Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Mighty Angel with a Little Book

Revelation Chapter 10

Beginning with chapter ten there is a lull between the sixth and seventh trumpet blasts. This is similar to the lull that we found between the sixth and seventh seal judgments. In this chapter a mighty angel comes down to the earth with a little book in his hand.

In chapter nine we also see an angel come down from heaven having the key to the bottomless pit. In that chapter I said that there was no proof, or reason to say that the angel was anything other than just what the scriptures said it was, an angel. However in chapter ten I believe there is enough evidence to identify this angel. There is very little doubt that this angel is Christ. Let me mention a few proofs.

Many times in the scriptures Christ was referred to as an angel. Christ was the angel that wrestled with Jacob. He was the angel that walked with the Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace. There are many other examples we could give, but the point is that it is nothing new for the scripture to refer to Christ as an angel.
The description of this angel is very similar to the description of Christ found in chapter one. This angel is clothed in white, has a rainbow around his head, and his feet are like fire. No normal angel in the Bible was ever described in that manner.
When this angel cries out it is like the cry of a lion. John has referred to Christ as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah” in chapter five.
The most substantial proof is actually found in the next chapter. In chapter eleven this angel refers to the two witnesses as “MY two witnesses.” Therefore this angel must be Christ.

Now that we have identified the angel let us see if we can identify the book He holds in his hand. Some claim that this “little book” is Christ’s title deed to the earth. I do not believe this to be the case. First of all why would Christ give His title deed to John? Secondly, if the seven sealed book mention in chapters five and six is the title to the earth then it would seem strange to describe it as a “little book”. The seven sealed book takes years to open so it must be a large book.  Lastly, a title deed would not have the kind of effect of John that this book does.

I believe that this book is the book of Daniel. As Daniel completed the writing of his book the Lord told him to seal up the book until the time of the end.

“But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.”   Daniel 12:4, 9

We see this to be true in that this little book must contain something that will assist John in prophesying or in his work as a prophet.

We also note that the angel tells John that the book will be sweet as honey in his mouth, but bitter in his belly. As John begins to read the book of Daniel it is sweet in his mouth, for he sees the deliverance of his people and the reign of Christ in his kingdom and the final victory of the Lamb. But as John begins to study the book it becomes bitter, for he realizes that his people will have to suffer. They will suffer under the reign of Antichrist and under the judgment of God.

After John takes the book and reads it (digests it) we are told that seven thunders speak. John is forbidden to write what the thunders said; therefore it would be silly of us to speculate on this point.

As the chapter comes to a close John witnesses the angel proclaim that “time will be no longer.” This proclamation is that there will be no longer delay. The greatest of God’s judgments are about to be unleashed upon the earth. This will be the most terrible time in all of history to live. I’m glad I will not be here. How about you?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Woe, Woe, Woe

Revelation Chapter 9

As Revelation chapter 8 ends we witness an angel flying through the midst of heaven proclaiming three woes to the inhabitants of the earth. Beginning in chapter 9 we are given the first woe, and the beginning of the second woe. It will not be until chapter 12 that the final woe is come. Let us now look at some (in my opinion) most terrible judgments that will come during these seven years of tribulation.

First Woe (Fifth Trumpet)

When chapter nine begins we witness a “star” falling from the sky. The fact that this is not a literal star is pretty obvious. The fact that this star, or angel, falls from heaven does not imply that the angel is a fallen angel or Satan himself as some would imply. John simply is saying that this star descended from heaven at a rapid rate, so as to appear to be falling.

This is the same star angel found in chapter 20:1-3. The angel in chapter 20 is seen coming down from heaven with the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. The angel binds Satan and casts him into the pit for 1,000 years. The work of both angels is the same, to unlock and lock the bottomless pit.

There is a great deal of speculation as to who the angel of verse one is. I think that it is not important, and does not add to the importance of the scriptures. There is little doubt that this angel is not Satan, and I do not believe he is Christ. This more than likely is an angel that has been tasked with opening and sealing the bottomless pit.

The “bottomless pit” mentioned in these verses is not hell, nor is it Hades. This is a place where wicked, disembodied spirits are held. In the New Testament this bottomless pit is also referred to as the “abyss”. This place is so terrible that when Christ cast the demons out of the maniac in Luke 8 the demons begged Christ not to send them into the “abyss”. They would rather have embodied a group of pigs than to go to this terrible “abyss.”

