This voice comes from the heavenly Temple so it must be the voice of God Himself. He directs the angels to pour the 7 bowls (or vials) of God's wrath upon the earth.
I have worked on Revelation so there are other posts previous to this one. You need to see how patient, tolerant and long suffering God has been. He didn't just suddenly decide to punish human beings because He's in a sudden rage. If you only read this post, you will not see the whole, long picture of how God has consistently and steadily warned and given chances to these people. The history of God with human beings has been one of constant and careful work to bring as many as will choose Him into safety so that we won't suffer God's wrath! He provided the way of safety through His very Son, Jesus Christ. No one has to suffer God's wrath because God provided the solution. But there are many who refuse to acknowledge and accept Jesus Christ. We are all sinners and no matter how badly you've sinned, Jesus can forgive you and cleanse you of all unrighteousness. You are not too far gone and you are not too damaged for Jesus to save!!! If you think you are then you are limiting God. If you really think what you have done is unforgivable (and maybe it is according to human beings) then you are saying the work Jesus did on the cross was not enough and therefore He can't be God. As a Christian, Jesus directs me to forgive anyone who has harmed me. But I'm also a flawed human being and that makes it really hard to obey this command. As a Christian, I will try to forgive, I will struggle, eventually, over time, maybe I can truly forgive. That's between me and God and He will continue to work this out in me. But let me tell you, Jesus Christ is GOD and He forgives you as soon as you really want forgiveness. As soon as you turn your heart to Him and cry out, He is there and forgives. Your sins are washed away by His very blood and you are covered by His righteousness and you are saved! He doesn't have to have time, He doesn't have to struggle, He doesn't have to work on it. He did that work on the cross and you can benefit from it by simply believing in Him and crying out to Him. His love never fails. Now, you may still have the consequences of your sins and your sinful choices to deal with. But you aren't in it alone any more. As soon as you are saved, you are born again and He sends the Holy Spirit into your heart to help you learn about God and how to live as a Christian. The Holy Spirit is a very patient and consistent teacher. You may flounder like the rest of us, but He is there to continue to point you to Christ and lead you in a right direction. He is there for the rest of your life continually trying to prod you, teach you, show you, reveal to you, explain to you, etc. There is no teacher better than the Holy Spirit.
Unfortunately, many people will still refuse God. They prefer their sins and they reject every invitation to accept Jesus Christ. Their hearts become so hard, cold and evil that they no longer hear the calls of the Holy Spirit. They laugh, mock and jeer at God; declare He is dead; spit on and blaspheme Him. (Again, if even one turns to God in repentance, no matter how they've treated Him in the past, God loves them and will forgive them if they will accept Jesus Christ and repent of their sins. They are not beyond saving, but it has to be their choice.)
Dante Alighieri was an Italian poet. Dante was born in 1265 in Florence, Italy into a family of lower nobility. His mother died in his childhood, and his father died when Dante was 18. While in political exile, Dante began writing his masterpiece... The Divine Comedy. It is made up of three sections: Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise. The most famous is the story about Dante's trip through Hell, The Inferno. The Ancient Roman poet Virgil, who is the symbol of reason, serves as Dante's guide through Hell. On this tour of Hell, Dante meets mythological, historical, and contemporary people. Each character is symbolic of a particular sin and their punishment corresponds to their sins on Earth. They wind down through many levels and circles to the very pit where satan resides in the center of a frozen lake, not a lake of fire as the Bible says. Cast from Heaven for rebelling against God, satan is fixed for eternity with his upper body above the frozen lake. Frozen into the ice from which flow all the rivers of guilt, satan tried to escape by batting his wings but just freezes himself into place. Just as satan was a traitor against God, all traitors are frozen in the ice of the lake in the pit of hell. Virgil leads Dante down, climbing down Satan's back and leads Dante through a crack in the ice and out the other side. From this point they begin to ascend because they have passed through the center of Earth and face an upward climb to the Mountain of Purgatory. Without stopping, they follow a winding path toward Earth's surface. Just before dawn on Easter Sunday they emerge.
Let's look at the Seventh Circle on the spiral to the pit of Hell.
Blasphemers- stretched out on hot, sterile sand
Homosexuals - run in circles
Usurers - huddled on the ground
Punishment that fits the crime: fiery rain symbolizes God's wrath.
The third ring--inside the first two--is a barren plain of sand ignited by flakes of fire falling like snowflakes that torment three separate groups of violent offenders against God: those who offend God directly (blasphemers: Inferno 14); those who violate nature (sodomites: Inferno 15-16); and those who harm industry and the economy (usurers: Inferno 17).
A huge and powerful warrior-king who virtually embodies defiance against his highest god, Capaneus is an exemplary blasphemer. Dante's portrayal of Capaneus in Inferno 14.43-72--his large size and scornful account of Jove striking him down with thunderbolts--is based on the Thebaid, a late Roman epic poem. He climbs atop the walls protecting the city and directly challenges the gods: "come now, Jupiter, and strive with all your flames against me!" he deity gathers his terrifying weapons and strikes Capaneus with a thunderbolt. His hair and helmet aflame, Capaneus feels the fatal fire burning within and falls from the walls to the ground below. He finally lies outstretched, his lifeless body as immense as that of a giant.
Identifying the sins of the last two groups with Sodom and Cahors, Dante draws on the biblical destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire and brimstone (Genesis 19:24-5) and the medieval condemnations of citizens of Cahors (a city in southern France) for usury.
Based on biblical passages--fallen man must live "by the sweat of his brow" (Genesis 3:19), Jesus' appeal to his followers to "lend, expecting nothing in return" (Luke 6:35)--therefore lending money at interest was thought to be sinful. Thomas Aquinas warned that suicide violates the natural law of self-preservation, harms the community at large, and usurps God's disposition of life and death.
The point I wanted to make, is we are all sinners and all deserving of hell. Hell is not a place anyone should want to go whether it resembles Dante's imagination or not. In fact, just like we can't imagine how wonderful Heaven will be, we probably can't imagine how horrible hell will be. God's wrath is not something to trifle with. God has shown us love in providing a way of escape through His Son, Jesus Christ. But there is an end to His extension of mercy and grace. If you die without choosing Jesus Christ as your Savior, you have lost all further chance of mercy and grace. If you are here when the day of judgment comes and you have continued to reject God's offer of escape, you have lost all further chance of mercy and grace. Throughout your entire life, the Holy Spirit has called you and reached out to you and invited you. The love of God is yours for the taking but you have to choose to take it and accept Jesus Christ. Please don't put it off another second! If you died today, would you go to Heaven or Hell?
So now we see the last of God's wrath poured out in the seven bowls. Some of these bowls contain plagues like the plagues God sent the Egyptians when Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. Let's look at those plagues to refresh our memory.
1. Water into blood: Exodus 7:14–24
2. Frogs: Exodus 7:25–8:15
3. Lice: Exodus 8:16-19
4. Mixture of wild animals: Exodus 8:20-32
5. Diseased livestock: Exodus 9:1–7
6. Boils: Exodus 9:8–12
7. Thunderstorm of hail and fire: Exodus 9:13–35
8. Locusts: Exodus 10:1–20
9. Darkness for three days: Exodus 10:21–29
10. Death of firstborn: Exodus 11:1–12:36
Exodus 7:6-25 6 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. 7 Moses was eighty years old, and Aaron was eighty-three when they made their demands to Pharaoh.
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, 9 “Pharaoh will demand, ‘Show me a miracle.’ When he does this, say to Aaron, ‘Take your staff and throw it down in front of Pharaoh, and it will become a serpent.’”
10 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did what the LORD had commanded them. Aaron threw down his staff before Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a serpent! 11 Then Pharaoh called in his own wise men and sorcerers, and these Egyptian magicians did the same thing with their magic. 12 They threw down their staffs, which also became serpents! But then Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. 13 Pharaoh’s heart, however, remained hard. He still refused to listen, just as the LORD had predicted.
14 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Pharaoh’s heart is stubborn, and he still refuses to let the people go. 15 So go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes down to the river. Stand on the bank of the Nile and meet him there. Be sure to take along the staff that turned into a snake. 16 Then announce to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to tell you, “Let my people go, so they can worship me in the wilderness.” Until now, you have refused to listen to him. 17 So this is what the LORD says: “I will show you that I am the LORD.” Look! I will strike the water of the Nile with this staff in my hand, and the river will turn to blood. 18 The fish in it will die, and the river will stink. The Egyptians will not be able to drink any water from the Nile.’”
19 Then the LORD said to Moses: “Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and raise your hand over the waters of Egypt—all its rivers, canals, ponds, and all the reservoirs. Turn all the water to blood. Everywhere in Egypt the water will turn to blood, even the water stored in wooden bowls and stone pots.’”
20 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD commanded them. As Pharaoh and all of his officials watched, Aaron raised his staff and struck the water of the Nile. Suddenly, the whole river turned to blood! 21 The fish in the river died, and the water became so foul that the Egyptians couldn’t drink it. There was blood everywhere throughout the land of Egypt. 22 But again the magicians of Egypt used their magic, and they, too, turned water into blood. So Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted. 23 Pharaoh returned to his palace and put the whole thing out of his mind. 24 Then all the Egyptians dug along the riverbank to find drinking water, for they couldn’t drink the water from the Nile.
25 Seven days passed from the time the LORD struck the Nile.
Exodus 8 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go back to Pharaoh and announce to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you refuse to let them go, I will send a plague of frogs across your entire land. 3 The Nile River will swarm with frogs. They will come up out of the river and into your palace, even into your bedroom and onto your bed! They will enter the houses of your officials and your people. They will even jump into your ovens and your kneading bowls. 4 Frogs will jump on you, your people, and all your officials.’” 5 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise the staff in your hand over all the rivers, canals, and ponds of Egypt, and bring up frogs over all the land.’” 6 So Aaron raised his hand over the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered the whole land! 7 But the magicians were able to do the same thing with their magic. They, too, caused frogs to come up on the land of Egypt.
8 Then Pharaoh summoned Moses and Aaron and begged, “Plead with the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my people. I will let your people go, so they can offer sacrifices to the LORD.”
9 “You set the time!” Moses replied. “Tell me when you want me to pray for you, your officials, and your people. Then you and your houses will be rid of the frogs. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
10 “Do it tomorrow,” Pharaoh said.
“All right,” Moses replied, “it will be as you have said. Then you will know that there is no one like the LORD our God. 11 The frogs will leave you and your houses, your officials, and your people. They will remain only in the Nile River.”
12 So Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh’s palace, and Moses cried out to the LORD about the frogs he had inflicted on Pharaoh. 13 And the LORD did just what Moses had predicted. The frogs in the houses, the courtyards, and the fields all died. 14 The Egyptians piled them into great heaps, and a terrible stench filled the land. 15 But when Pharaoh saw that relief had come, he became stubborn. He refused to listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had predicted.
16 So the LORD said to Moses, “Tell Aaron, ‘Raise your staff and strike the ground. The dust will turn into swarms of gnats throughout the land of Egypt.’” 17 So Moses and Aaron did just as the LORD had commanded them. When Aaron raised his hand and struck the ground with his staff, gnats infested the entire land, covering the Egyptians and their animals. All the dust in the land of Egypt turned into gnats. 18 Pharaoh’s magicians tried to do the same thing with their secret arts, but this time they failed. And the gnats covered everyone, people and animals alike. 19 “This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the LORD had predicted.
20 Then the LORD told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 21 If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them. 22 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the LORD and that I am present even in the heart of your land. 23 I will make a clear distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous sign will happen tomorrow.’”
24 And the LORD did just as he had said. A thick swarm of flies filled Pharaoh’s palace and the houses of his officials. The whole land of Egypt was thrown into chaos by the flies.
25 Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron. “All right! Go ahead and offer sacrifices to your God,” he said. “But do it here in this land.”
26 But Moses replied, “That wouldn’t be right. The Egyptians detest the sacrifices that we offer to the LORD our God. Look, if we offer our sacrifices here where the Egyptians can see us, they will stone us. 27 We must take a three-day trip into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God, just as he has commanded us.”
28 “All right, go ahead,” Pharaoh replied. “I will let you go into the wilderness to offer sacrifices to the LORD your God. But don’t go too far away. Now hurry and pray for me.”
29 Moses answered, “As soon as I leave you, I will pray to the LORD, and tomorrow the swarms of flies will disappear from you and your officials and all your people. But I am warning you, Pharaoh, don’t lie to us again and refuse to let the people go to sacrifice to the LORD."
30 So Moses left Pharaoh’s palace and pleaded with the LORD to remove all the flies. 31 And the LORD did as Moses asked and caused the swarms of flies to disappear from Pharaoh, his officials, and his people. Not a single fly remained. 32 But Pharaoh again became stubborn and refused to let the people go.
Exodus 9 1 “Go back to Pharaoh,” the LORD commanded Moses. “Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 2 If you continue to hold them and refuse to let them go, 3 the hand of the LORD will strike all your livestock—your horses, donkeys, camels, cattle, sheep, and goats—with a deadly plague. 4 But the LORD will again make a distinction between the livestock of the Israelites and that of the Egyptians. Not a single one of Israel’s animals will die! 5 The LORD has already set the time for the plague to begin. He has declared that he will strike the land tomorrow.’”
6 And the LORD did just as he had said. The next morning all the livestock of the Egyptians died, but the Israelites didn’t lose a single animal. 7 Pharaoh sent his officials to investigate, and they discovered that the Israelites had not lost a single animal! But even so, Pharaoh’s heart remained stubborn, and he still refused to let the people go.
8 Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, “Take handfuls of soot from a brick kiln, and have Moses toss it into the air while Pharaoh watches. 9 The ashes will spread like fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, causing festering boils to break out on people and animals throughout the land.”
10 So they took soot from a brick kiln and went and stood before Pharaoh. As Pharaoh watched, Moses threw the soot into the air, and boils broke out on people and animals alike. 11 Even the magicians were unable to stand before Moses, because the boils had broken out on them and all the Egyptians. 12 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and just as the LORD had predicted to Moses, Pharaoh refused to listen.
13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand before Pharaoh. Tell him, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. 14 If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. 15 By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. 16 But I have spared you for a purpose—to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. 17 But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. 18 So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt. 19 Quick! Order your livestock and servants to come in from the fields to find shelter. Any person or animal left outside will die when the hail falls.’”
20 Some of Pharaoh’s officials were afraid because of what the LORD had said. They quickly brought their servants and livestock in from the fields. 21 But those who paid no attention to the word of the LORD left theirs out in the open. 22 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward the sky so hail may fall on the people, the livestock, and all the plants throughout the land of Egypt.”
