Saturday, April 9, 2016

Revelation, chapters 15 and 16, comments: seven vials of judgment

Chapter 15
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.
Now comes the seven plagues, poured from seven vials, by seven angels. Marvellous is amazing throughout the Bible. The believing Church, Jew and Gentile, has been removed before the vials, the final expression of God’s wrath, are poured out.
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.
These are the martyrs of the Great Tribulation, who refused to take the mark of the beast. These are referred to in chapter 7…
Revelation 7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10  And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11  And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12  Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen.
    13 ¶  And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14  And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
…as represented in the fifth seal.
Revelation 6:9 ¶  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
 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.
Review Moses’ song in Exodus 15:1-19. This praise predicts a swift and terrible judgment on God’s enemies. Verse 4 shows that now God’s judgments are to be completely revealed and poured out.
    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.
There are now seven plagues that must be unleashed on the remnant of mankind.
Chapter 16
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.
The two witnesses, who called down disaster on the people of the earth, are removed. Believers in Christ are gone. The Jews are hiding in the wilderness. Countless martyrs are before God in heaven. Now, the end of the Great Tribulation will be fiercer than anything seen in history as those who remain will suffer physically for their murders of God’s people. This is not just external suffering from natural disasters but this is from the inside, the person of the man or woman.
These people will have blood to drink for the blood that they’ve shed. The Egyptians could not drink of the Nile River turned to blood in Exodus 7:21 but what choice will these wicked people have?
Notice in verse 3 that every living soul in the sea dies. This is more scriptural confirmation that creatures other than humankind can also have souls; self-identity, a will unique to them, and an understanding that they are themselves and not another. See also;
Numbers 31:28  And levy a tribute unto the LORD of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep:
Job 12:10  In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.
Remember, also, that Solomon poses the pessimistic and very human question of how does one know from our human perspective that the spirit of a beast goes down and the spirit of a man goes up? So, clearly some beasts or animals have a spirit as well, as we do. Notice also that all of the questions that skeptics and atheists pose to you God has already dealt with thousands of years ago if you would just let Him speak to you through His words and BELIEVE WHAT HE SAYS!
Ecclesiastes 3:18  I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them, and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. 19  For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity. 20  All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. 21  Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?
    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. 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.
Notice the terror of these judgments on the beast’s kingdom.
    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.
This preparation for Armageddon seems to draw those events about the 200 million strong army and in 14:20 the winepress and the blood up to the horses bridles together. The false prophet is first mentioned here as a reference.
This battle is going to be the ultimate confrontation in the Great Tribulation.
    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.

Verse 18 is the fifth verse mentioning an earthquake but this one is the biggest of all. The entire world is affected by this earthquake. This worldwide disaster, after the Battle of Armageddon, leaves the earth changed in appearance with every city crumbling and islands and mountains disappearing. This is a cataclysm like Hollywood likes to portray. Now, this Babylon will face its final judgment.

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