a lifestyle.

 

WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:

In Revelation chapter 14, we will begin to look in greater detail at the second coming of Christ.  This will mark the end of the activities of Satan and his political and religious kingdoms of this world.  Not only do we see the end of the powers of the darkness of this world, but also the protection and safety of the people of God.

A short outline of chapter 14 includes:

1.  The New Song Of The 144,000 (14:1-5)
2.  The Three Angels (14:6-13)
3.  The Reaping Of The Earth(14:14-20)

 

 

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

 

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Revelation 13:16-18 “The Mark Of The Beast: 666”

SIH STSTA ICON

 

THE TEXT:

 

 

Rev 13:16-18 KJV

(16)  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
(17)  And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
(18)  Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL and RELIGIOUS powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw these aspects of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-15.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:16-18 KJV

(16)  And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark

The false religions of the world cause men of all social and economic status to receive their mark (an outward indication of their relationship with that religion.

It includes men that:

  1. “small and great” – those that hold little or much authority, fear and respect of others.
  2. “rich or poor” – those that are wealthy or poverty stricken
  3. “free or bond” – those who are freemen and those who are slaves

They are to receive a “mark” (ie an impress or scratch or etching).  In other words, the mark is an outward declaration of the man’s affiliation with this false religion (Rev 13:16, 14:9, 17:15, 20:4).  Much like baptism in water is a public declaration of the Christian’s faith in Christ and membership in a local assembly.

What is this mark that the lost of the world will receive?  It will not be a literal mark but it is their outward testimony of allegiance to these kingdoms (Matt 7:15-20).   It shows forth in what they live for, what they are committed to, what their actions proclaim and what their mouths testify.  It is very much like the Christian’s testimony (their baptism, lifestyle, and speech) that reveal to others that they are one of Christ’s.    Lost mankind “receives” this mark but submitting to the teachings and commands of these kingdoms.  In doing so, their life begins to testify to their allegiance to the beasts.

 

in their right hand, or in their foreheads:

This mark is said to be placed on their right hand or their forehead.  Keep in mind, in the days of the Roman empire, Servants were given marks on their hand or forehead that would show their ownership.

Also the forehead and hand represent the two great areas of a servants dedication to their master.  The forehead represents their inward parts being dedicated to their master (their love, desires and thoughts).  The right hand represents their outward acts of service (their labor and works) done in obedience to their master.

Keep in mind, this mark of the beast ( was to mimic the people of God who are said to be marked by God for protection and declaration of ownership (Exo 28:36-38, Ezek 9:4-6, 16:8-13, Rev 9:4, 14:1, 22:4) 

 

(17)  And that no man might buy or sell,

Throughout history, the areas of worldly power and wealth are found in the political and religious arenas of this world.   If men are a part of these kingdoms they can receive the favor, wealth and power of this world.  Those who have kept themselves separate from these are in danger of ostracism, persecution, or even martyrdom.  These very acts are predicted to take place in the lives of Christians throughout the ages (2 Tim 3:12, Matt 10:22-25, John 16:2, 1 Thess 3:3-4 etc).

 

save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

The identifying characteristics of those dedicated to the kingdoms of Satan are described in three ways:

  1. The mark – the graven mark… an outward identifying mark. This mark reveals to others to whom there is allegiance
  2. The name of the beast – The identifying title of the beast. This mark shows us who the beast is.  Just like a Christians’ testimony reveals Christ to the world.
  3. The number of his name – The identifying number of the beast…. “666” 

 

(18)  Here is wisdom.

Here is the wise way to understand these things.  Here is a revealing of the true nature of this mark.  This is the way to understand this mark when you apply God’s Word to the explanation of the mark.  This is how a wise man will come to understand this mark.

 

Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast:

To come to an proper identity of the mark you must “count” the number of the beast.  To “count” is translated form a word that means carries with it the idea of “counting stones”, “examining stones”, “touching stones”.

In those days, stones were used as: a ballot to vote, as a ticket to gain entrance, or as stones used to count up sums.

In all three of these examples you have stones being examined (or counted) to come to a conclusion….

  1. count the stones used as a ballot to understand the verdict that has been rendered
  2. examine the existence of a stone to allow admission to an event
  3. count up stones to find a sum

To “count the number of the beast” – means to examine the number of the beast to come to a proper understanding of it.  Much like “counting the cost” (examine by adding up the costs involved – Lk 14:28), you would count individual stones to find a verdict or prove possession of a stone to all admission.  In other words, by examining the number that is associated with this mark, will reveal the true nature and identity of the beasts and the person that is marked.