23 So Moses lifted his staff toward the sky, and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and lightning flashed toward the earth. The LORD sent a tremendous hailstorm against all the land of Egypt. 24 Never in all the history of Egypt had there been a storm like that, with such devastating hail and continuous lightning. 25 It left all of Egypt in ruins. The hail struck down everything in the open field—people, animals, and plants alike. Even the trees were destroyed. 26 The only place without hail was the region of Goshen, where the people of Israel lived.
27 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “The LORD is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. 28 Please beg the LORD to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”
29 “All right,” Moses replied. “As soon as I leave the city, I will lift my hands and pray to the LORD. Then the thunder and hail will stop, and you will know that the earth belongs to the LORD. 30 But I know that you and your officials still do not fear the LORD God.”
31 (All the flax and barley were ruined by the hail, because the barley had formed heads and the flax was budding. 32 But the wheat and the emmer wheat were spared, because they had not yet sprouted from the ground.) 33 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and went out of the city. When he lifted his hands to the LORD, the thunder and hail stopped, and the downpour ceased. 34 But when Pharaoh saw that the rain, hail, and thunder had stopped, he and his officials sinned again, and Pharaoh again became stubborn. 35 Because his heart was hard, Pharaoh refused to let the people leave, just as the LORD had predicted through Moses.
Exodus 10 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Return to Pharaoh and make your demands again. I have made him and his officials stubborn so I can display my miraculous signs among them. 2 I’ve also done it so you can tell your children and grandchildren about how I made a mockery of the Egyptians and about the signs I displayed among them—and so you will know that I am the LORD.”
3 So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and said, “This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: How long will you refuse to submit to me? Let my people go, so they can worship me. 4 If you refuse, watch out! For tomorrow I will bring a swarm of locusts on your country. 5 They will cover the land so that you won’t be able to see the ground. They will devour what little is left of your crops after the hailstorm, including all the trees growing in the fields. 6 They will overrun your palaces and the homes of your officials and all the houses in Egypt. Never in the history of Egypt have your ancestors seen a plague like this one!” And with that, Moses turned and left Pharaoh. 7 Pharaoh’s officials now came to Pharaoh and appealed to him. “How long will you let this man hold us hostage? Let the men go to worship the LORD their God! Don’t you realize that Egypt lies in ruins?”
8 So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. “All right,” he told them, “go and worship the LORD your God. But who exactly will be going with you?”
9 Moses replied, “We will all go—young and old, our sons and daughters, and our flocks and herds. We must all join together in celebrating a festival to the LORD.”
10 Pharaoh retorted, “The LORD will certainly need to be with you if I let you take your little ones! I can see through your evil plan. 11 Never! Only the men may go and worship the LORD, since that is what you requested.” And Pharaoh threw them out of the palace.
12 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Raise your hand over the land of Egypt to bring on the locusts. Let them cover the land and devour every plant that survived the hailstorm.”
13 So Moses raised his staff over Egypt, and the LORD caused an east wind to blow over the land all that day and through the night. When morning arrived, the east wind had brought the locusts. 14 And the locusts swarmed over the whole land of Egypt, settling in dense swarms from one end of the country to the other. It was the worst locust plague in Egyptian history, and there has never been another one like it. 15 For the locusts covered the whole country and darkened the land. They devoured every plant in the fields and all the fruit on the trees that had survived the hailstorm. Not a single leaf was left on the trees and plants throughout the land of Egypt.
16 Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “I have sinned against the LORD your God and against you,” he confessed. 17 “Forgive my sin, just this once, and plead with the LORD your God to take away this death from me.”
18 So Moses left Pharaoh’s court and pleaded with the LORD. 19 The LORD responded by shifting the wind, and the strong west wind blew the locusts into the Red Sea.b Not a single locust remained in all the land of Egypt. 20 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart again, so he refused to let the people go.
21 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Lift your hand toward heaven, and the land of Egypt will be covered with a darkness so thick you can feel it.” 22 So Moses lifted his hand to the sky, and a deep darkness covered the entire land of Egypt for three days. 23 During all that time the people could not see each other, and no one moved. But there was light as usual where the people of Israel lived.
24 Finally, Pharaoh called for Moses. “Go and worship the LORD,” he said. “But leave your flocks and herds here. You may even take your little ones with you.”
25 “No,” Moses said, “you must provide us with animals for sacrifices and burnt offerings to the LORD our God. 26 All our livestock must go with us, too; not a hoof can be left behind. We must choose our sacrifices for the LORD our God from among these animals. And we won’t know how we are to worship the LORD until we get there.”
27 But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart once more, and he would not let them go. 28 “Get out of here!” Pharaoh shouted at Moses. “I’m warning you. Never come back to see me again! The day you see my face, you will die!” 29 “Very well,” Moses replied. “I will never see your face again.”
Exodus 11 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, “I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country. In fact, he will be so eager to get rid of you that he will force you all to leave. 2 Tell all the Israelite men and women to ask their Egyptian neighbors for articles of silver and gold.” 3 (Now the LORD had caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the people of Israel. And Moses was considered a very great man in the land of Egypt, respected by Pharaoh’s officials and the Egyptian people alike.)
4 Moses had announced to Pharaoh, “This is what the LORD says: At midnight tonight I will pass through the heart of Egypt. 5 All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt, from the oldest son of Pharaoh, who sits on his throne, to the oldest son of his lowliest servant girl who grinds the flour. Even the firstborn of all the livestock will die. 6 Then a loud wail will rise throughout the land of Egypt, a wail like no one has heard before or will ever hear again. 7 But among the Israelites it will be so peaceful that not even a dog will bark. Then you will know that the LORD makes a distinction between the Egyptians and the Israelites. 8 All the officials of Egypt will run to me and fall to the ground before me. ‘Please leave!’ they will beg. ‘Hurry! And take all your followers with you.’ Only then will I go!” Then, burning with anger, Moses left Pharaoh.
9 Now the LORD had told Moses earlier, “Pharaoh will not listen to you, but then I will do even more mighty miracles in the land of Egypt.” 10 Moses and Aaron performed these miracles in Pharaoh’s presence, but the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart, and he wouldn’t let the Israelites leave the country.
Exodus 12:1-42 1 While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the LORD gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron: 2 “From now on, this month will be the first month of the year for you. 3 Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice, one animal for each household. 4 If a family is too small to eat a whole animal, let them share with another family in the neighborhood. Divide the animal according to the size of each family and how much they can eat. 5 The animal you select must be a one-year-old male, either a sheep or a goat, with no defects.
6 “Take special care of this chosen animal until the evening of the fourteenth day of this first month. Then the whole assembly of the community of Israel must slaughter their lamb or young goat at twilight. 7 They are to take some of the blood and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the animal. 8 That same night they must roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad greens and bread made without yeast. 9 Do not eat any of the meat raw or boiled in water. The whole animal—including the head, legs, and internal organs—must be roasted over a fire. 10 Do not leave any of it until the next morning. Burn whatever is not eaten before morning.
11 “These are your instructions for eating this meal: Be fully dressed,a wear your sandals, and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the LORD’s Passover. 12 On that night I will pass through the land of Egypt and strike down every firstborn son and firstborn male animal in the land of Egypt. I will execute judgment against all the gods of Egypt, for I am the LORD! 13 But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.
14 “This is a day to remember. Each year, from generation to generation, you must celebrate it as a special festival to the LORD. This is a law for all time. 15 For seven days the bread you eat must be made without yeast. On the first day of the festival, remove every trace of yeast from your homes. Anyone who eats bread made with yeast during the seven days of the festival will be cut off from the community of Israel. 16 On the first day of the festival and again on the seventh day, all the people must observe an official day for holy assembly. No work of any kind may be done on these days except in the preparation of food.
17 “Celebrate this Festival of Unleavened Bread, for it will remind you that I brought your forces out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This festival will be a permanent law for you; celebrate this day from generation to generation. 18 The bread you eat must be made without yeast from the evening of the fourteenth day of the first month until the evening of the twenty-first day of that month. 19 During those seven days, there must be no trace of yeast in your homes. Anyone who eats anything made with yeast during this week will be cut off from the community of Israel. These regulations apply both to the foreigners living among you and to the native-born Israelites. 20 During those days you must not eat anything made with yeast. Wherever you live, eat only bread made without yeast.”
21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel together and said to them, “Go, pick out a lamb or young goat for each of your families, and slaughter the Passover animal. 22 Drain the blood into a basin. Then take a bundle of hyssop branches and dip it into the blood. Brush the hyssop across the top and sides of the doorframes of your houses. And no one may go out through the door until morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through the land to strike down the Egyptians. But when he sees the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe, the LORD will pass over your home. He will not permit his death angel to enter your house and strike you down.
24 “Remember, these instructions are a permanent law that you and your descendants must observe forever. 25 When you enter the land the LORD has promised to give you, you will continue to observe this ceremony. 26 Then your children will ask, ‘What does this ceremony mean?’ 27 And you will reply, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt. And though he struck the Egyptians, he spared our families.’” When Moses had finished speaking, all the people bowed down to the ground and worshiped.
28 So the people of Israel did just as the LORD had commanded through Moses and Aaron. 29 And that night at midnight, the LORD struck down all the firstborn sons in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sat on his throne, to the firstborn son of the prisoner in the dungeon. Even the firstborn of their livestock were killed. 30 Pharaoh and all his officials and all the people of Egypt woke up during the night, and loud wailing was heard throughout the land of Egypt. There was not a single house where someone had not died.
31 Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night. “Get out!” he ordered. “Leave my people—and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Go and worship the LORD as you have requested. 32 Take your flocks and herds, as you said, and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.” 33 All the Egyptians urged the people of Israel to get out of the land as quickly as possible, for they thought, “We will all die!”
34 The Israelites took their bread dough before yeast was added. They wrapped their kneading boards in their cloaks and carried them on their shoulders. 35 And the people of Israel did as Moses had instructed; they asked the Egyptians for clothing and articles of silver and gold. 36 The LORD caused the Egyptians to look favorably on the Israelites, and they gave the Israelites whatever they asked for. So they stripped the Egyptians of their wealth!
37 That night the people of Israel left Rameses and started for Succoth. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children. 38 A rabble of non-Israelites went with them, along with great flocks and herds of livestock. 39 For bread they baked flat cakes from the dough without yeast they had brought from Egypt. It was made without yeast because the people were driven out of Egypt in such a hurry that they had no time to prepare the bread or other food. 40 The people of Israel had lived in Egypt for 430 years. 41 In fact, it was on the last day of the 430th year that all the LORD’s forces left the land. 42 On this night the LORD kept his promise to bring his people out of the land of Egypt. So this night belongs to him, and it must be commemorated every year by all the Israelites, from generation to generation.
Let's compare them to the Seven Bowls of God's Wrath in Revelation 16.
Revelation 16:2 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and loathsome, malignant sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
Let's look at some of these words in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
loathsome, κακὸν (kakon) Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 2556: Bad, evil, in the widest sense. Apparently a primary word; worthless, i.e. depraved, or injurious.
malignant, πονηρὸν (ponēron), Adjective - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4190: Evil, bad, wicked, malicious, slothful.
sores, ἕλκος (helkos), Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 1668: A (festering) sore, a wound. Probably from helkuo; an ulcer.
There are those who see this as more symbolic than literal. I.e. there is someone or something or some group that is like a festering sore. Can you think of a group of people that can be like a festering, rotting sore in our society? Takers and not givers? Those who would steal from others so they can live in ease themselves? It could be drug addicts that are so addicted they no longer care about anything but getting the next fix. They would rob, steal, kill, and live in utter filth and sloth as they drag themselves through from one drug fix to another. They are worthless as long as they are in bondage to the drugs. Or could it be those who refuse to work, but don't mind taking handouts from the government on taxpayers expense? They continue to have children they don't take care of in order to get more government money. They are slothful and worthless. If they do exert themselves it's to do evil. They would sell drugs on a street corner or sell their bodies to get money to waste on themselves rather than taking care of their children or families. They would rather lay around all day and party and club all night as they waste any opportunity to do better. Their god is their appetite whether it's for sex, money, drugs, gold chains, glittering cars, or the latest fad in fashion. And if you get in their way, you can expect the evil, maliciousness to come out. They'd shoot you over a pair of tennis shoes or knock you over the head for the $20 bill in your wallet. Or maybe it's those rich people who seem to have all the money in the world and they waste and spend it on so much nothing. They have millions and billions so they spend it on any whim that crosses their minds. Week long parties on their latest yacht, with bags of drugs and alcohol. Everyone stays in a perpetual drug fueled haze and when someone comes down from it, it's time to end that party and go to something else. So they drop any problem people around them and head to the next thing. Maybe a new house in the best section of beach in California and they start another party. Or they take their private jets to their house on Monte Carlo or Aspen and start another party. Their kids are forgotten in boarding schools. When they finally get loose from the schools, they mimic others just like them and go from one fancy to another. Nothing has meaning, nothing is worth working for, no one has any higher purpose. They are depraved and mostly live to ruin and besmirch anything, or anyone, they come into contact with. A beautiful beach... they know how to trash it. A beautiful home... they know how to destroy it. A beautiful girl... they know how to ruin her. A beautiful country... they know how to drag it down and stomp on it.
Yes, I can imagine that these loathsome, malignant sores could be symbolic. But they can also be very literal.
In the history of mankind, many diseases cause sores that cause festering sores. The Black Death is thought to have originated in the dry plains of Central Asia, Kurdistan, Western Asia, North India and Uganda. Due to climate change in Asia, rodents began to flee the dried out grasslands to more populated areas, spreading the disease. Flea bites allow for the Yersenia pestis bacteria to pass the skin barrier. Epidemics that may have included plague killed an estimated 25 million Chinese and other Asians during the fifteen years before it reached Constantinople in 1347. It traveled along the Silk Road either via the traders or the Mongol Armies, reaching Crimea by 1343. During a protracted siege of the city by the Mongol army under Jani Beg, whose army was suffering from the disease, the army catapulted infected corpses over the city walls of Kaffa to infect the inhabitants. The Genoese traders fled, taking the plague by ship into Sicily and the south of Europe, whence it spread north. FIt was most likely carried by Oriental rat fleas living on the black rats that were regular passengers on merchant ships, spreading throughout the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. The Black Death is estimated to have killed 30–60% of Europe's total population. It took 200 years for the world population to recover to its previous level. The plague reached Sicily in October 1347, carried by twelve Genoese galleys.
After people catch the plague, the symptoms start 1-6 days later. You feel very sick and weak and may have a fever, chills, and headaches. Other symptoms depend on the three main kinds of plague:
Bubonic plague. This is the most common type. It causes buboes, which are very swollen and painful lymph nodes under the arms, in the neck, or in the groin. Without treatment, the bacteria can spread to other parts of the body.