When the angel opens the bottomless pit a group of demon locust comes forth. These are not ordinary locust. We know this because they were a combination of horse, man, woman, lion and scorpion.

These terrible creatures are instructed to torment those who do not have the seal of God on their forehead. This torment is so great that it lasts for five months. During this time of suffering men and women will be in so much pain that they will desire to die, but death will not be allowed. Can you imagine suffering pain so great that you wish you could just die and end it all, but death will not come?

These locusts have a king over them. The name of this king is “Apollyon” which means “The Destroyer.” Since Satan is not called by this name in the scriptures, this cannot be their king. Instead this demon is simply the king of the bottomless pit.

Second Woe (Sixth Trumpet)
When this trumpet blows four wicked angels are loosed. We know they are wicked angels because up until this point they have been bound. These four angels are the leaders of 200 million demonic horsemen. We can assume that they have been bound near the river Euphrates, where Satan’s seat was in ancient days, and where the New Babylon will stand.

Again these are not ordinary horses. Their heads were as the head of a lion, their tails like serpents and smoke, fire and brimstone comes out of their mouth. The invasion of this cavalry will leave behind millions of dead for they are commanded to kill 1/3 of all living. They will kill around one billion people. Men will die either by being burnt to death by fire, by suffocating on the smoke or by the sting of the serpent like tail.

They are sent to punish men for their idolatry, demon worship, murder, sorcery, fornication and theft. The staggering thing is that the men who are not killed still are unwilling to repent of their sins.

This is amazing for we have seen the release of 13 judgments, seven seals, and six trumpets. One would think that after experiencing these judgments men would begin to think of eternity, but this is not so, they continue to rebel. We are told in the word of God that men will not repent of their sins even after they have been placed into hell. In hell they continue to gnash their teeth and wail out against God. They are angry with Him and are not willing to repent.

These verses tell us of five sins that man would rather hold onto than turn to the Lord.

1.      Occultism – This will be a time of pronounced devil worship. We know that many will fall down and worship the image of the beast, but this is currently seen today. We see the same today however, on our street corners and televisions. What do you think psychics and astrologers are?
2.      Murder – In this day murder becomes a sport, it is pleasurable to them. Today we see the acts of terrorism and hate crimes that people commit without any remorse.
3.      Drug abuse – The word used for sorceries is “pharmicia” and is translated today as pharmacy or pharmaceutical. In all of the Old Testament and in the book of Acts the word sorcery is translated and means witchcraft and should be translated as such. There are five instances however in the New Testament where this word is translated differently.

These next two are interlinked. In an effort to support their drug abuse women will sell their bodies and men will steal.

4.      Fornication
5.      Stealing

What a terrible time to live in. I’m glad I will not be here. How about you?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hail, Fire and Blood

Revelation Chapter 8

As we talked about in the last blog, chapter seven was a blessing. This is not however the case with chapter eight. In this chapter we are told of great judgment, for we witness the opening of the seventh seal. And the seventh seal begins the sounding of the seven trumpets.

The judgment that is about to take place in this chapter is so severe that heaven becomes silent. As this judgment begins we find angels getting ready to unleash the judgment of God upon the earth. This judgment is to be so great that the twenty-four elders quit playing their harps, the angels hush their voices and the four beasts hold their praise. This silence lasts for thirty minutes. This may not seem like a long time, but when you consider that lives are on the line, and the tension is extremely high this time will seem like an eternity.

As you will soon notice, the judgment of God seems to get more severe with every minute. The seven trumpet judgments will be greater than the seven seal judgment, but will not be as severe as the seven vial judgments.

After the silence in heaven John notices seven angels of official importance, for they stand in the presence of God, and seven trumpets are given to them. In the Bible, trumpets are used to call to war, to worship and to proclaim festival.

They take the trumpets that are handed to them and take up their post ready to sound. Before however the seven angels blow their trumpets, we witness a prayer meeting take place in heaven. John sees at this time an angel with a golden censer in his hand come and stand before the golden incense altar. There is little doubt the angel in verse 3 is Jesus Christ. Christ is the one that witness to both God and man. Furthermore Christ is our great “high priest” so it would make sense that He is the one to minister at the golden altar.