 

for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The mark is described in two complimentary ways…

  1. it is the number of a man (as compared to the number of a God or an angel or another part of creation)
  2. it is the number 666 – six throughout the bible is the number of man, imperfection and labor
  3. man made on sixth day
  4. man falls short of perfection (7 number of perfection)
  5. man consigned to 6 days of labor (day 7 is day set aside for God and rest)
  6. Goliath is symbolic of sinful rebellious mankind (6 linked closely to Goliath – (see 1 Sam 17:1-7)
  7. 666 as “The Imperfect Trinity” (Satan, The Beast from the Sea, The Beast from the Earth) stands in stark contrast to 777 “The Perfect Trinity” (God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit).

This mark is the number 666.  This is the mark of a man (mankind). “a” is used here not to speak of a specific man, but to speak of a man in comparison to other parts of God’s creation.  It is not the number of an animal, a planet, or a sun…. it is the number of “a man”.  This is the true interpretation of this mark.

Here are some of the truths about Satan, the two beasts, and lost mankind can learn from this number:

  1. as the number of man, we can learn that humanism is the core philosophy of Satan, the beasts and lost man. They all seek to exalt man, using man’s pride and arrogance to appeal to them attracting them to become followers.  Although they claim perfection, they always fail as a part of fallen creation.  None are perfect, nor can become perfect based upon their own efforts and works.
  2. as the number of imperfection, we can learn that all of these fall far short of pleasing the Lord and securing peace with God.
  3. as the number of labor, we can see that their labor is fruitless, their attempts to overthrow God are wasted, they have already been defeated and sentenced to the Lake of Fire.
  4. as the number of sinful rebellion against God, we can see that all of these (Satan, his kingdoms and lost mankind) exhibit a rebellious attitude towards the Lord.
  5. as the “Imperfect Trinity” (666) Satan and the two beasts, although they claim perfection, fall far short of the perfection of the Lord Most High. Mankind is also an imperfect trinity (body, soul, and spirit), all mankind have been touched by sin and alienated from God.

Truly, the mark 666 has fallen upon all who have become a part of the powers of darkness in the spiritual warfare about us.  Whether it be fallen mankind, the political and religious powers of the world or Satan himself, they all wear the name of blasphemy and carry with them the mark of imperfect, prideful, fallen mankind and the powers of darkness… 666. 

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

In this lesson about the mark of the beast, we find a very valuable lesson about Christ.  In the simple mark of 666, we can see that everything that Satan, his beasts, and lost mankind are not… Christ IS!

As we looked at this mark and saw the imperfection, sinfulness and separation from God that is experienced by them, we find Christ standing in great contrast as the Perfect, Sinless, One who enjoyed perfect unity with His Father in heaven…

Php 2:5-11 KJV –

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:   Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:   But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:   And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:   That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;   And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” 

 

May we all praise the Lord for being who we are not.  If he were simply another man, we all would be faced with eternal doom, however, because He was far greater than fallen man, He could be our perfect sacrifice for sin and become our Lord and Savior.

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Folks, the exaltation of man and the debasement of Christ are two hallmarks of Satan and his kingdoms.  Anytime, we find man given praise or honor at the expense of Christ’s greatness is certain to be rooted in humanism and the kingdoms of Satan.  May we always be on guard against giving man credit for things that only God deserves all the praise.   May we always remember that Christ alone is the One to be glorified and honored with our lives.

 

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SYMBOLS EMPLOYED IN THIS TEXT:

 

1,  a mark

  1. in their right hand
  2. in their foreheads:
  3. might buy or sell,
  4. the name of the beast
  5. the number of his name.
  6. Six hundred threescore and six.

 

 

 

 

THE RELATED SCRIPTURES:

 

 

SUPPLEMENTAL STUDIES/NOTES:

Revelation 13:11-15 “The Beast From The Earth”

SIH STSTA ICONTHE TEXT:

 

Rev 13:11-15 KJV

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,
(14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.
(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

 

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

We have looked at the POLITICAL powers of the world and how Satan has used them throughout history to afflict the people of God.  We saw this aspect of Satan’s kingdom in vs 1-10.

In the middle portion of chapter 13 (vs 11-15), we will learn more about the SPIRITUAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portion of chapter 13, we will be introduced the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

 

 

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Rev 13:11-15 KJV 

(11)  And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

After John sees the beast of the sea (the political kingdoms of the world being used by Satan to afflict the people of God), his attention is turned to another beast.   This beast will be symbolic of the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world, ie the false religions of this world, that are used by Satan to oppose God, His truths, and His people.  He is called “the false prophet” in Revelation 16:13, 19:20, 20:10.