Septicemic plague. This type is more dangerous than bubonic plague. It’s when the bacteria have moved into the blood. Signs include:
Bleeding under the skin or from the mouth, nose, or bottom
Blackened skin, especially on the nose, fingers, and toes
Belly pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and shock
Pneumonic plague. This is when the bacteria are in the lungs. It’s the rarest form of the disease. It’s deadly without treatment. It’s also very contagious because the plague can spread through the air when a person coughs. Symptoms include:
Cough, sometimes with blood
Nausea and vomiting
Antibiotics can be used to treat the rare cases of plague that still happen every year.
Smallpox is another disease that caused horrible blisters and usually resulted in death.
Pellagra is a disease caused by niacin, also known as vitamin B-3, deficiency. It's marked by dementia, diarrhea, and dermatitis, also known as “the three Ds”. The sores it causes are horrible. Before scientists found out what caused pellagra, it was a horrible way to die. The pellagra epidemic lasted for nearly four decades beginning in 1906. It was estimated that there were 3 million cases and 100,000 deaths due to pellagra during the epidemic.
Leprosy, also known as Hansen's disease (HD), is a is a chronic, progressive, long-term infection by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. Leprosy is spread between people, however extensive contact is necessary. It is thought that it is spread via nasal droplets but it still remains a mystery. The two main types of disease are based on the number of bacteria present: paucibacillary and multibacillary. The first noticeable sign of leprosy is often the development of pale or pinkish patches of skin that may be insensitive to temperature or pain. This is sometimes accompanied or preceded by nerve problems including numbness or tenderness in the hands or feet. Nerve damage is often irreversible. This is sometimes accompanied or preceded by nerve problems including numbness or tenderness in the hands or feet. The skin lesions are like ulcers. Without feeling pain, people injure themselves and the injuries can become infected, resulting in tissue loss. Fingers and toes become shortened and deformed as the cartilage is absorbed into the body. Leprosy originated in East Africa or the Near East and traveled with humans along their migration routes, including those of trade in goods and slaves. The four strains of M. leprae are based in specific geographic regions. Strain 1 occurs predominately in East Africa, Asia, and the Pacific region; strain 2 in Ethiopia, Malawai, Nepal/north India, and New Caledonia; strain 3 in North Africa, Europe, and the Americas; and strain 4 in West Africa and the Caribbean islands. For centuries, the very word, "leprosy," caused panic. It was a death sentence for thousands of years and a way or dying that was truly a horror. Hundreds of thousands still contract it each year. It is treatable now with leprostatic agents. But thousands still die.
Shingles is a rash with shooting pain. The virus is varicella zoster that causes chickenpox. After the chickenpox runs its itchy course, the virus retreats to nerve tissues near your spinal cord and brain, where it hides out. Doctors don’t know why, but sometimes the virus “wakes up” and travels along nerve fibers to your skin. That’s when it lands its second punch-shingles, also called herpes zoster. A weakened or compromised immune system can make you susceptible. The rash eventually turns into painful, red, fluid-filled blisters. They should begin to dry out and crust over within 7 to 10 days. You can spread the varicella zoster virus to people who’ve never had chickenpox and haven’t been vaccinated. You are contagious until all of the sores have crusted over. There are vaccines that are 90% effective now.
These are just a few of the most well known diseases or viruses that cause "loathsome, malignant sores". I don't recommend you use your imagination to come up with more like skin melanoma, etc.
It also particularly mentions that these sores come on people who took on the mark of the beast. Could it be some kind of reaction to whatever the mark of the beast is? For instance, if it's a microchip, could there be some reaction to the metals in the microchip? If it's more like a tattoo could there be some reaction to the ink of the tattoo?
It should remind you that this is something you don't want to have to live through if you can help it!
Revelation 16: 3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.
The Red Sea is so named because it becomes filled with blooms of cyanobacteria algae, called trichodesmium erythraeum, which, upon dying, turn the usually blue-green water, reddish-brown. Trichodesmium erythraeum algae, which clouds and muddies the usually translucent blue-green waters appear as red and pinkish blankets on the surface of these waters.
Many organisms around the world can cause these harmful algal booms (HABs), which are also known as red tides for their common rust-red color. In Florida, the culprit is usually the tiny, plant-like alga known as Karenia brevis, which produces toxins, dubbed brevetoxins, that cause both gastrointestinal and neurological problems when eaten. The salinity, temperatures, light saturation, chemistry, and currents around Florida all conspire to produce a bloom that may be blown to shore by the wind. Then Runoff from cattle farms and residential developments feed it. Each year brings more nutrient-rich waters—often laden with slimy cyanobacteria—flowing from Lake Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee river out into the Gulf of Mexico.
In Egypt, the Nile was their strength, and it became worse than useless when its waters were turned to blood. Earlier in Revelation the sea represented the tide of humanity. For those who see this verse in symbolism, the free movement of peoples, like the ocean, is the environment of nations. Swayed by impulse, and directed by worldliness, greed and evil, the sea of humanity becomes corrupt, killing any vestige of better life.
With all Christians gone from the scene in the late Tribulation period, I see these bowl judgments as more literal than symbolic but it could be both. Christians don't suffer the wrath of God, therefore we are safe in the ark of Christ and no longer here during the bowls of wrath. That means that only the unsaved, the lost, are left on earth. They are led by either satan himself in disguise or a satanically inspired leader with his false prophet and his world government and religion. So the sea of humanity, if this is what is meant, is utterly evil before the bowl is poured out. So I think it will be more of a literal pouring of something into the earth's seas that will turn them red and make them toxic.
Revelation 16:4-7 4 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters say: “Righteous are You, O Holy One, who is and who was, because You have brought these judgments. 6 For they have spilled the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” 7 And I heard the altar reply: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your judgments.”
Even what feeds into the sea is corrupt. The rivers, streams, underground springs, etc. are no longer fresh but are corrupted, polluted too. The Earth is covered in water but 97% of this water is salt water. The rest is fresh water but more than half of it is in polar ice caps, glaciers and permafrost. Every year, unsafe water sickens about 1 billion people and in 2015, 1.8 million people died from contaminated water. Every year, 3.5 million Americans contract health issues such as skin rashes, pinkeye, respiratory infections, and hepatitis from swimming in sewage-laden coastal waters. Groundwater can also spread contamination far from the original polluting source as it seeps into streams, lakes, and oceans. What happens if animals drink contaminated water? Their meat or their products (such as eggs, milk, etc) can be contaminated. What about contaminated water's effects on the soil and sinking into underground springs? When you try to farm using soil contaminated by polluted waters, the pollutants can find their way into the produce. Then there is seafood. We love fish and shellfish but how safe is it to eat when the seas are so polluted? Even fresh water fish can be contaminated by polluted waters or unsanitary conditions in fish farms. What happens when you don't have clean water to drink, or to cook in? What about clean water to bathe in, to wash clothes in? What happens when you can't rinse your vegetables in clean water or you can't wash your hands? In America, we are spoiled to having clean water right to our homes. Some have experienced how precious water is when we go through periods of drought or we live in an area that doesn't have natural water sources (such as Las Vegas and other desert communities) or where too much sea water has caused contamination of fresh water supplies (such as after a hurricane or wet season in Florida and Louisiana). But have you really ever thought what if there was NO more safe water and how it affects everything! The desperation would be immediate! Any "safe" water would become more valuable than gold.
If seen in a symbolic way, that which feeds into the mass of humanity, the seas of mankind, is also corrupt and polluted. So what would that be? What feeds the minds and actions of mankind? My first thought was media in all it's variances. Books, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, podcasts, internet websites. Art in all it's forms such as movies, plays, music, sculpture and paintings, etc. Then there is education. What is being taught to children and young people and adults? What is fed to them?
We have definitely seen how corrupt and polluted all of these forms of feeding mankind already are and the results. The filth that is poured into movies and television shows, books and the internet, is truly shocking. In my generation... just one generation... we've gone from television with shows that never used any offensive language, no blood or even a suggestion of sex to shows that do not stop the stream of filth running from the mouths of every character, even children. We are subject to constant sex and all it's perverted forms. The violence is explicit, extreme and continuous. They even slow it down so we can enjoy bullets blowing out brains in slow motion! And every. single. movie. has to show someone vomiting and going to the bathroom. Men and women are shown peeing and vomiting as though we are interested in these actions. Actors and actresses are paid big money to entertain us by showing us how they vomit and go to the bathroom?!?
Last night I was watching a movie which turned out to be a singularly bad movie. No story, no ending, and everything in it was stupid. But one thing I remember was an "artist" who invited an "art critic," who owned a gallery, to his "studio". In this huge room was a pile of trash bags full of trash and a single very large canvas with 2 blobs of paint on it. The "art critic" couldn't tell which was the artist's "work". Was it the pile of trash bags ready to go to the dumpster or the canvas with two blobs of paint on it? When he began to study the pile of trash bags, the artist said, "That's just the trash" and brought the critic to the canvas. It was so much nothing and the critic had nothing to study but he began to try and make something up. Finally the artist looked at the critic and said, "It's nothing. Nothing inspires me. It's your job to find something that inspires me."
Education is suppose to educate children so they can then follow whatever line of inquiry that interests them. We should be teaching the basics such as reading, writing, arithmetic, science, history. We should also be teaching them some skills such as organization, time management, research skills, and study habits so they can pursue further education. And then there are some basic life skills to help them handle a job. Being on time, commitment, typing/keyboarding skills, how to use a computer, how to use a library. And, finally, job skills in whatever career they want to get into such as medicine, law, welding, construction, retail/marketing, business administration, programming, finance, etc. Time in school is expensive to someone even if it's the taxpayers. So wasting time that would be better spent on real education is inexcusable. Sports is a sideline NOT a necessary part of education. You teach health and teamwork by adding some gym classes but for the VAST majority of the student body, they will not go into a sport as a career! It's a leisure time activity not a career. But for some reason high schools think they must each have a stadium, custom buses for the football team, a training facility and the highest paid "teachers" are the football coaches. Much of the budget for construction and for annual expenses goes to sports, most specifically for football, baseball and basketball. Why? Because parents desperately want those sports scholarships to college because college is too expensive. The inordinate amount of money spent on college sports that only helps 2% of the college student body who go on to professional sports is absurd. Every parent thinks like this: My children HAVE to go to college; college is super expensive today; I can't afford college; my children don't apply themselves in education so there will be no education scholarships; therefore my children will have to get a sports scholarship because those are handed out like candy to entice kids into college and then they get college loans at high interest rates because once they get started they HAVE to finish. It's a circular argument that is based on perceived necessities created by marketing strategies. First, your kids don't HAVE to go to college. Most college students aren't mature enough to value college. They use it as a party time and waste money by failing classes and having to re-take them. Second, a parent doesn't HAVE to pay for someone else's education. Let them pay for it themselves and if they can't, they don't go. It makes for hard choices which is also a learning tool. If they really want to go to college then they will be forced to make some decisions. Apply themselves in school and compete for educational scholarships, apply themselves in sports and compete for full college scholarships (not those $1000, $5000 kiddie scholarships), work to put themselves through college, work and save and wait to go to college. With fewer kids entering college because their parents aren't paying for them to party and waste time at a college, colleges will become more competitive in tuition. But universities have paid big money to consultants and marketing to create a need in parents' and teens' minds. And they cultivate that "need" in every way to keep bringing in new students and to keep stringing them along in order to squeeze every dime from every kid and parent out there.
Now back to our scripture. I can understand how someone would see this symbolically but I also know that our water sources can literally become polluted, or even infected by terrorism, so that our water supplies are compromised and the chaos it would cause. If a terrorist drops a biological warfare germ or virus or pollutant into our water supply that multiplies and causes death, then you could say the rivers and seas run red with the blood of the dead. As we saw earlier, there are algae blooms that can literally turn our seas and fresh water supplies into red tides of toxins and toxic fumes. So anyway you look at it, it can be done. Once polluted, an aquifer may be unusable for decades, or even thousands of years.
Revelation 16:8-9 8 Next, the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire. 9 And the people were scorched by intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent and give Him glory.
I learned a long time ago about how the earth was protected from the sun when God created the heavens and the earth. Let's look at the Creation in Genesis 1.
King James Version - KJV
Genesis 1:6-10 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
Let's look at this in a couple of translations.
New International Version - NIV
6 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
Contemporary English Version - CEV
6 God said, “I command a dome to separate the water above it from the water below it.” 7 And that's what happened. God made the dome 8 and named it “Sky.” Evening came, then morning—that was the second day.
9 God said, “I command the water under the sky to come together in one place, so there will be dry ground.” And that's what happened. 10 God named the dry ground “Land,” and he named the water “Ocean.” God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good.
Now let's look at these words in Strong's Exhaustive Concordance.
an expanse - רָקִ֖יעַ (rā·qî·a‘), Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 7549: An expanse, the firmament, visible arch of the sky
between - בְּת֣וֹךְ (bə·ṯō·wḵ), Preposition-b | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 8432: A bisection, the centre
If I read these 4 verses, stopped and thought about it, I might draw it like this.
Genesis 5:3-5 3 When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son in his own likeness, after his own image; and he named him Seth. 4 And after he had become the father of Seth, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 5 So Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.
I noticed two things: 1) Adam had just died when Noah was born! and, 2) Notice how the lives shortened after The Flood. Let's go back to Genesis and look at something else.
Genesis 2:5-6 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
Wait a minute! There was no rain! You read that right. What happens in a hot house environment? Ever been to a greenhouse, conservatory or hot house? It's a very damp environment isn't it? High humidity.
Now, much later, God sees the earth being filled but with evil!
Genesis 6:5 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
And He decides to protect Noah, and his family, who believes in God but send a Flood to wipe out all the others.
Genesis 6:8-9 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.
He commands Noah to build an Ark, then to gather food an animals for a long period of time. When it was time, God drew the animals to the Ark and shut Noah, his family, and the animals in the Ark for safety.
Genesis 7:1 And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation...7 And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood... 15 And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life. 16 And they that went in, went in male and female of all flesh, as God had commanded him: and the LORD shut him in.
Then the rain started. Remember, humanity had not experienced rain before. And this was no ordinary rain. It was a deluge! It would have to be to flood the whole earth. Where did that much water come from?
Genesis 7:10-12 10 And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. 11 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. 12 And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights.
And here is where we see the ice canopy that had protected the earth from the sun, melt and deluge the earth.
God did not entirely leave the earth without a protective layer from the sun. We still have the ozone layer.