This angel is seen offering the prayers of the saints along with incense. I believe the prayers being offered are the prayers of Revelation 6:10.

“And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, Oh Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”   Revelation 6:10
In chapter six the saints were told to be patient, but now they are going to be avenged. The silence of verse one is brought to a stop. As the angel cast the fire from off the altar to the earth we are told that there is thunder, lightning and an earthquake.

First Trumpet: Hail, fire & blood (v. 7)

It should be no problem for us to accept this verse at face value. Many would like to spiritualize it, but that is not needed. This is the literal fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel.

“Shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, Blood, and Fire, and Pillars of Smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come.”   Joel 2:30-31
This same type of judgment was mentioned in Exodus 9:22-24. At this time we will notice that God is going to repeat many of the judgments that took place in Egypt. No less than 5 of the 9 Egyptian judgments will be repeated during the tribulation period.

Second Trumpet: Sea turns to blood (v. 8-9)

This judgment no doubt is a large meteor falling to the sea. Notice the phrase “as it were a mountain”. This simply means that it was very large and as I’m sure John had never seen a meteor before this was the best way he knew how to describe it. We are always to take every word of the Bible literally unless God tells us otherwise. When God desires for us to spiritualize something, or not take it as literal He is clear to distinguish it as is done in this chapter.

As it hits the sea we are told that a third part of the sea becomes blood. The sea referred to in this verse is probably the Mediterranean Sea since most of these judgment focuses on that area. Again a similar thing happened in the book of Exodus.

Exodus 7:19-21

In the Egyptian plague Moses was able to turn all of the water of the Nile River to blood. Here only 1/3 of the sea is turned to blood.

The second trumpet judgment is so devastating that one third of the fish in the sea are killed and one third of the boats in the sea are destroyed possibly by a tidal wave.

Third Trumpet: Wormwood (v. 10-11)

This judgment is similar to the previous one. As this star falls to the earth it no doubt becomes ablaze as it passed through the earth’s gasses and vapors and burns like a torch or a lamp. We are told that one third of the worlds’ water supply becomes wormwood, or a deadly poison. This star ablaze will probably explode to affect a large area.

Wormwood is a very bitter perennial herb. Wormwood is used in the production of a highly addictive alcohol or spirit called absinthe. Absinthe is a very addictive drug and was banned in many countries for a number of years because of its dangerous nature. In fact if it is not highly diluted with water it can act as a poison.

This judgment was prophesied many years ago by the prophet Jeremiah.

“Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.”   Jeremiah 9:15

This is amazing for we realize that God is so great that He knows all the stars and where they are placed. This is very literal. At this very moment there is a star in the heaven prepared for a day of judgment. This star is named wormwood and will pollute one third of the worlds’ water supply.

Fourth Trumpet: Heavens changed (v.12)

This fourth judgment affects the stars in heaven. This is interesting, for on the fourth day of creation we are told that God said the following:

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:”   Genesis 1:14

At the sound of this trumpet one third of the lights in heaven are put out. The day is shortened by one third. It may be easily overlooked but imagine the suffering both mentally and physically that people will endure under the natural judgments. By the sun being shorted, and darkness taking over it will also affect the climate, the temperature. In one judgment God will remove light to lower the temperature, and then in another He will intensify the sun so that it scorches men. People will suffer depression because of the darkness and so on.

Woe to the inhabitants of the earth (v. 13)

The worst however is yet to come. For in the midst of these terrible judgments we are told that an angel flies through heaven and cries out “woe, woe, woe” for the next three judgments coming will be much worse than the first four.

As this angel cries out his “woe” we know that this correlates to Daniel 9 where we are told that the first three and one half years of judgment are no way near as severe as the last three and one half years. We even see this from the words of our Lord in Matthew 24:8 were He refers to the first three and one half years as the “beginning of sorrows”, but He refers to the last three and one half years as the “great tribulation.”

As the tribulation approaches it climax, the judgments from God become more severe and the loss of lives become greater. This can even be seen by the number of verses used to describe the judgments. The first four trumpet judgments were all described with one or two verses. The fifth trumpet judgment will occupy twelve verses and the sixth will occupy nine verses, as we will soon see.

Three woes await the people of the world:
  1. Woe because of the demon locust
  2. Woe because of the demon horsemen
  3. Woe because Satan will be cast to the earth

What a terrible time in history to live.