John gives us a very detailed description of this beast.  First of all it is described as “another” beast.  This word means “another of the same type” of beast.  In other words, it is another wild, dangerous, enemy of God and His people.

 

John continues with a description of the physical appearance of the beast…

 

Description References Symbolism
Comes Up Out Of The Earth Daniel 7:17 This beast finds its origin in the sinful fallen earth. False religions appeal to the carnal nature in men, who desire to fulfill the spiritual viod in their life, but refuse to submit to the true God.  In response, they create false gods and willingly submit to them.
2 Horns Like A Lamb Daniel 7:8, Matt 7:15 This beast appears as a lamb, counterfeiting Christ.  All false religions attempt to replace the True Lamb of God as the source of life, salvation and blessings.   Horns are pictures of power and weapons.  The false promises and teachings given by false religions are the source of their strength and weapons of warfare against the Lord and His people.
Speaks Like A Dragon John 8:44,2 Cor 11:3,2 Cor 11:13-15,2 Thess 2:9-11,Matt 24:24 This beast speaks as Satan speaks… with great lies. This beast’s ministry centers on lying to his followers, just as Satan is the Father of lies.  Satan uses the false religions of this world (their teachings and miracles) to lie, mislead and deceive the world.  In doing so, he is stealing away the worship that Christ alone deserves.

 

(Please notice that, just as the previous beast, this beast finds its origins in Daniel 7)

 

The first beast which represented the POLITICAL powers of the world is described as a horrifying beast.  This refers to the kingdoms of the world’s great military might, and powerful vicious leaders.

In comparison, the second beast, the RELIGIOUS powers of the world, is pictured as a gentle, kind lamb-like beast. It deceitfully shows itself to be harmless, but in reality, is incredibly harmful, misleading others to an eternity in the Lake of Fire.

 

(12)  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

This beast possesses the same (power) authority as the first beast…

  1. The political powers of the world were said to possess the authority to speak blasphemies against the Lord… so too, the false religions of this world.
  2. The political powers were said to have the authority to rule over every area of the world. Likewise, the false religions of the world appear in every nation, language and families found in this world.

The state religions of the world have been used throughout time to lead men to submission to the political powers of this world.  Throughout the history of the world, false religions have caused many wars to take place between political powers.  In an attempt to force men to worship a specified religion, the political powers of the world have forcibly dominated nations and opposing religious groups alike.  In every case, the end result was forced worship and submission to the invading political government and its state religion.

(Perhaps the greatest example of the political powers and religious powers of the world working in harmony against the cause of Christ can be seen at the arrest, trial and crucifixion of Christ.  In that case, we have the Jewish religious leaders worked in harmony with the Gentile Roman government to put Christ to death. (John 18:1-40 etc)) 

 

(13)  And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,  (14)  And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast;

One of the greatest tools used by false religions to mislead mankind are “great wonders”, many various unexplainable feats.  These great wonders will be a consistent tool used by false religions until their ultimate defeat at the coming of Christ to the earth.

2Th 2:8-10 KJV – “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.” 

 

The one “marvel” used to represent all the wonders that the false religions performed is that of calling fire down from heaven.  Throughout the OT times and also during the early NT times fire falling from heaven was consistently used as a sign of the true worship of Jehovah:

  1. 2 Kings 1:10-14 – Elijah 2.  Lev 10:2 – Jehovah               3.  Nums 11:1 – Jehovah
  2. Num 16:35 – Jehovah 5.  Judges 6:21 – Jehovah           6.  1 King 18:38 – Jehovah
  3. Exo 9:13-on – Jehovah 8.  Acts 2:7 – Local Church

(This helps us to understand that all the miracles that are performed by the false religions are counterfeits of the true miracles of God.  They are used to deceitfully misled men into believing the false religion is approved and authorized by God.)

 

These false wonders are done in the eyes of men in an effort to mislead them, but also done in the sight of the beast being approved, authorized, and used by the political powers of the world.