We all know how important the ozone layer is to earth. It is a layer in the earth's stratosphere at an altitude of about 6.2 miles containing a high concentration of ozone, which absorbs most of the ultraviolet radiation reaching the earth from the sun. We have been seeing a thinning of the ozone layer and we already have holes in at the North and South Poles. So what happens if we lose the ozone layer altogether? Without this barrier in place, all of the radiation would reach Earth, damaging the DNA of plants and animals. Within days the plant life would be dead. The intensity of the sun's radiation would make photosynthesis impossible. Without plants, the food chain would collapse. Herbivores would starve. Omnivores and carnivores could feed off their bodies for a time, but their food supply would dwindle and cause widespread extinction. UV radiation can interfere with DNA and cell division processes in animals and humans leading to mutations, skin cancer, cataract in eyes, weakness in human immune response. Even with our ozone layer, we can’t stare at the Sun for more than 60 seconds without risking blindness - with a 100% decrease of ozone, blindness could set in immediately. Any humans left would have to go underground. But without vegetation, animals and crops, sustainability is gone. Without plant life, oxygen in the atmosphere decreases and CO2 increases. We couldn't breath. The ice caps would melt flooding like tsunamis deep into the interior of continents. But the water will begin to evaporate too. Losing the ozone layer is an extinction event.
So we've opened our minds to what would happen if God removed the ozone layer and let the sun hit our earth full blast. This would be a somewhat literal translation of Revelation 16:8-9. What if you look at it more symbolically? Could this represent nuclear bombs going off? One is incinerated at the point of the impact of a nuclear weapon or bomb. Nuclear radiation can cause a person's skin to blister and burn. Radiation sickness depends on the dosage of radiation you are exposed to. Acute Radiation Syndrome can result in death. The cause of death in most cases is the destruction of the person’s bone marrow, which results in infections and internal bleeding. Cells are damaged and may not can recover. Nerve cells (neurons) and brain blood vessels can die, leading to seizures. High doses of radiation can damage the cells in the blood vessels that feed the heart, reducing cardiac function. Sensitive cells in the intestinal lining can be damaged, leading to nausea, bloody vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. Rapidly dividing lymphatic cells die and damaged bone marrow may have trouble replenishing these immune-boosting cells, increasing the risk of infection.
US Nuclear Regulatory Commission, "It is believed that 50% of a population would die within 30 days after receiving a dose of between 3500-5000 mSv (3.5-5 Sieverts) to the whole body, over a period ranging from a few minutes to a few hours."
It could also be a meteor hitting the earth. On February 15, 2013 a meteor exploded in the sky over Chelyabinsk, southern Russia. Although no people or buildings were hit by the resulting meteorite, the shockwave from the exploding object injured about 1500 people and caused damage to 7200 buildings in the region.
Meteors are glowing fragments of rock matter from outside the Earth's atmosphere that burn and glow upon entering the Earth's atmosphere. They are more commonly known as shooting stars. Some meteors, particularly larger ones, may survive passage through the atmosphere to become meteorites, but most are small objects that burn up completely in the atmosphere.
A Meteoroid is a meteorite before it hits the surface of the Earth.
A Meteorite is a piece of rock from outer space that strikes the surface of the Earth.
Asteroids are small, rocky objects that orbit the sun. Most of them live in the main asteroid belt.
A Comet is a body that orbits around the Sun with an eccentric orbit. As a comet approaches the sun, solar radiation generates gases from evaporation of the comet's surface. These gases are pushed away from the comet and glow in the sun light, thus giving the comet its tail. While the outer surface of comets appear to composed of icy material like water and carbon dioxide solids, they likely contain a more rocky nucleus. Because of their eccentric orbits, many comets eventually cross the orbit of the Earth. Many meteor showers may be caused by the Earth crossing an orbit of a fragmented comet.
Large meteorites striking the earth would be catastrophic. The impact of a space object with a size greater than about 1 km (0.621371 miles) would be expected to be felt over the entire surface of the Earth. Smaller objects would destroy the ecosystem in the vicinity of the impact similar to a volcanic eruption, but a large impact could have a worldwide effect. Massive earthquakes up in the area of 13 on the Richter scale with many aftershocks that would be, on their own, considered large earthquakes. The dust it would put in the air would cause a cloud that would keep the sun from reaching the earth and therefore causing crops to fail. Blockage of solar radiation would also diminish the ability of photosynthetic organisms, like plants, to photosynthesize. Since photosynthetic organisms are the base of the food chain, this would seriously disrupt all ecosystems. Water sources would be choked with mud from the dust. Fire would rage out of control and the smoke would contribute to the air pollution. If it were to hit the ocean, a steam vapor with CO2 would enter the atmosphere. Huge tsunamis would ravage all coastlines wiping out coastal areas deep into the interiors. Large amounts of nitrogen oxides would result from combining Nitrogen and Oxygen in the atmosphere due to the shock produced by the impact. These nitrogen oxides would combine with water in the atmosphere to produce nitric acid which would fall back to the surface as acid rain, resulting in the acidification of surface waters. The loss of human life would be catastrophic and the effects to the earth as we know it might make survivors wish they hadn't survived. According to scientists who study our earth's past, there may have been mass extinctions a few times in the millions of years this dirt and rock has been around.
As a Christian, I believe God created the earth and our current human history is in the thousands of years, not the millions of years scientists claim. But that doesn't mean God hasn't had His Hand mixing this ball up for millions of years prior to our current human history. There may be millions of years between Genesis 1:1 and Genesis 1:2? I don't know. But if they are right, then meteors have hit this earth in the past and caused mass extinctions.
One way or another, I don't want to be around to see it.
Revelation 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish 11 and curse the God of heaven for their pains and sores; yet they did not repent of their deeds.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
throne - θρόνον (thronon), Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2362: From thrao; a stately seat; by implication, power or a potentate.
kingdom - βασιλεία (basileia), Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 932: From basileus; properly, royalty, i.e. rule, or a realm.
plunged into darkness - ἐσκοτωμένη (eskotōmenē), Verb - Perfect Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4656: (lit. or met.) I darken. From skotos; to obscure or blind.
[men] began to gnaw - ἐμασῶντο (emasōnto), Verb - Imperfect Indicative Middle or Passive - 3rd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 3145: To bite, gnaw, chew. From a primary masso; to chew.
tongues - γλώσσας (glōssas), Noun - Accusative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 1100: The tongue; by implication, a language.
anguish - πόνου (ponou), Noun - Genitive Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4192: (a) labor, toil, (b) pain, anguish, distress, suffering. From the base of penes; toil, i.e. anguish.
What if the sun disappeared? Total darkness would ensue. Anything in orbit around the Sun is basically moving fast enough to keep them from a freefall towards it. I.e. if the planets suddenly stopped moving they would immediately be pulled towards the Sun and fall into it. The suns gravity would no longer keep us in orbit and all the planets, asteroids, comets would retain their forward motion and would fly in a straight line into space. The Moon would disappear as it no longer has the Sun’s light to reflect. The planets in the sky would follow suit, disappearing one by one as the wave of darkness reached them. Within days the world would be a hundred or so degrees below freezing, and within weeks it’d be just 50 or so degrees above absolute zero. The atmosphere itself would also freeze and fall to Earth, leaving us exposed to the harsh radiation travelling through space. Sunlight is the catalyst for photosynthesis and without it, plants won't get the nutrition they need and they won't process Carbon dioxide to Oxygen. All plants die. Animals follow suit.
God could easily remove the sun. He created the earth and all of the universe. He could remove the sun. Or maybe He obscures the sun in some way.
On April 5, 1815, Indonesia's Mount Tambora erupted, it spewed approximately 36 cubic miles of rock and ash to heights of 18 miles, in what was the biggest eruption in recorded history. The ash cloud over the region expanded to cover an area approximately the size of Australia, and air temperatures there dropped as much as 20F. The ash obscured the sun for the next three years. Lord Byron wrote a poem about it:
By Lord Byron (George Gordon)
I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went—and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread
Of this their desolation; and all hearts
Were chill'd into a selfish prayer for light:
And they did live by watchfires—and the thrones,
The palaces of crowned kings—the huts,
The habitations of all things which dwell,
Were burnt for beacons; cities were consum'd,
And men were gather'd round their blazing homes
To look once more into each other's face;
Happy were those who dwelt within the eye
Of the volcanos, and their mountain-torch:
A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire—but hour by hour
They fell and faded—and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash—and all was black.
The brows of men by the despairing light
Wore an unearthly aspect, as by fits
The flashes fell upon them; some lay down
And hid their eyes and wept; and some did rest
Their chins upon their clenched hands, and smil'd;
And others hurried to and fro, and fed
Their funeral piles with fuel, and look'd up
With mad disquietude on the dull sky,
The pall of a past world; and then again
With curses cast them down upon the dust,
And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd
And, terrified, did flutter on the ground,
And flap their useless wings; the wildest brutes
Came tame and tremulous; and vipers crawl'd
And twin'd themselves among the multitude,
Hissing, but stingless—they were slain for food.
And War, which for a moment was no more,
Did glut himself again: a meal was bought
With blood, and each sate sullenly apart
Gorging himself in gloom: no love was left;
All earth was but one thought—and that was death
Immediate and inglorious; and the pang
Of famine fed upon all entrails—men
Died, and their bones were tombless as their flesh;
The meagre by the meagre were devour'd,
Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one,
And he was faithful to a corse, and kept
The birds and beasts and famish'd men at bay,
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead
Lur'd their lank jaws; himself sought out no food,
But with a piteous and perpetual moan,
And a quick desolate cry, licking the hand
Which answer'd not with a caress—he died.
The crowd was famish'd by degrees; but two
Of an enormous city did survive,
And they were enemies: they met beside
The dying embers of an altar-place
Where had been heap'd a mass of holy things
For an unholy usage; they rak'd up,
And shivering scrap'd with their cold skeleton hands
The feeble ashes, and their feeble breath
Blew for a little life, and made a flame
Which was a mockery; then they lifted up
Their eyes as it grew lighter, and beheld
Each other's aspects—saw, and shriek'd, and died—
Even of their mutual hideousness they died,
Unknowing who he was upon whose brow
Famine had written Fiend. The world was void,
The populous and the powerful was a lump,
Seasonless, herbless, treeless, manless, lifeless—
A lump of death—a chaos of hard clay.
The rivers, lakes and ocean all stood still,
And nothing stirr'd within their silent depths;
Ships sailorless lay rotting on the sea,
And their masts fell down piecemeal: as they dropp'd
They slept on the abyss without a surge—
The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
Of aid from them—She was the Universe.
Super volcanos - Debris that is "blasted into the upper atmosphere and beyond" would have been capable of quickly encircling the globe. There would be quantities of ash from wildfires following the event. As this ashy cover extended across Earth's atmosphere, it wouldn't block the sun completely, as a total eclipse does. But it would dim the sun's light enough to kill photosynthesizing plants and the animals that eat them.
A supervolcano is a volcano that ejects more than 240 cubic miles of pumice and ash during a single eruption. To put this into perspective, a super-eruption contains the force of 1,000 Hiroshima nuclear bombs exploding per second. A great deal of ash would fall in the surrounding region and a giant caldera depression would result as the ground collapses following the eruption due to the withdrawal of magma from within the volcano. Millions of tons of sulphur would be blown into the atmosphere. There is the potential for a supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park. If it fully erupted, the ash would bury a huge chunk of the United States and kill millions of people. The ash inhaled would form a cement-like substance in the lungs. Most of the magma of a supervolcano would not become lava but would instead be blasted into the atmosphere, and would float around as extremely hot and sharp particles. Some parts of the world would experience drought while others would suffer rainfall that would cause mudslides. Acid rain would be destructive. Water sources would be poisoned. People would become thirsty and dehydrated. When your body is dehydrated your brain could actually shrink and then begin swelling. Your blood thickens and makes it harder for your heart to pump. When thirst kicks in, your body clings to all remaining moisture. Your kidneys stop functioning. Your skin shrivels. Your mouth dries and your lips are parched. Your blood pressure drops, making you prone to fainting. You stop sweating, and without this coolant, you start to overheat. You could experience seizures Liver failure could kill you. Or toxic sludge builds up in your blood, and you have kidney failure.
Or will the earth be covered by smoke, dust and debris from an asteroid hitting the earth, or nuclear explosions?
If we take these verses symbolically, we might see it as the anti-Christ's world empire crumbles. The vial of judgment dissolves the integrity and organisation of his kingdom. Instead of the peace and prosperity he promised, the world begins to fall into chaos. The kingdom which boasted it would be bring a new light to mankind brought darkness instead.
"When men shut out the higher light, the smoke of their own candles will soon obscure the whole heaven." - Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers.
Who is the "higher light"?
John 8:12, Jesus speaking, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 12:46, Jesus speaking, "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness."
But these have rejected Jesus Christ. We cannot have a sunbeam without the sun. All those who are saved in Christ have been removed from the world and there is no spiritual light to lighten the darkness of men's hearts.
Isaiah 8:22 And they will look to the earth, but behold, distress and darkness, the gloom of anguish. And they will be thrust into thick darkness.
All the good they anticipated evades them and they cannot understand what has happened. They are blinded. They were told that if they submitted to the world ruler, supported him, joined his new religion, worshiped him, became his fervent follower, stamped out all opposition, took his mark, gave all to his cause, then the dawn of a new day would come upon mankind and there would be social justice, equality, harmony and peace, prosperity. But it's all fallen into chaos.
They can't face that they backed the wrong pony. They sold their soul for the promise of a better life only to find it's worse and their eternity is hell. They are in denial, blinded, mental and spiritual darkness. Unable to see, they refuse to repent.
"they gnaw their tongues in anguish" To bite, gnaw, chew their tongue or language. Boy, this reminds me of all the talk shows on television. I absolutely HATE them! You have news shows with pundits giving their opinions, shouting over each other, not letting each other get a word in edgewise, berating each other, etc. I think debate is good, but it's no longer a debate when everyone is talking and shouting at once to where no one can hear what the other is saying. It's simply arguing. They go round and round and no one is giving in or listening or practicing any social manners. Men and women talking over each other, berating each other until it's absolute madness. Then there are those opinion shows like The View where they sit around gossiping, opining, demeaning and berating others as though they were somehow superior. And they get into conflicts where Whoopi Goldberg walks off the show or they fire this one or that. There are the gossip shows where they critique what others wear, how they behave, someone's marriage, and pull apart anyone they focus on. And the tabloid talk shows where people mock, jeer, shout, curse and literally fight on the show. Are they not biting and gnawing on people with their language? Causing pain, anguish and despair?
"men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish and curse the God of heaven for their pains and sores; yet they did not repent of their deeds."
Instead of crying out to God, they "curse the God of heaven". They blame God for their distress and pain. Chance after chance after chance, warning after warning after warning, God has given them but they rejected and refused every time. Now it's come home to roost and instead of blaming themselves, they blame God. The very One who gave His Son so that they might live is now blamed and cursed. How hard, dark and evil our hearts can be to blame the One who held out His Hand to rescue for so long. He gave us a way out, He provided it, His love and mercy has been extended every second of our life. He sent the Holy Spirit to reveal Him to mankind and to call each heart to salvation through Jesus Christ. He implanted a seed of faith in each heart that could be activated if we chose to believe. Jesus gave His blood, His life, to rescue us. But we have to accept it. We have to choose to believe and reach out and grasp that Hand of mercy! If we choose not to, we live with the consequences of our own choice. But how desperately wrong is it to blame God for your own choice? I guess it's easier to live with to blame someone else for misery you created and chose. Misdirected anger is an age old human dodge.
Sometimes people who are hurt get angry at someone but direct their anger at the person closest to them. They pour their venom on an innocent person because they know that person will take it and stick around. They are projecting their mistakes, or misdeeds, onto others. It's a psychological defense mechanism. A psychological defense mechanism is a way to avoid or escape from something whether it's escaping worse consequences or escaping upsetting, shameful, or anxiety-laden feelings we don't know how to cope with. For instance, if your boss makes you mad you can't explode all over him/her because you would lose your job. The consequences of your anger would be too financially devastating. So you bite your tongue and stew inside. Then you go home and jump down your wife's throat because dinner isn't cooked yet. You pummel her with your words and fury because she can't do anything about it and she will let you demean and abuse her and still be there cooking your dinner. In your eyes, she is the object of your wrath and you have "every right" to be angry but in reality, it's a dodge. You are really angry with your boss and you just took his face and put it over hers like a mask and you dumped on her as though she was your boss. Another example would be if your teenager is failing a grade because he won't attend classes, or refuses to do the work. As a parent, you have to live with this kid and he makes your life a living hell if you chastise him. It's too much trouble for you to stay after him and make sure he does his homework, to discipline. So you take out your anger on his teacher. You blame her. If she was "doing her job" he wouldn't be failing. If she was a "real teacher" he would be learning and would engage but she's not a good teacher and should be fired. You go off on her. Or let's say your husband is cheating on you and you find the evidence. It's too painful to face what this means in your life so you blame the other woman. You call her in a rage, you meet her in the parking lot wanting to fight, you devise ways of revenge to ruin her life. You are dumping all those pent up emotions on the other woman because you can't acknowledge what your husband has done and the results. Does it mean divorce? Are you financially able to support yourself as a single again? What about the children? How will this affect them? Does this mean you weren't lovable and will never have anyone who will love you? Will you be alone in your old age? How do you break apart and separate a whole life that has been knit together?
And then there are those things which you have done yourself, but you can't face the consequences, the shame, the guilt so you project them onto an innocent person. In your mind it really is because the waitress forgot to bring you a glass of water. But your reaction is so blown out of proportion it should alert you that it's not really her. Unfortunately, once we've spewed all over someone else, our pride refuses to let us acknowledge that we made a big mistake and apologize. So we smugly cling to our rags of rage and waltz out the door without an apology or a tip. We harumph and prevaricate and make up all kinds of reasons and excuses to justify our behavior.
Have you ever watched a group of monkeys on a show or Youtube? In their little social setting, they exhibit so many of our human tendencies but in a more primal way. It's funny to watch them. But it's embarrassing to see simple monkeys acting out how we do as humans. Let's say Monkey A steals a banana from Monkey B. Monkey A is a big monkey and is higher in the hierarchy so Monkey B, despite being mad about losing his banana, runs over to Monkey C, the runt monkey, the little monkey, and starts screeching and thumping his chest. Monkey C has no idea what all the fuss is about and is confused. Meanwhile Monkey B is picking up tufts of grass and throwing them on Monkey C, screeching and dancing around, chasing Monkey C. All this while Monkey A is calmly and peacefully eating the banana. When you see it this way, it's right shameful how we behave. Like the lower animals.
Revelation 16:12-16 12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. 14 These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God, the Almighty.
15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.”
16 And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The Euphrates is first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis as one of the rivers of Paradise.
Genesis 2:10-15 10 Now a river flowed out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it branched into four headwaters:
11 The name of the first river is Pishon; it winds through the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is pure, and bdellium and onyx are found there.
13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it winds through the whole land of Cush.
14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it runs along the east side of Assyria.
And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 Then the LORD God took the man and placed him in the Garden of Eden to cultivate and keep it.
"It is next mentioned in connection with the covenant which God entered into with Abraham (Genesis 15:18), when He promised to his descendants the land from the river of Egypt to the river Euphrates (Compare Deuteronomy 11:24; Joshua 1:4), a covenant promise afterwards fulfilled in the extended conquests of David (2 Samuel 8:2-14; 1 Chronicles 18:3; 1 Kings 4:24). It was then the boundary of the kingdom to the north-east" - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Euphrates
Genesis 15:18 On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates,"
Joshua 1:4 From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun shall be your territory.
"Just as the Nile represented in prophecy the power of Egypt, so the Euphrates represented the Assyrian power (Isaiah 8:7; Jeremiah 2:18)". - Easton's Bible Dictionary - Euphrates
Isaiah 8:6-8 5 The Lord spoke to me again:
6 “Because this people has rejected the gently flowing waters of Shiloah
and rejoices over Rezin* and the son of Remaliah**,
7 therefore the Lord is about to bring against them the mighty floodwaters of the Euphrates—
the king of Assyria with all his pomp.
It will overflow all its channels,
run over all its banks
8 and sweep on into Judah, swirling over it,
passing through it and reaching up to the neck.
Its outspread wings will cover the breadth of your land, Immanuel
* King Rezin of Aram or Rasin of Syria in DRB ruled from Damascus during the 8th century BC. During his reign, he was a tributary of King Tiglath-pileser III of Assyria. Rezin conspired with a number of Levantine kings (e.g., Hiram II of Tyre) to rebel against Tiglath-Pileser III. When he took Damascus, he killed Rezin.
** Pekah was the son of Remaliah. He was a captain in the army of king Pekahiah of Israel, whom he killed to become king. He reigned twenty years. When Pekah allied with Rezin, king of Aram to attack Ahaz, the king of Judah, Ahaz appealed to Tiglath-Pileser III, the king of Assyria, for help. This the Assyrian king obliged, but Judah became a tributary of Assyria. According to 2 Kings 16:9, the population of Aram was deported and Rezin executed. In 2 Kings 15:29, Tiglath-Pileser attacked Israel and deported the people to Assyria. Soon after this Pekah was assassinated by Hoshea ben Elah (that is, Hoshea the son of Elah) - a captain from Pekah's own army - who then took the throne.
Jeremiah 2:2-3 2 “I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the wilderness,
through a land not sown.
3 Israel was holy to the Lord,
the firstfruits of his harvest;
all who devoured her were held guilty,
and disaster overtook them,”...
5 “What fault did your ancestors find in me,
that they strayed so far from me?
They followed worthless idols
and became worthless themselves."...
7 "I brought you into a fertile land
to eat its fruit and rich produce.
But you came and defiled my land
and made my inheritance detestable."...
13 “My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water."...
18 "Now why go to Egypt
to drink water from the Nile?
And why go to Assyria
to drink water from the Euphrates?"...
36b "You will be disappointed by Egypt
as you were by Assyria.
37 You will also leave that place
with your hands on your head,
for the Lord has rejected those you trust;
you will not be helped by them."
Jeremiah 51:63-64 (The Lord speaking to Jeremiah) "When you finish reading this scroll, tie a stone to it and cast it into the Euphrates. 64 Then you are to say, In the same way, Babylon will sink and never rise again, because of the disaster I will bring upon her. And her people will grow weary.”
The Euphrates formed the barrier between Israel and the hostile northern and eastern kingdoms. Back then, the river was a barrier, hard for an army to cross and thus an impediment to war. But if it's dried up, there no longer is a barrier. The meaning is that a barrier that wards off hostile armies is removed. Babylon would signify the kingdom of the beast. The kings of the east would represent God's judgments or be used to bring God's judgments. The "kings of the east" are the forces ranged on the side of God. The sun rises in the east and the sun is a frequent figure of Christ in scripture.
Luke 1:76-79 (parenthesis mine) 76 And you, child (speaking of Jesus), will be called a prophet of the Most High;
for you will go on before the Lord to prepare His ways,
77 to give to His people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
by which the Dawn will visit us from on high,
79 to shine on those who live in darkness
and in the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the path of peace.”
The great dragon, satan, will collect all his forces, to make one desperate struggle before all be lost. No longer constrained.
Isaiah 44:27 When I speak to the rivers and say, 'Dry up!' they will be dry.
Revelation 16:13-14 And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. 14 These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God, the Almighty.
These three spirits represent the influences of the dragon, the first beast and the second beast. The devil, the anti-Christ and the False Prophet. The devil, the world, the flesh. The evil trinity. These demons look like frogs because frogs catch their prey with their tongues. They lie, deceive, charm, flatter, delude, persuade to rebel against God. They are ready to use every trick in the book. They come out of the swamp of darkness and evil. They jump around instigating rebellion against God. They fill the air with their croaking meaningless noise.
The second plague in Egypt in the days of Moses was the plague of frogs. They came “out of the river” and infiltrated everywhere even in their beds. When God removed the plague “the frogs died out of the houses, out of the villages and out of the fields. And they gathered them together, upon heaps, so that the land stank” (Exodus 8:13-14). Similarly the frog spirits will gather the nations to rebel against God and they will be slain. Like the Egyptian frogs, there will be so many of them that it will take 7 months to bury the dead (Ezekiel 39: 12). Why frogs? The Egyptians worshiped many gods and one was a woman with a frog head named Heqet. Their false god could not help them.
These frog spirits "perform signs". Pharaoh's occult priests copied the frog plague:
Exodus 8:7 And the magicians did so with their enchantments, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt.
Satan and his minions often counterfeit the supernatural works of God to entice unbelievers.
In researching these three frog-like spirits I saw so many different interpretations of them that it was confusing. Everything from Pope/papacy/Roman Catholicism to aliens and everything in between. Let's look at exactly what the scripture says:
Revelation 16:13-14 And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. 14 These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God, the Almighty.
- First, the unclean spirits come out of the mouths of the devil, anti-Christ, and the False Prophet. It as if they vomited these spirits out.
- Second, these are "unclean spirits that look like frogs". Not necessarily frogs but look like them.
- Why frogs? According to Jewish dietary laws all reptiles and amphibians are considered unclean animals and cannot be eaten. They are "unclean".
- These are demonic spirits.
- They perform signs.
- They go out to all the kings of the earth.
- Why? To assemble them for battle on the great day of God
Matthew 12:34 (Jesus speaking) "You brood of vipers! How can you speak good things, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks".
Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life, but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence.
Psalm 14:1 Fools say in their hearts, "There is no God." They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is no one who does good.
Luke 6:45 The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.
The definition of "word" is a unit of language, consisting of one or more spoken sounds or their written representation, that functions as a principal carrier of meaning. I.e. our words express meaning. It's not just sound, our words have meaning. We intend to express something when we speak words. According to the Bible, we speak what is in our hearts, good or bad.
First two stanzas of Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll
’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”
This doesn't make any sense does it? Words strung and made up but convey nothing, nonsensical. There is no interpretation, no understanding. So our words come out of us as a way to express what we are thinking, what we want, imparting information, a method of communicating. So what are these frog-like demonic spirits trying to do? They are communicating and they come from an evil heart.
So how does a world leader and his religious leader, inspired by the devil, communicate to all the kings of the earth? Back in John's time on the Isle of Patmos, there were no satellite communications, no television, no Internet, no 24 hour news channels, no printing presses. But today we have all those things. Communication on a world wide scale is imperative to the evil trinity to get their messages out and to control people. Maybe the frog-like demons are talking heads of the devil's own, and only, 24/7 news channel. Any other news channels will have been stopped because the anti-Christ will not tolerate any other views than his own. He will control the media and it will be used for propaganda on his behalf. People will be told what to think and what to do. The devil's own propaganda will be drilled into the population day after day. Or maybe they will manifest as the press agents of the anti-Christ ruler and his false prophet, the High Priest of his world religion in which he is worshiped. Or would they be revealed in those who would travel around the world like Secretaries of State promoting his agenda which is now an all out war. A once-and-for-all, winner-take-all, survival-of-the-fittest battle!
We may be assuming too much because we are basing it on the world as we know it today. But by this time so much has happened. Natural disasters that have no prior parallel, deaths of millions of people, acts of God in judgments, and the rapture of the church. This is going to leave a society on earth in shambles, refugees surviving day by day, resources disrupted. The ones left are survivors of some horrendous stuff. Without the Holy Spirit and the influence of Christianity, it may be total evil and chaos. I believe that is how a one-world government will be accepted to begin with. The promise of order, peace, provision, prosperity will be the highest desire of most of those left behind. But, they have been under the rule of this new world order and it's world religion for a few years now and it's not getting better but worse. There will have to be the ability to communicate world wide. So some form of communication will still be available. The propaganda machine will be grinding out the message of the anti-Christ and now the orders to start gathering for the Battle of Armageddon.
These demonic spirits, or whoever they may inhabit, will "perform signs". If anyone is reluctant, they will be persuaded by some type of sign.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
"that perform", ποιοῦντα (poiounta) - Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4160: (a) I make, manufacture, construct, (b) I do, act, cause. Apparently a prolonged form of an obsolete primary; to make or do.
"signs", σημεῖα (sēmeia) - Noun - Accusative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 4592: Neuter of a presumed derivative of the base of semaino; an indication, especially ceremonially or supernaturally.
So what is the "sign"? It may, or may not, be something supernatural. If you look at the definitions it says they will "perform" which means to make, manufacture, construct or cause some type of sign which is an indicator.
In the 1961 James Bond movie, Thunderball, one scene has the Spectre leaders around a conference room table. With the flick of a switch on his control console, master villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld can electrocute a seat's occupant. The dead body is disposed of by the floor opening up and seat/body drops through the hole. Blofeld uses this equipment to execute No. 9, who he believes is guilty of embezzlement. "Here's your sign!"
Is it possible that the sign(s) could be something like that. Sudden death if you don't do what the anti-Christ demands of you? Therefore anyone who would be reluctant is dealt with and the rest are too scared to say no.
No matter what, we know from this verse that these are evil, demonic communications out of the mouths of the devil, the anti-Christ and the false prophet and they are drumming up war. They are calling for all the leaders of nations to gather armies together. Somehow they are persuasive enough using some type of signs.
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.”
New Living Translation - NLT "Look, I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their clothing ready so they will not have to walk around naked and ashamed."