Keep in mind, despite of all these “great wonders”, they are still false religions that will face the judgment of God in the future…

Mat 7:22-23 KJV – “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?   And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

 

 

saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

Following the deception of their followers, the false religions then instruct them to create idols of false worship and present them to the powers that be.  This is a very important point that should not be overlooked:

  1. It proves they are now accepting of false worship – The creation of idols and images are always associated with false worship and relying on the works of man to please God. Images were very commonly employed in false religious worship (Ex 20:4, 2 Kings 3:2, Isa 40:19, Dan 3, Jud 17:3, Isa 40:19, Jer 10: 14 etc etc)  This is blasphemy at its worst.
  1. It proves they have readily accepted humanism (man is the supreme authority) as the ultimate truth – God is the only One who is capable of creating an image of Himself. He did that for us when He created man (Gen 1:26-27).  To create any other supposed image of God is an act of blatant humanism.  It is believing that man, with the works of his own hands, can create an image of Almighty God; or, it is saying that mankind has the ability to create their own gods and to worship it as they see fit.  In either case, it is false worship and humanism at its worst.

 

Note: This is saying that their acts of idolatry and humanism were created to be presented to the beast of the sea.  This was to prove that the beast of the earth has accomplished its task…

It is saying to the political powers, I have successfully misled your citizens to no longer worship the true God.  They are now worshipping their own creation.  They now are reliant upon themselves and their own abilities to develop and worship as they please.  Now they are yours for the taking.  Their knowledge of God and possibility of coming to the worship of the true God is no longer standing in your way.  You can now be the ultimate authority in their life to do as you please.

 

(15)  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Please remember:

  1. The image of the beast represents the ACTS of false worship of mankind and the humanistic PRACTICES followed by mankind.
  2. The giving of life to the image is speaking of continued deceit being used to mislead those watching to partake of this false worship and humanism.

Keeping this in mind, “giving life unto the image” is speaking of Satan’s continuing attempts to make false worship and humanism appealing to mankind.  Basically, it is speaking of the continuous changing of false worship and humanism so that it appeals to the masses:

  1. One example of this is the ancient religions of the far-east now being repackaged as “the New Age” religions. Nothing in the New Age movement is new, it is simply presented in a new way to lost mankind.
  2. Another example would be repackaging of humanism as “the power of positive thinking” and “situational ethics” etc etc.
  3. Another example would be the practices and festivals of heathen worship incorporated into the “holy days” of the Catholic Church.

 

When our text says “that the image of the beast should both speak”, it is describing two basic principles…

  1. These acts of false worship, gradually, over time have gained a voice of their own, becoming a source of enlistment to these false religions. Many acts of false worship can be used to entice others to join the false religions from which they originate.  It no longer matters what the doctrinal stand of a false religion might be, now simply seeing their practices and wonders, many people ignorantly choose to follow them. There are many lost who believe that the acts of worship (many times the wonders that are performed) prove that a false religion is of God.  Based upon this, they will participate in this false worship without ever comparing their teachings with God’s Word.
  1. Also, these acts of worship speak for themselves by becoming “proofs” of a person’s participation in a given religion. Judgment is now made based upon their participation in these acts of worship… “Do you observe the holy days?”  “Do you speak in tongues?”  “Do you speak to the dead?” etc etc.  All of this is done in an effort to judge true from false worshippers and is used by Satan to bring persecution upon those who do not participate in the false and humanistic worship that he strives to promote.

It is in these two senses that the acts of worship now speak as clearly as the false religions that they represent. The existence of the “experience” (or act of worship) attracts and justifies the participants of that religion.

 

CHRIST REVEALED:

When we look at the “ministry” of the false religions of the world, we can clearly see their results worked among men.  They seal a man’s spiritual death, leading them down the path of destruction through deceit.

In comparison, our Lord describes Himself as “The way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).   What a blessing it is to know the Lord that we serve is the way that gives us access to His Heavenly Father.    He supplies to us the absolute truth of the very Word of God.  He is the One that is the source of eternal life to those who trust in Him.

Joh 14:5-7 KJV

“Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?   Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.   If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.”

 

 

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

When we see the deceitful workings of the false religions of the world, and the power behind those religions (Satan), we come to understand their great danger to mankind.   May we all come away from this teaching with two determined attitudes.

First of all, may we all learn to diligently guard ourselves against doctrinal impurity and participation in the ungodly practices of these false religions.

Secondly, may we also learn to appreciate our Lord, “the way, the truth and the life”, who has so graciously delivered from error, supplied to us the truths of His Word, and continues to lead us in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.  What a wonderful Lord we serve and how much He deserves our entire commitment to Him and His will for our lives.

 

Homepage:             http://www.settledinheaven.org

Text Blog:               http://www.settledinheaven.wordpress.com

Video Blog:              http://www.youtube.com/settledinheaven

Email Contact:          settledinheaven@gmail.com

 

 

“What Is Your Life?”