We have seen similar phrases in other scripture, let's look:
Matthew 24:42-44 Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.
Luke 12:35-38 Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning. 36 Then you will be like servants waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can open the door for him at once. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master finds on watch when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve and will have them recline at the table, and he himself will come and wait on them. 38 Even if he comes in the second or third watch of the night and finds them alert, those servants will be blessed!
2 Peter 3:9-11 The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be dissolved in the fire, and the earth and its works will not be found. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 Now about the times and seasons, brothers, we do not need to write to you. 2 For you are fully aware that the Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and security,” destruction will come upon them suddenly, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
4 But you, brothers, are not in the darkness so that this day should overtake you like a thief. 5 For you are all sons of the light and sons of the day; we do not belong to the night or to the darkness. 6 So then, let us not sleep as the others do, but let us remain awake and sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night; and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. 8 But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and the helmet of our hope of salvation.
9 For God has not appointed us to suffer wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with Him.
I love those last two verses! They are the promise that I will NOT suffer the wrath of God because I'm saved through Jesus Christ! Praise God! And since it's in the context of the last days, end times, I'm safe because I am saved. Are you?
First, these verses remind us to be ready for whatever the Lord would have us do. As Christians, we should strive to be ready to obey and serve as He commands.
Some Christians (including me) can get slothful, lazy in their Christian walk. They aren't reading the Bible regularly; they aren't attending church regularly; they aren't praying or praising regularly. Their relationship with God has become stale. God has not moved but we tend to back off from Him to do our own thing. But we need contact with the Father just as much as we need sleep, food, water. It's that basic of a need. As Christians our spirits are born and our spirit is now just as much a part of us as our physical bodies and our emotional souls. We are a three part being like God is a Trinity. If we feed our body nutrients to keep it working, then we should feed our soul good things to keep our minds sharp and good and we should feed our spirit with contact with our Creator, God!
I have a vitamin regimen. I have found certain vitamins to be effective in helping me and I try to remember to take them every day. There are some vitamins for menopause that I need daily or I suffer horrible hot flashes. I was having hot flashes 2-3 times an hour round the clock! It was out of control for years. I tried everything from hormone replacement therapy (worst thing I ever did! I warn you, don't do HRT!), different vitamins and powders, shakes, patches, creams, shots, etc. It was like my body rejected all of it. Nothing worked until I found a particular vitamin. If I take two per day, I have rare hot flashes. So, do I take it every day? Your darn tootin' I try to take it every day. Same with other vitamins that I've found, over long experience, help me. Exercise is another way to help my physical body.
I've also found that my soul (my emotions, intelligence, personality, experiences) needs some attention too. I'm a very sensitive person with emotions always teetering, jeering and bouncing. Not manic but highly nervous and depressive. I've suffered depression since I was a child and have had breakdowns. I finally started taking anti-depressants in my late 30's and I wish I had had them all along. It's helped slow down my mind so I can have more control over my thoughts and I try to guide my thoughts in better ways. Not always successful but God is good and He's taken the reigns on days when I'm out of control because I'm still here. So do I take my prescribed medications? Yes I do! I never miss a day taking my antidepressant because that's one place I don't want to go ever again! I try to exercise my brain both in puzzle solving and creative ways (right and left brain sides). I try to learn new things. I try to build on my experiences to be a well rounded person. I read a lot.
So what about my spirit? Am I doing what it takes to keep my spirit healthy, strong and growing? I can take vitamins and prescribed medications all day long but it's not going to help my spirit. My spirit needs something different. It needs contact with the Father, daily. I can't coast for long without my Father. Like a fetus needs that umbilical cord attached to the mother to receive nutrients that help it grow and develop, I need to attach to the Father and receive His life and strength for my spirit. How do I do that? One way is reading and studying His Word.
Matthew 4:4 But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
He gave me a written communication from Himself to me (and to everyone). It's a very long love letter where He describes Himself and His love for me. He also tells me the things I need to do to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit. He warns me and gives me visualization stories to help me see what obedience and disobedience can result in. But it's not only a written communication... He endued it with power.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
James 1:21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
"The Bible holds supreme authority by virtue of its Author, who is the King of creation and thus Ruler over all the earth. The Bible’s authority is inherent in its every word. Scripture is God’s revelation in history. Just as there is no higher authority in an earthly kingdom than a king – there is no higher authority you and I can appeal to than the Word of God in God’s kingdom." - Tony Evans
"The Bible is not simply words about God, it is the Word of God. Many people learn about God from the Bible, which is good – but that is not where you are to stop. The Word of God is the voice of God in print." - Tony Evans
I'm one of those "fundamentalists" who believe every word in the Bible. The more deeply I study it, the more truth I find and so I don't try to find fault in the Bible, I dig to find truth. Some people, who only have a nodding acquaintance with the Word (and even those are getting rare as no Biblical references are taught outside of church and home), will say there are too many differences and inconsistencies. But every time I find something that I think is an inconsistency and study it, I find I was the one that was wrong.
Once we went to visit Monticello, the home of one of the founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. I was shocked to find that he saw the Bible only as a manual to teach good and virtuous habits but he did not believe everything in the Bible. So he literally took scissors and cut out the things he believed and pasted them to make his own Bible. It's called the Jefferson Bible and you can buy it today. But I had to think... "Who were you to think you knew what was worth keeping and what was worth throwing away in the Bible? What an ego! You thought you could decide what should and shouldn't be in the Bible? Wasn't pride in your own intelligence really your god? Did you really think you were so much smarter than the God of the Universe and therefore you set yourself up as god (on a pedestal in a shrine like Monticello or the Jefferson Memorial)? You really thought you knew what was, and was not, a communication from God?" Now, I realize people wrote the Bible and people decided what would go into the Bible but study your Bible history before you make an assumption or a leap. Also, the fact that the Bible has changed lives over centuries is a powerful testimony to it's efficacy and fidelity. And I can attest to the power it's had in my own life.
I've studied not only the Bible but the history of the Bible to be sure in my mind every word is from God. But then, I came to it in faith. Maybe that's the difference. I was raised in a Christian home, went to church and learned early the songs and the stories of the Bible. I've been a big reader and studying the Bible has always been important to me. So there has never been a time in my life when I didn't hold the Bible in high regard. I remember as a 10 year old wanting to read the Bible from start to finish. My parents had given me a Bible (I still have it) but it was the King James Version and when I would try to read it, I would get just past the Noah and the Ark story and I'd start getting confused. So I gave up. But then as a teenager, my Aunt Judy gave us all a Living Bible (modern paraphrase) and I devoured it! It was written in a language I could understand and I was older with a lot of reading and comprehension skills by then. I decided that I would go up a notch and next I read the New American Standard Version. Then I went to the NIV and then to the New King James Version. I haven't tackled the original King James Version because all those "thee"s and "thou"'s are confusing. My point is I started studying it and reading it with faith that it was real. I didn't read it in the context of "I'm going to find fault" but in the context of "I'm going to find the truth about what that really means because it's from God. I's my misunderstanding that's the problem, not His Word."
I'm not a trained Bible Scholar. I never learned Greek and Hebrew and didn't go to universities. But I have a long history of study and attending church and Bible study classes. And everything that I have found, discovered, and learned, has shown me the Bible is truth. We may not understand something, but if we dig deep enough, we learn that the misunderstanding is on our side, not His. The truth comes out and I slap my head and say, "Of course! That makes sense now!" There are so many things I can add to my list of "Things To Study In The Bible" that I never grow tired of studying it. As I read it, I come across something I may not understand. I can add it to my list and go back later and research it and read up on it. The Internet has helped me tremendously. It's all at my fingertips now. But I used to have the normal study reference books like Bible dictionaries, Bible commentaries, Bible concordances, study Bibles. I would (and sometimes still do) drag them out with my notebook and pen. I can journal what I learn. Usually I blog it. I blog my meditations on it too (as you can see in this post). The thoughts that come to me, the direction of my thoughts as I read the Word.
What is another way of making contact with the Father for the health of my spirit? Prayer and praise. Actually talking to God. You can love on Him, have a grateful heart and thank Him. You can tell Him your problems. He not only listens but can do something about them. You know, when I go to a counselor I know the most they can do is help guide me through my thought process. But when the time's up, they go on about their business and I'm still stuck with my problem. God listens AND can do something about the problem. He never goes on about His business and forgets me. He is always near and watching over me and working to my best interest. You can get mad at Him, scream, cry and yell at Him. He's a big God and He can take it. But the thing is to do it WITH Him and let Him hold you as you cry and yell. Don't freeze Him out and ignore Him or walk day after day in sullen anger against God. If you do, you are hurting yourself not Him. It gives time for anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, jealousies, resentments to take root, grow and fester in you. None of these do you any good. Physically, mentally, spiritually... you are self-harming. What is healthy for you, in every way, is to learn to go to God with it, then let it go and let God deal with it. It helps me to write it down, every detail in some type of order. My actions, thoughts, what I feel about the whole situation. But I don't stop there. I also write down what I know God would have me do. Sometimes I write this part as a prayer. For instance, I know unforgiveness is not of God but it's very hard to forgive. So I write it down and then ask God to help me forgive and not let bitterness and anger take root. I'm a prolific writer if you haven't already guessed. Some people then take these writings to God, they pray over them, give up their rights and let God go to bat for them. Then they like to burn the papers as a symbol of letting go. A friend recently told me she went one stop further. She made a cross of glue on good paper and glued the ashes to the paper. She framed it and says now, when she looks at it she is reminded that God is the one in control and she doesn't have to worry or go back over it again! Whatever helps you to let go and let God is the point.
Second, these verses remind us to be ready because we never know when it's our time to die. I had a friend whose father left the YMCA after working out. He got in his car, started driving home and his heart stopped. His car coasted to the side of the road. He was gone. My own father recently died just 4 months and 3 days after we lost my mother. My mother died of dementia so it was a long, slow process and we grieved the whole way. Thank God she had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as a child and had lived her life according to godly principles as much as she was able. What if she had waited and gone into dementia where she couldn't make a decision? But she was saved and we know she was saved. My Dad was healthy and strong for 82 yrs old and had been splitting wood for his wood stove over the weekend. That night he began having some chest pains. He thought it felt like when he had a pulmonary embolism 8 yrs ago. They kept him in the hospital for 3 days on Heparin and he was fine. So the next morning he got my sister to take him to the ER thinking it was just more of the same. I went up there and they had taken him straight in. They ran a Cat scan and, sure enough, a pulmonary embolism. He went in under his own steam, not much pain, we were laughing, joking, talking while we waited for the tests and then they started the Heparin. Within 2 1/2 hours he was dead. He was hungry so I had left to get lunch when my sister called and said his heart had stopped and they were trying to revive him. I rushed back and they had managed to revive him but were having a hard time keeping his blood pressure up. We don't know if the Heparin dislodged the blood clot and it moved to his heart or what. He was conscious, able to talk. My sister asked him if he was afraid and if he was ready in case he died. We knew he was, but she asked anyway. He said he wasn't afraid and he was ready. He went into cardiac arrest again and they tried for 15 mins to revive him but this time they couldn't. I have grieved over the loss of my parents. I miss them so bad. But I know they were saved and they are in Heaven. They are so much better off, living in pain free bliss and freedom with their Savior and all their loved ones who went before. I miss them terribly but at least I have that comfort and the comfort of knowing I will see them again. I don't know how someone goes through losing a loved one when they don't know if they are saved or suspect they weren't. Of course, I realize that we don't know what is going through someone's mind even at the last minutes. Maybe they did make a decision for Christ and we just don't know it. But, if they lived their lives without Jesus and died suddenly, there is a good chance they didn't. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. We can be prepared, like my parents were. We can accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, the Son of God, who died to forgive me of my sins and who rose again to give me eternal life in Jesus Christ. If you died this minute, are you saved? Have you told your loved ones that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior, so they know?
Third, these verses are telling us that we should be prepared for when Jesus returns! If we are still alive when Jesus comes back for us, we will be raptured. I am saved so I will be raptured if I'm still here when He comes. The Bible says He comes and gathers us to Himself in the air. His feet don't touch down on earth on this coming. He pulls us up to Himself. This is NOT the Second Coming where He wins the Battle of Armageddon and judges the world. This is the Rapture.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.
15 By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. 17 After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord.
Did you notice verse 15, the Apostle Paul wrote, "By the word of the Lord, we declare to you..." This is NOT Paul's opinion, not his personal view, not his interpretation! He says this is a "word of the Lord". What do these verses tell us?
- Those who are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who are dead. (1 Thessalonians 4:15)
- The dead in Christ will resurrect first. (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
- The living and the resurrected dead will be caught up together in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
- The rapture will occur during the Parousia. "those who are alive and remain unto the coming (Parousia in greek) of the Lord, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
- We will meet Him "in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
- The meeting with the Lord will be permanent. "And so shall we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
If Jesus came in the clouds to rapture His people, would you be ready? We never know when it will be, are you ready? I am!
Fourth, there will be people who were not saved, and thus raptured at the beginning of the Great Tribulation (I believe it's at the beginning but others believe it happens halfway through or even the end of the Great Tribulation last days). But they get saved during the Tribulation. He is warning them to be ready in case of death or when He comes again.
"he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed." God is bringing righteous judgment upon an evil world. Their shameful doings are humiliating. God is warning everyone to be prepared by accepting Jesus Christ who throws His garment of righteousness and salvation over us to cover our wicked shamefulness. But to those who refuse to accept Jesus Christ, their wicked, evil hearts and deeds will be uncovered, revealed, exposed and they will be ashamed.
Isaiah 47:3 Your nakedness will be exposed and your shame uncovered. I will take vengeance; I will spare no one.
Have you ever noticed how people can be really ashamed of their behavior but instead of changing their behavior, they just keep trying to find out new ways to hide it? All that effort, energy, money and time they spend covering up their shamefulness rather than give it and walk away from it!?! A politician who is a serial womanizer makes all kinds of plans to get what he wants. I think of Bill Clinton and how he used security teams to bring women to his hotel rooms. I think of how much money has been paid in hush money to cover up their sexual infidelities so they can keep doing it. I think of all the time, effort and wasted tax dollars used to pin them to the wall for all to see! You know what would have saved them, and those around them, all the money, heartache and effort? Is if they had stopped their behavior, put an end to it. Quit!
Policitians aren't the only ones. Have you ever been around an addict? They become master manipulators. They know how to lie, push all your buttons, have you tied in a knot, hide and deceive. They do it all so they can cover up their shameful addiction. They can be rolling on the floor in their own pee, vomiting all over someone's house or car, used for sex to buy drugs. But as long as no one sees, they think they got away with it. They can be pole dancing and lap dancing for money to use to buy drugs but as long as their Mama and Daddy don't see them or their old church friends from their small town, then they got away with it. They will put on a proper dress when they go home to visit Mom and Dad. They may join them in the pew on Sunday, but they go back to their pig slop as soon as no one is watching. They would be so ashamed if Mom and Dad walked into the bar and saw their little girl wiggling and gyrating to get to the deepest evil part of a man's (or woman's) mind. But instead of stopping it, quitting the addiction, walking in a new life... they just try to find better ways to cover up.
A man who will use prostitutes and have affairs with other women would do anything to keep it covered up so his wife and children don't find out. A preacher who will do anything to keep the church from finding out he spends his days watching pornography. A woman who will do anything to keep her family and friends from finding out that she spends all her time and money on the computer talking to catfish men/women. But do they stop their behavior or do they just burrow further underground?
I recently read an article on Facebook about shocking things people find after a loved one's death. Some found that their loved one was a hoarder and lived in utter filth and degradation. Some found pornography and sexual "toys". Some found that their loved one had whole other families. Yes, their loved one had affairs with resulting children and had kept it hidden. Some found out that a female loved one was actually a male or vice versa because they lived as transvestites. Some found that they had hoarded weapons or food or money, etc because of their fears. Some run up extreme debts because they wouldn't live within their means. Their children will be left paying off the debts and without any inheritance. It's one thing to have to use a credit card to buy medicine and food to eat. It's another thing to run up debt because you gambled your money away or you were buying drugs or spending it on lap dances or other women! My mother and Dad were young children during the Great Depression and then WWII. But they had lived with the fear of not having enough food. They always tended to have more than they could use hidden away. They weren't hoarders in the bad sense, but it showed an underlying fear of being without. Some people don't have the commonsense and go way to the extreme and live in such fear that they aren't functioning within normal bounds. If you dropped dead right now, what would your loved ones find as they cleaned out your house and settled your estate?
There will be a day when it will all come to light. You may think you got away with it but there are a pair of eyes that watch you every minute... God's! You can't fool Him, you can't cover it up. Adam and Eve tried to cover up what they had done when they ate the forbidden fruit. The first thing they did was try to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. What are your fig leaves? What excuses, justifications do you use? Next they tried to hide behind bushes. Notice it's gotten bigger? What are your bushes? What do you hide behind? Do you have a nice, bright, shiny cardboard cutout of yourself that you hide behind whenever you go out in public? Next they tried blaming everyone else. Adam said Eve made him do it, Eve said the serpent made her do it. Who do you blame? Who do you try to push up front and hide behind? Your parents didn't treat you right so you blame them for your alcoholism? Your wife isn't pretty enough so you blame her for your adulteries? Your husband doesn't make enough money so you blame him for your extreme spending habits? Your children aren't good enough so you blame them for driving you to drugs? Your job or boss is the excuse you give for stealing time at work or not doing a good job or for stealing money out of the till?
God sees you for what you really are. You aren't getting away with it. You probably aren't even fooling those around you like your family! All you are doing is fooling yourself. There is one cure. Quit the behavior and you won't have to be ashamed any more. Don't look for ways to cover up and hide. Don't pull out the fig leaves, the bushes and the justifications and blame. Just stop doing it.
Before you get the idea that God is watching you in order to punish you, let me remind you that He sent His Son to die while men were sinners. We can't clean up ourselves and God knew that. At our very worst, He still loved us enough to die for us. He gave us a way to be clean, to start new, to have help. Jesus can rescue you. He can wash you with His blood and you will be cleansed of all your sins. He has sent the Holy Spirit who will come and live inside of you when you are saved. He will help you walk in newness of life. He gave us His Word to help retrain our minds and He gave the Word power to help us. He provided a way out. And He forgives us every time we ask!!! All we have to do is accept it, turn to Him, give Him our trust. He doesn't want to swat us or send us to hell. If He did, then He wouldn't have sent Jesus Christ! He loves us and wants to help us out of the mess we create! But we have to accept His help. If we don't, our sins will be exposed and we will face judgment.
Revelation 16:16 And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
Har-Magedon = Har = mountain, mount; therefore "Mountain of Megiddo;"
Strategically perched above the Jezreel Valley, it guards the most important land route in the Ancient Near East--the Via Maris leading from Egypt to Mesopotamia. Megiddo dominated international traffic for over 6000 years--from c.7000 BC through the Biblical era.
The Fertile Crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the Middle East where agriculture and early human civilizations. The east of the Fertile Crescent is between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates (Mesopotamia) while the west of the Fertile Crescent is the Nile River (Egypt). The Fertile Crescent includes a roughly crescent-shaped area of relatively fertile land which had a more moderate, agriculturally productive climate. Throughout the region, irrigation is necessary. The Fertile Crescent is called the "Cradle of Civilization". The civilizations of ancient Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Levant which included the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, and Phoenicians, were responsible for the development of civilization. It is the birthplace of agriculture, urbanization, writing, trade, science, history and organized religion. Trade routes grew up to form long-distance travel to the Kingdom of Saba in southern Arabia, Egypt, and the Kingdom of Kush in Africa. There is evidence that the area was populated as early as 10,000-8,000 B.C. Abraham left his native city of Ur for the 'promised land’ of Canaan. Ur is in the Fertile Crescent. Abraham left Ur following the Euphrates River up to Haran. He then left Haran (also in the Fertile Crescent) and went to Canaan, the Promised Land, also in the Fertile Crescent.
The modern road follows the ancient trade route through the mountains.
Megiddo was a site of great importance because it guarded the western branch of a narrow pass on the most important trade route of the ancient Fertile Crescent, linking Egypt with Mesopotamia and Asia Minor and known today as Via Maris. Because of its strategic location, Megiddo was the site of several historical battles: Deborah over Sisera (Judges 5:19); Gideon over the Midianites (Judges 7); Pharaoh over Josiah (2 Kings 23:29)(2 Chronicles 35:22). Over 200 battles have been fought in the region, from 1468 B.C. (with Pharaoh Tuthmosis III) to 1917 (with Lord Allenby of the British).
Deborah the Prophetess
In the story of Deborah, two women saved the Israelites and gave them victory. She is the only female judge, or, indeed, female ruler of any kind in Jewish history. She may have been the wife of a man named Lappidoth, although there are varying views on this. Lappidoth seems to mean "flames," "lamps," or "splendours". It could possibly then be interpreted as "Deborah, a woman of lamps". Could this refer to her making lamps or lamp wicks? Or could it be referring to her shining in the darkness and her fiery spirit. She may have been all of the above. It doesn't change the story in any way no matter which way you look at it. She was "one instructed in Divine knowledge by the inspiration of the Spirit of God. She judged Israel as God's mouth to them; correcting abuses, and redressing grievances." - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
Judges 4 1 After Ehud died, the Israelites again did evil in the sight of the LORD. 2 So the LORD sold them into the hands of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor. The commander of his forces was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. 3 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, because Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and he had harshly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.
9 “I will certainly go with you,” Deborah replied, “but the road you are taking will bring you no honor, because the LORD will be selling Sisera into the hand of a woman.” So Deborah got up and went with Barak to Kedesh, 10 where he summoned Zebulun and Naphtali; ten thousand men followed him, and Deborah also went with him.
11 Now Heber the Kenite had moved away from the Kenites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-lawa of Moses, and had pitched his tent by the great tree of Zaanannim, which was near Kedesh.
12 When it was reported to Sisera that Barak son of Abinoam had gone up Mount Tabor, 13 he summoned all nine hundred of his iron chariots and all the men with him, from Harosheth-hagoyim to the River Kishon.
14 Then Deborah said to Barak, “Arise, for this is the day the LORD has delivered Sisera into your hands. Has not the LORD gone before you?”
So Barak came down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15 And in front of him the LORD routed with the sword Sisera, all his charioteers, and all his army. Sisera abandoned his chariot and fled on foot.
16 Barak pursued the chariots and army as far as Harosheth-hagoyim, and the whole army of Sisera fell by the sword; not a single man was left.
17 Meanwhile, Sisera had fled on foot to the tent of Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite, because there was peace between Jabin king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. 18 Jael went out to greet Sisera and said to him, “Come in, my lord. Come in with me. Do not be afraid.” So he went into her tent, and she covered him with a blanket.
19 Sisera said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink, for I am thirsty.” So she opened a container of milk, gave him a drink, and covered him again.
20 “Stand at the entrance to the tent,” he said, “and if anyone comes and asks you, ‘Is there a man here?’ say, ‘No.’”
22 When Barak arrived in pursuit of Sisera, Jael went out to greet him and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man you are seeking.” So he went in with her, and there lay Sisera dead, with a tent peg through his temple. 23 On that day God subdued Jabin king of Canaan before the Israelites. 24 And the hand of the Israelites grew stronger and stronger against Jabin king of Canaan until they destroyed him.
Gideon is called by God in Judges 6
Judges 6:11-12 Then the Angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to hide it from the Midianites. 12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon and said, “The LORD is with you, mighty warrior.”
We remember Gideon because when God told him what to do, he was hesitant. He wanted to be sure he was really hearing from God. So we see the story of Gideon's fleece at the end of Judges 6.
Gideon Defeats the Midianites
Judges 7 1 So Jerub-baal (that is, Gideon) and his army got up early and went as far as the spring of Harod. The armies of Midian were camped north of them in the valley near the hill of Moreh. 2 The LORD said to Gideon, “You have too many warriors with you. If I let all of you fight the Midianites, the Israelites will boast to me that they saved themselves by their own strength. 3 Therefore, tell the people, ‘Whoever is timid or afraid may leave this mountain and go home.’” So 22,000 of them went home, leaving only 10,000 who were willing to fight.
4 But the LORD told Gideon, “There are still too many! Bring them down to the spring, and I will test them to determine who will go with you and who will not.”
7 The LORD told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” 8 So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him.
The Midianite camp was in the valley just below Gideon. 9 That night the LORD said, “Get up! Go down into the Midianite camp, for I have given you victory over them! 10 But if you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah. 11 Listen to what the Midianites are saying, and you will be greatly encouraged. Then you will be eager to attack.”
So Gideon took Purah and went down to the edge of the enemy camp. 12 The armies of Midian, Amalek, and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts. Their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore—too many to count! 13 Gideon crept up just as a man was telling his companion about a dream. The man said, “I had this dream, and in my dream a loaf of barley bread came tumbling down into the Midianite camp. It hit a tent, turned it over, and knocked it flat!”
14 His companion answered, “Your dream can mean only one thing—God has given Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite, victory over Midian and all its allies!”
15 When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he bowed in worship before the LORD. Then he returned to the Israelite camp and shouted, “Get up! For the LORD has given you victory over the Midianite hordes!” 16 He divided the 300 men into three groups and gave each man a ram’s horn and a clay jar with a torch in it.
17 Then he said to them, “Keep your eyes on me. When I come to the edge of the camp, do just as I do. 18 As soon as I and those with me blow the rams’ horns, blow your horns, too, all around the entire camp, and shout, ‘For the LORD and for Gideon!’”
21 Each man stood at his position around the camp and watched as all the Midianites rushed around in a panic, shouting as they ran to escape. 22 When the 300 Israelites blew their rams’ horns, the LORD caused the warriors in the camp to fight against each other with their swords. Those who were not killed fled to places as far away as Beth-shittah near Zererah and to the border of Abel-meholah near Tabbath.
23 Then Gideon sent for the warriors of Naphtali, Asher, and Manasseh, who joined in chasing the army of Midian. 24 Gideon also sent messengers throughout the hill country of Ephraim, saying, “Come down to attack the Midianites. Cut them off at the shallow crossings of the Jordan River at Beth-barah.”
So all the men of Ephraim did as they were told. 25 They captured Oreb and Zeeb, the two Midianite commanders, killing Oreb at the rock of Oreb, and Zeeb at the winepress of Zeeb. And they continued to chase the Midianites. Afterward the Israelites brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon, who was by the Jordan River.
So we are at the place where the frog like demons are speaking to the nations and they are told to gather at Armageddon for a great battle. Just like the battles that have gone on before except this is the final battle. Drawing inspiration from the stories of Deborah and Gideon, the Israelites were considered the underdog.
Judges 4 3 Then the Israelites cried out to the LORD, because Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron, and he had harshly oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.
Judges 7 7 The LORD told Gideon, “With these 300 men I will rescue you and give you victory over the Midianites. Send all the others home.” 8 So Gideon collected the provisions and rams’ horns of the other warriors and sent them home. But he kept the 300 men with him.
With warriors being brought in from all over the world, with the modern weapons they will bring with them, it will look like they can't possibly be defeated. Everyone wants to be on the winning side and all the show of power, as the army gathers, will make people think they can defeat anyone. Instead of iron chariots, I imagine it will be bomber jets, tanks, drones. Instead of spears and arrows, it will be automatic weapons, shoulder launchers, missiles, bombs, machine guns. Instead of helmets, shields and armor there will be modern body armor.
Revelation 16:17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air. And a mighty shout came from the throne in the Temple, saying, “It is finished!”
The Seventh Bowl (or vial) is poured out. This is the last of the plagues sent forth.
"Babylon's downfall is finished. The church triumphant in heaven saw it and rejoiced; the church in conflict on earth saw it and became triumphant." - Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary
The angel poured his bowl "into the air".
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
air = ἀέρα (aera) = Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 109: Air, the lower air we breathe. From aemi; 'air'.
It seems to be poured into the lower heaven, the actual air we breath. It is also the habitation of the evil spirits. In this case, the world and air would be almost synonymous, both representing a realm, or sphere of influence.
Ephesians 2:1-2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience...
The word "air" in Ephesians 2:2 is aeros which indicates the same as aera used in Revelation 16:17. There are other things that are in the air around us. Airplanes, satellites, drones, helicopters, missiles, sound waves, radio transmissions, wireless transmissions, television, gases, airborne diseases, air pollution, vibrations. Something to think about.
Those who have not trusted Christ as Lord and Savior are sons of disobedience.
2 Corinthians 4:4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Whether knowingly or unknowingly, the unsaved are subject to satan’s influence. They share his nature of sin and exist in rebellion against God. They respond naturally to satan's leading and to the influence of his demons.
Isaiah 59:1-3 1 Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save,
nor His ear too dull to hear.
2 But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God,
and your sins have hidden His face from you,
so that He will not hear.
3 For your hands are stained with blood,
and your fingers with iniquity;
your lips have spoken lies,
and your tongue mutters injustice.
Demons, who were once angels but followed satan in his fall, are sons of disobedience as well. Satan rebelled against God. In his pride he wanted to be God so he was disobedient and rebellious. One third of the angels followed him in disobedience and rebellion. Humans who exhibit the same pride and desire to be god will be disobedient and rebellious just like satan and his demons. Thus the sons of disobedience.