SIH STSTA ICON(SIH Ministries 5th Anniversary)

 Today is the 5th anniversary of Settled In Heaven Ministries.  Tomorrow, SIH will begin its 6th year of service to Christ, ministering Him to others.  Looking back over the past 5 years, I can see the grace of God being shown to the ministry every step of the way.

The desire of my heart is to praise and honor my Lord Jesus Christ for the many gracious blessings He has shown to my family, SIH, and myself, throughout the years.  Truly without Christ, SIH would not, and could not, bring praise to Christ in any way.

Anything that has been accomplished through the ministry of SIH is entirely of His grace, for which He deserves all the glory.  I am pointing out this anniversary to simply declare how good and wonderful the Lord has been to me, my wonderful wife and the ministry here.  I am blessed being imagination.

Now that a milestone in time has been reached, my tendency is to begin looking ahead and planning new outreach ministries for SIH.  Planning for the future and preparing for the times ahead, in and of itself, can be a very wise course of action for us all.  However, the act of planning ahead can also lead to pitfalls and shipwreck in our service to Him.

In this lesson I would like to remind myself, and perhaps you as well, of the importance of relying upon the leadership and the gracious intervention of Christ in our lives to enable us to   face, and successfully plan for, the times which lie ahead…

 

 

THE SCRIPTURES:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV –

Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

 

THE STUDY:

Jas 4:13-17 KJV

 

Go to now,

First, James calls his listeners to “take action” on what he is about to say.  He is telling them to “Go do as I say!”

Why does James do this?  It is because he knows how important this issue is for our lives.  Making future plans without the consideration of the Lord, our need of Him, and His desires for our lives, will cause many, many Christians to fall by the wayside and become shipwrecked in our service to Him.  This is why James emphasizes the need to take action on this subject.

 

ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:

James now identifies to whom he is speaking.  He is speaking to Christians who are making future plans for their lives in the following areas:

1.  “we will go into such a city” – the places they will enter into, the areas their lives will touch
(where they would live, work, worship and minister for Christ, vacation etc )
2.  “we will continue there a year” – the time frame of their actions and accomplishments
(when and how long they would do a specific act)
3.  “we will buy and sell and get gain” – the activities of their lives
(ministry for Christ, vocation, marriage, children, education, shopping, house work, etc)
As we look at this list, we can see that this basic list covers almost every aspect of our lives.

 

 

These Christians were trying to plan ahead and be prepared for the future, however, they had forgotten one the most important aspect of their plans… the sovereignty and will of God….

Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow.

Why is planning for the future a vain pursuit when the Lord is left out of the plans?  The Lord alone knows what tomorrow will bring for us.  All the planning in the world can be undone in one fleeting instant when an unplanned event enters into our lives.  A car accident, sickness, death, loss of employment, natural disaster or other tragedy can quickly unravel all of our plans for the future.

How foolish it is for us to plan for the future without recognizing the Lord is in control of our future.

 

For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.

James, now directs our attention to one example of an area of life that is under the Lord’s control… the length of our lives.  Stop and think about it.  Out life is just like a vapor that appears and then very quickly vanishes away, many times without any prior notice.

How can anyone be so prideful as to make plans for the future when they cannot know for certain that they will even be alive tomorrow?   This is the point that James is making for us all.

 

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.

However, we must include the Lord’s will into our plans, and submit to Him as the Ultimate Controller of the events of our lives (past, present, and future).   When we make our future plans we make them with an attitude that recognizes that our plans can change at any moment based upon the Lord’s workings in our lives.

So, it is just as James tells us… “If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that“

 

 

But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.

Instead of planning their futures by possessing humble spirits of reliance upon the Lord in the midst of the planning process, these Christians were making plans with an attitude of self-importance.  They were thinking their plans will most certainly take place, because they are in control of the future events of their lives, or wise enough to think of every possible event that would take place in the days to come.

This was a lack of faith, clearly boasting of pride, self-importance, and superiority.  In other words, it was attitude that was wicked in the eyes of God, basically placing their selves in God’s place and becoming guilty of idolatry.  How can this be idolatry?  They became their own idols as they attributed to themselves abilities that only belonged to their God.

 

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

These Christians had now been taught the truth and given a grave responsibility… make all their future plans humbly with attention given to the sovereignty of God and His future will for their lives.

Prior to this, being ignorant of their sin, they were not convicted by their conscience nor the Holy Spirit.   Although they were committing sin it was being done in ignorance with no conviction or discipline being handed down by the Lord.