Satan is called a prince because he is a ruler and possesses power to manifest evil in the world by influencing people and commanding demons. But he is not a king for there is only one KING! Satan's rule on earth is limited because God is sovereign and holds ultimate power. God has given him temporary power. It is for a set time and a set purpose but God is the one in control.
Matthew 9:34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that He, Jesus, drives out demons”
“The air” in Ephesians 2:2 may refer to the invisible realm above the earth where Satan and his demons move and exist. This space, of course, is the location of the earth’s atmosphere or “air.” In Ephesians 6:12, Paul writes, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” This evil realm called the “air” could be an actual locality, but it could also be synonymous with the “world” of John 12:31. This whole world is Satan’s domain (Matthew 4:8–9). - GotQuestions.org
This next scripture is one I would like to sit on for a few minutes. Let's look at it in several translations:
Romans 8:5-9a (King James Version - KJV) 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.
Romans 8:5-9a (New Living Translation - NLT) 5 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. 6 So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. 7 For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. 8 That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.
9 But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.
Romans 8:5-9a (Contemporary English Version - CEV) 5 People who are ruled by their desires think only of themselves. Everyone who is ruled by the Holy Spirit thinks about spiritual things. 6 If our minds are ruled by our desires, we will die. But if our minds are ruled by the Spirit, we will have life and peace. 7 Our desires fight against God, because they do not and cannot obey God's laws. 8 If we follow our desires, we cannot please God.
9 You are no longer ruled by your desires, but by God's Spirit, who lives in you.
Romans 8:5-9a (NET Bible - NET) 5 For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit. 6 For the outlook of the flesh is death, but the outlook of the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the outlook of the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to the law of God, nor is it able to do so. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
Romans 8:5-9a (New International Version - NIV) 5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.
We see here very plainly that without Jesus, we can never reconcile with God. When we are born, we are made up of a physical body and a soul. Our body is our earthly tent, our physical body, the house our soul (and spirit) live in while on earth. The soul, in this context, is our personality, intelligence, experiences, our mind, our thoughts, what makes us who we are; the inward man. Sometimes the word "soul" is used in the Bible to indicate the "spirit". But let's differentiate it as Body, Soul and Spirit. We are born with a body and a soul. But we do NOT have the third part, the spirit, unless we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and are born again. It's at the time of conversion that our spirit is born. God created Adam and Eve as a tri-part being just like God Himself is a tri-part Being. God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit. This trinity works in such perfect union and harmony that the Three are One. He created mankind "in our image".
Genesis 1:26a "Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule"
Adam and Eve were created to be a tri-part being as God is. But when Adam and Eve desired to be like God and disobeyed Him, the part of their being that communicated and communed with God died. Their spirit died. Their physical body was still alive, although it would die eventually. Their soul was still there. They were still Adam and Eve. But their spirit died. When we are born from our mother's womb, our bodies and souls are born, but not our spirit. Jesus said we must be born again which means we must accept Jesus as our Savior and then our spirit is born. We once again become a tri-part being and we once again can commune and communicate with God! There is only one way for this to happen and it's through Jesus Christ. He made the way!
In Romans 8 we find our flesh and our souls are naturally hostile and rebellious to God. We cannot follow God, obey all His Laws or please Him. Our bodies and human natures are rebellious, prideful, and weak. We cannot save ourselves. We might could follow most of the Laws that God laid out in the Old Testament but we can't follow all of them. And we might follow the letter of the Laws but we miss the spirit of the Laws. In our human-ness we can't remember them all, we are weak, we take the easy way out when we are tired or hungry, etc. Remember Esau sold his inheritance from God for a bowl of stew! Our souls don't WANT to follow God's Laws. We want what we want when we want it and don't get in our way or make us feel bad about it! And even if we were able to remember to do every jot and tittle of the Law, our heart wouldn't be in it and therefore the letter of the Law is followed but not the spirit of the Law. One is obeying the literal interpretation of the words (the "letter") of the law, but not necessarily the intent (the "spirit") of the law.
2 Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
John 8:43-44 Jesus speaking "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you are unable to accept My message. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out his desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, refusing to uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, because he is a liar and the father of lies."
Matthew 5:27-28 You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5:17–18 Jesus speaking “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished."
Romans 10:1-4 (NLT) 1 Dear friends, my greatest wish and my prayer to God is for the people of Israel to be saved. 2 I know they love God, but they don't understand 3 what makes people acceptable to him. So they refuse to trust God, and they try to be acceptable by obeying the Law. 4 But Christ makes the Law no longer necessary for those who become acceptable to God by faith.
What we could not do, Jesus did for us. We were born with a sinful nature. We have the tendency, the desire, the weakness, to sin. We could not keep the Law, we could never be righteous and pure. So Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth as a human being (Son of Mary) but sinless and divine (Son of God). He was born pure and did not fall into the temptation to sin. So He was born without sin and lived without sin. This made Him the only one who could pay the price for us. He was one of us (Son of Mary) but He was sinless. He died in our place.
You see, satan had tempted Adam and Eve and when they sinned, their spirits died. Something created by God, in His own image, with His breath of life, had been stolen by sin when they rebelled. He lost the life He had designed, created and breathed into. We were separated from God and He yearned for that relationship again. He loved us so much that He sent His Son to pay the price for us so we could reconciled to Him and live eternally with Him. And not only is our spirit born, but He sends the Holy Spirit to live in our hearts to enable us, empower us, train us, teach us to commune with God. He has done everything for us because we couldn't do it for ourselves. And He has given us everything we need to do whatever He calls us to do if we just trust Him. He has given us salvation, eternal life, the Word of God (Bible) and the help of the Holy Spirit who actually lives in us. His Power lives in us!!! Let that sink in! "We can do all things through Jesus Christ our Lord."
2 Peter 1:3-9 (NLT) 3 By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. 4 And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.
5 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
Once this last judgment is poured out, God says, "It is finished!" Where have we heard that before? When God's work is done, He declares it. God completed His creating work.
Genesis 1:31, Genesis 2:1 1 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day. 2:1 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
When Jesus completed His atoning work on the cross, He declared His triumph. We tend to think He may have whispered "It is finished" as His life ebbed away. Sort of like when we are at the end of our rope, defeated and we say, "I'm done." But Jesus obviously said it loud enough for those around Him to hear it. He was up on the cross and He declared "It is finished!" loud enough for those there to hear it. He didn't say it in defeat, but in triumph. He had accomplished His work, fulfilled His mission with His last breath. As His life ebbed away, He knew He had won the victory.
John 19:30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished.” And bowing His head, He yielded up His spirit.
He shouts, “It is finished!” because He has vanquished the evil one and released those bound to him in captivity. And like the high priest on the Day of Atonement, He shouts, “It is finished!” because no more sacrifices will be accepted. Both the Roman soldiers and the Jews around the cross have a clear context for understanding the significance of the Lord’s declaration. Jesus has fulfilled the law through His sinless life; fulfilled the types and shadows of the Old Covenant; fulfilled the prophecies of Messiah’s suffering; and completed the task for which the Father sent Him and the Spirit empowered Him. The work of redemption – it is finished! ...The work of redemption is completed on the cross, but all that God has promised us in redemption will not come to pass until we rise from the dead in glorification. Satan, sin, and death must be entirely done away with, and at this point in Revelation it seems that it is about to happen. - Rob Phillips, OnceDelivered.net
God’s divine purpose in judgment, regarding the Tribulation Period, is completed.
Revelation 16:18-21 18 And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth—so mighty was the great quake. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.
20 Then every island fled, and no mountain could be found. 21 And huge hailstones, about a hundred pounds each,a rained down on them from above. And men cursed God for the plague of hail, because it was so horrendous.
Let's look at Revelation 16:18 in different translations:
New Living Translation Then the thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And a great earthquake struck--the worst since people were placed on the earth.
Berean Literal Bible And there were flashes of lightning, and voices, and thunders; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since men were upon the earth--so great was the earthquake, so mighty,
New American Standard Bible And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty.
King James Bible 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.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
rumblings = φωναὶ (phōnai) = Noun - Nominative Feminine Plural
Strong's Greek 5456: Probably akin to phaino through the idea of disclosure; a tone; by implication, an address, saying or language.
When we hear thunder, it's an impressive sound. The cracks of lightening, the rolling thunder, the sounds can be tremendous. Sometimes we imagine it sounds like God talking! Does this verse mean just the sounds of thunder and lightening? The word means tone, language and voices. God has declared, "It is finished!". Maybe that is what is meant. Or are there other voices on the airwaves at the time this occurs? I can imagine frantic and desperate radio transmissions going on; news reporters and newscasters trying to explain and warn; people desperately trying to contact people via their cell phones. It will all be for nought. The voice that had called to their heart and invited them to salvation through Jesus Christ, now calls them to judgment. They had refused to hear Him when He called them in love but they can no longer ignore His voice.
These verses are actually the introduction to chapters 17 and 18, which feature the description of Babylon the Great. We will go into that in following posts.
"a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth—so mighty was the great quake"
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance
earthquake = σεισμὸς (seismos) = Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 4578: A shaking (as an earthquake); a storm. From seio; a commotion, i.e. a gale, an earthquake.
Isaiah 29:6 you will be visited by the LORD of Hosts with thunder and earthquake and loud noise, with windstorm and tempest and flame of consuming fire.
Daniel 12:1 At that time Michael, the great prince who stands watch over your people, will rise up. There will be a time of distress such as never has occurred from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.
Matthew 24:21 For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again.
Let's look at the point when Jesus died. There was an earthquake then too:
Matthew 27:48-54 48 One of them quickly ran and brought a sponge. He filled it with vinegar, put it on a reed, and held it up for Jesus to drink.
49 But the others said, “Leave Him alone. Let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.”
50 When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. 51 At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs broke open, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 After Jesus’ resurrection, when they had come out of the tombs, they entered the holy city and appeared to many people.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this was the Son of God.”
Upon Christ's death, an earthquake shook the area. There were three gates in the Tabernacle/Temple. The one to the Outer Court of the Temple; the door from the Outer Court into the Temple, aka Holy Place or Inner Court; and there was the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. The "veil of the temple" was the tremendous and magnificent curtain between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant stood. This was a doorway for the High Priest to go in annually. Only once a year could he go in and that was to atone for the sins of the people. This curtain was very thick and probably 60 feet tall and beautifully decorated. Notice that the verse says this veil was "torn in two from top to bottom". No human hand could tear it. Only God could tear the veil from top to bottom. Why did God tear the veil? The veil kept the people from entering the Holy of Holies and being in God's Presence. The veil was a separation. Each doorway or gate was a separation. From the outside looking in were the people. On the inside, in the Holy of Holies, was God looking out. But there was separation. Jesus accomplished the work of redemption and now anyone who comes to the Father through Jesus Christ, His Son, has direct access to God. There no longer has to be a separation. We can only have communication and access to God's Presence through Jesus. There is no other way! He is the only Mediator between God and man.
This earthquake in Revelation 16 is the shaking of the kingdom of evil. Satan, the anti-Christ, and the False Prophet... all that they tried to accomplish will come tumbling down. Babylon represents their one-world government, their empire, their kingdom, their one-world religion. It will be split apart.
I recently watched a movie called Layer Cake starring Daniel Craig. We see him as the center character around which the other characters play off. He is a criminal wanting to retire with a last job, surrounded by criminals from low levels to the highest levels. He tries to make sense and order out of a job that is peopled with those who cannot be trusted. Whether it's from taking drugs or just lying for lying's sake. There are other ulterior motives he's not aware of yet. Craig's character tries to stand steady on a surfboard that is launched on a sea of writhing and inexplicably stormy seas. I.e. you can't make sense, logic, or base your decisions on the word of people who make it their aim in life to steal, kill, lie and destroy. From the lowest level to the highest level, there is no safe place to put your foot down and then your weight down. Just as you think you've found a place to stand and rest, someone tackles you and knocks you over. There is no trust. There is no truth. Its all a fluid, moving, morass of evil where someone is always waiting to take you down.
Let's look at it from the lowest standpoint. A homeless person is as destitute as it gets. They have nothing. People might leave them alone because they have nothing to take. But the minute someone comes along and, out of the goodness of their heart, offers the homeless person something of value... a meal, a blanket, a place to spend the night, a job, a change of clothes, etc... then the people in the homeless community get jealous and covet what has been given. Those who are stronger will then overpower and take it from the homeless person. They will steal that blanket or pair of shoes! They will beat up the poor person to take what they can or ruin it for them. "If I can't have it, they can't have it either." I once saw an article about a homeless person who was sleeping on the street in front a good hearted person's home. So this good hearted person made it his mission to construct a tiny home on the street for this homeless person. A dry, safe place. Of course, this simple kindness creates a host of problems he probably hadn't anticipated. First being that other homeless people will want the same treatment and will start camping out in his yard expecting, and demanding, a similar tiny house. If they don't get it posthaste, they will roust the original homeless person from her dry, safe space and take it over and the kind man will have a bully on his property. Then there are squatter's rights to contend with, trash and sanitation, blah, blah, blah. That's a simple, low level example of what happens. You can take this to the highest level. Watch House of Cards for a look at how wealthy, high level politicians play the same game of Gimme-Gimme. We hear in the news all the time of the corruption of charities, ministries, non-profit organizations who take what generous, goodhearted people give and steal it or use it to barter with. Try to feed the starving in Africa and you will find food drops commandeered by bully gangs in the area and the food sold. Try to send a shipload of relief supplies to a third world country after a hurricane and you will find politicians selling it to put the money in their own bank accounts instead of distributing it to their starving, homeless citizens. And then get on television and demand the United States do more! It goes on and on.
What I'm trying to say is the kingdom of evil that comes about in the days of the Great Tribulation is never going to make it. People will put their trust in it at first because the anti-Christ tells them what they want to hear. People are desperate for someone to take over, run things and bring about peace and prosperity. But you can't trust, or depend on, something that is based on pride, evil, corruption, deceit, jealousy, covetousness, greed, perversion. It's like Craig trying to stand on a surfboard on a rolling, stormy sea of evil. If you've ever been on a boat in the middle of a storm... you can't stand, you can't walk, you can't put your weight down, you can't rest. There is constant motion and violent motion at that. You will be crawling, crying and trying to find something to hold onto. But there is nothing. In that movie, even Craig's surfboard of "self" couldn't hold him up. He found out he was just as evil as the rest.
There is going to be a physical, emotional and spiritual earthquake that rocks this world and knocks the kingdom of satan down for the last time. His Babylon will have been exalted to global domination but it will come apart quickly and definitively.