But now, they were now aware of the evil attitude in their lives.  To them, their attitudes were now had become sinful. In other words…

to him (the Christian with sinful attitudes) it (the prideful attitude) is (now recognized as) sin.

 

“him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not”…

They had been warned. If they chose to ignore this warning, and continue on this path, they would now be left to the work of their conscience and the Holy Spirit’s conviction.

They would now become increasingly aware of their sinful attitudes and bear a growing burden for their willful rebellion against God.  They could expect their guilt to only intensify and God’s chastening hand to be active upon them.

 

 

PRACTICAL APPLICATION/SUMMARY:

Folks, may we all make the Lord the center of all our future plans.  He is the Only One who knows what tomorrow holds.  He is the Only One that is control of every situation that comes our way.  Understanding this, how can we begin to ignore Him and keep Him out of our plans?

Pro 3:5-8 KJV

“Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.”

 

May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.

 

I would just like to thank all of you who have so faithfully taken part in the ministries here at SIH…. Thanks to the followers, commenters, likers, visitors, readers, rebloggers and social site sharers.  Believe me, you all have been a great human encouragement as we have sought to faithfully post on a daily basis.

Also, please be in prayer for the ministries here at SIH.  By God’s grace, over the years we have tried to be constantly adding to our ministries in an attempt to reach the most number of people with His Word.

 

To date, in addition to our internet homepage ( http://www.settledinheaven.org/ ), Settled In Heaven can be found on the following websites:

WordPress (https://settledinheaven.wordpress.com/ )

YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/SettledInHeaven )

 

Also, you can follow SIH on the following social sites:

FaceBook (https://www.facebook.com/settledinheaven )

Google+ (https://plus.google.com/109554571051856737762/ )

Twitter (https://twitter.com/settledinheaven )

Tumblr (http://settledinheaven.tumblr.com/ )

LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/pub/robbarkman/47/819/4a4 )

Pinterest (https://www.pinterest.com/settledinheaven/ )

GodInterest (http://godinterest.com/profile/136480 )

 

Lord willing, within the next year, SIH will be greatly expanding our ministries on:

GodTube (http://www.godtube.com/settledinheaven/ )

LiveJournal (http://settledinheaven.livejournal.com/ )

 

Revelation 13:1-10 “The Beast From The Sea”

SIH STSTA ICON

THE TEXT:

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.
(2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?
(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
(6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.
(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

THE INTRODUCTION:

In chapter 12, we saw a defeated Satan’s continuing opposition against the Lord and His people.  Throughout the ages, Satan has used the political kingdoms of this fallen world as tools in an attempt to abuse, persecute and even martyr the people of God.

In the beginning portion of chapter 13, we will learn more about the POLITICAL kingdoms of this world as they afflict the people of God.  Then, in the following portions of chapter 13, we will be introduced to another tool that is used by Satan to oppress God’s people… the RELIGIOUS kingdoms of this world.  Finally, we will see the “mark” (major characteristic) of those who join the beast in its stand against the people of God.

  1. The Beast of the Sea – The Political Kingdoms of This World (13:1-10)
  2. The Beast of the Earth – The False Religious Kingdoms of This World (13:11-15)
  3. The Mark of the Beast – The Number of Humanism (13:16-18)

THE EXPOSITORY STUDY:

Please note:  the following verses describe the “beast from the sea”.  This part of John’s vision is taken from Daniel 7:1-12

 

Rev 13:1-10 KJV

(1)  And I stood upon the sand of the sea,

John, as he stands on the seashore looks out at the sea.

 

and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.    (2)  And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

As John looks out over the sea, he sees a “beast” rise up out of the sea.  The word translated “beast” means a “wild, dangerous creature”.

This descriptions of this wild dangerous beast goes hand in hand with the prophecy found in Daniel 7:1-12:

Description Rev. Ref Daniel Ref Symbolism Other References Interpretation
Out of Sea Rev 13:1 Dan 7:2-3 Fallen Humanity Isa 57:20, Jer 6:23, Rev 17:15 This beast comes out of the ever-changing masses of fallen humanity
Has Seven Heads Rev 13:1 N/A Seven World Political Empires (1) Rev 17:9-11 This beast is symbolic of the seven world emires that have opposed the cause of Christ throughout the centuries.
Has Ten Horns w Crowns (on last head) Rev 13:1 Dan 7:7-8 The Many Ruling Countries Following the Roman Empire (2) Rev 17:9-12 This beast includes the many governments of the world that have taken positions of power since the fall of Rome.  However, in each of these cases, they have never been able to dominate the known world as did the previous World Empires.  Therefore they are looked upon as one attempt by Satan, using many combined nations, to effectively retain rule over all the world.
The Name of Blasphemy Rev 13:1 N/A Each is Given the Title “Blasphemy” Rev 13:3-7 Each world kingdom follows its leader Satan, in opposing the people of God and blaspheming His name.
Body Like A Leopard Rev 13:2 Dan 7:6 Leopard very swift, powerful beast (3) Greek Empire very powerful, quickly overtook its enemies and spread throughout known world
Feet Like A Bear Rev 13:2 Dan 7:5 Bear one side higher then other (3) Medo/Persia empire… two sides represent two nations working in unity as one empire.
Mouth Like A Lion Rev 13:2 Dan 7:4 Lion highly glorified,  honored, powerful (3) Babylon empire… with Nebuchadnezzar glorified as God, very wealthy empire
Strength from Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Might and Wealth 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were empowered by Satan himself.
Exalted Position From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Military Conquests, New Areas Of Rule 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms were given victories and conquests through Satanic intervention.
Authority From Satan Rev 13:2 N/A Rulership, Exalted Position 2 Cor 4:4 All the different manifestations of Satan’s kingdoms received ruling power and authority from Satan himself.

Notes to above chart:

(1) Seven world political empires throughout history: 1. Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medo/Persia, 5. Greece, 6. Rome, 7. Diverse Kingdoms Appearing after the Roman Empire.
(2) A Sampling of the many ruling countries that came after the Roman empire: France, Germany, USA, Britain, Japan, China, Russia etc etc.
(3) All three animals, the Leopard, Bear, and Lion are mentioned as judgments from God upon men that do not recognize nor appreciate His mercies and blessings. (Hosea 13:5-8)

When put all together, we can see the kingdoms of this world, under Satan’s power and control, make up a very powerful, terrible “machine” that will seeks to totally wipe out the Lord and His people.  We see this take place throughout history where the nations of the world persecute God’s people, reject His Word, and speak against the very Lord that has blessed them and allowed them to exist.

Paul and John speak of many of the leaders of these governments and the spirit that motivates them as “the spirit of antichrist”.  In other words, they possess a desire to both oppose and replace Christ by receiving the worship that is due to Him.  This attitude can be seen throughout history in the lives of the Pharoahs of Egypt, the Roman Emperors, Nebuchadnezzar, and many many others including more recent leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, Kim Jong-il, etc etc. 

These leaders use the power of their political kingdom to further their desires for self-exaltation among the people of the world….

1Jn 4:3-4 KJV
“And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.
Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” 

2Th 2:3-5 KJV
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

Please note that another type of the “antichrists” of this world are the false religious leaders who work in harmony with the political powers of the world to wreak havoc among the people of God.  These false religions and their leaders will be looked at in great detail in the next section of chapter 13…

 

1Jn 2:18-22 KJV
“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.
But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.”

  

(3)  And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.  

John now sees one of the heads that received a deadly wound.  This wound that would eventually result in the death of this beast was Christ’s death on the cross (Col 2:14-15).  The head that received this wound was the sixth head, the Roman empire, the kingdom in existence at the time of the crucifixion.

Although the wound was deadly (would eventually cause the death of the political powers of the world).  This eventual death would be made plain for all to see at the second coming of Christ (Rev 19:17-21).   However, in between the crucifixion and the second coming we have the beast not outwardly affected by this wound.  In that sense, he was “healed” of the wound he had received.  To this day, the great power and wealth of the world kingdoms is coveted by the fallen world, and will only be shown for what they truly are when they are defeated by Christ at His second coming.

 

(4)  And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

In this fallen, humanistic world that is ruled by selfish lusts (1 Pet 2:11) enflamed by the enticements of Satan, we see a willingness to sacrifice all to pursue worldly power, riches and fame.   In doing so, they place their God, families and morals behind to receive this temporal, unsatisfying offerings of the world.

This is the root cause of the lost world’s submission and worship to the kingdoms of this world and their leader, Satan.

(5)  And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.   (6)  And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

The kingdoms of this world receive a mouth given to them by Satan.  It is with this mouth that the kingdoms can speak impressive, tremendous things which speak harmful things against Jehovah God.  Remember, this is the great work of the worldly kingdoms to mislead men and force men to join in the blasphemy of God Himself.

This is why “blasphemy” was written upon each and every one of its heads (world empires that make up all the political kingdoms throughout time Rev 13:1).  His role of Blasphemy would continue throughout all the time of opposition and abuse to God’s people.  This time period is described as “42 months”, “a time times and half a time”, and “1260 days”

The kingdoms of this world speak out against:

  1. his name – Who God is and what He has done for us.
  2. his tabernacle – The worship and meeting place of God on earth with man (tabernacle, temple, local church)
  3. them that dwell in heaven – God’s people, both alive and dead, who are citizens of heaven

All three of these are misrepresented, opposed, and spoken against by the governments of this world (Acts 17:32).

 

(7)  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them:

The governments were not only given words but the ability to actively work in a blasphemous way against the Lord.  They were empowered by Satan, under the Lord’s allowance, to actively war against the people of God.  This would include judging, imprisoning, and even martyring them.

As the governments abuse the people of God, they may be physically overcoming them, but in actuality are spiritually bringing defeat upon themselves.

and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.  

These governments are given the authority to rule over all men.  This includes men of every family, language and citizenship.  This will culminate with a merging of all nations as they stand against Christ at His second coming. This will result in the final defeat of all the world’s kingdoms (Rev 19:18-20)

 

(8)  And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

All of lost mankind (those who are not written in the Lamb’s book of life), during their lifetime on earth will worship the world’s kingdoms.  All lost mankind follows the doctrine of this, humanistic, world kingdoms.  As a result, they all work for the satisfaction of their fleshly desires and personal gain of worldly wealth, power and fame (Luke 16:8, Psa 17:14, Isa 55:2, Prov 27:20)

Book of life mentioned many times in Revelation:

  1. Rev 3:5 – overcomer’s names, eternally secure ones
  2. Rev 13:8 – no lost men in it, LJC work places men in the book.
  3. Rev 17:8 – names placed in it from foundation of the world
  4. Rev 20:12-15 – at final judgment used to determine destiny of men.
  5. Rev 21:27 – allows entrance into God’s presence in New Jerusalem
  6. Rev 22:19 – “his part” taken from book not “his name”. Other words, anyone who denies God’s Word by changing it is clearly lost and cannot be saved until he accepts God’s Word as the absolute truth without any change.

The Lamb’s book of life is a listing of all whom God has chosen to salvation, all for whom Christ has died, and all who were given the gift of faith in Christ as their Lord and Savior, in other words, it is all those who have received eternal life.

 

(9)  If any man have an ear, let him hear.

A call is now sent out.  Those who have been given spiritual ears to hear these warnings, need to pay close attention to them.  It is very important that we all understand the role of the kingdoms of this world and Satan’s leadership of them.  This should result in the Christian’s need to seek those things which are above, ignoring the treasures these kingdoms have to offer to us.

“By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:  For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”  (Heb 11:9-10 KJV)

“By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;  Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”  (Heb 11:24-25 KJV)

 

(10)  He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.

This is the basic principle of divine retribution.  This is a Biblical principle that says that a just punishment for a certain sin is that sin returned upon the sinner (Rev 11:5, Gen 9:6, Isa 33:1, Jer 15:2, Jer 43:11, Matt 26:52)  This is what the kingdoms of this world have awaiting them.  Their abuse of God’s people will be returned upon their heads at His second coming. (Rev 19:11-21)

Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

This belief that the Lord will return the sins of the kingdoms back upon them is a source of the great patience and faith that is shown by believers who have been abused, tormented, afflicted and martyred by them.

“For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.  For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”  (Heb 10:36-37 KJV)

CHRIST REVEALED:

As we saw the beast (kingdoms of this world) stand in opposition to Christ and His people, our Lord’s victory over this beast comes into full view.  Stop and think about it, if it were not for Christ’s victory over the beast, this terrible, ferocious beast would have total dominance over us and bring us to utter defeat.  But, based upon His victory won on the cross, He promises to us victory over the beast as well….

Joh 16:33 KJV – “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
1Jn 4:4 KJV – “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”

May we all take the time to honor and praise our Lord for His work on the cross as He overcame Satan and the powers of this world, so that we might be victorious in Him.

THE PRACTICAL APPLICATION (SUMMARY)

Mistreatment, persecution and opposition are to be expected as we live our lives in this fallen world.  This is because of our association with Christ.    But, although we face opposition, it is very important for us to realize that the victory has already been won by our Lord on the cross.   Although it may seem as if the powers of darkness are gaining the victory, by faith we understand that we have the ultimate victory in Christ.

May we all serve Him with renewed vigor knowing that the war has been won, and we are serving in the winning army of Christ.

Rev 19:11-21 KJV
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh. “

May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.

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