Intermission . . .

Vol.4, No.43 – October 27, 2019, Countdown to the end – 30

Then I saw another mighty angel coming down from Heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head, and his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire –Revelation 10:1

It is the midpoint of the Great Tribulation. The final 42 months are coming. There is a slight intermission time in God’s judgments—a break in the action.

The chapter opens with an awesome description of the archangel, the Herald-Angel. Almost every classical scholar admires the portrayal. Unfortunately, the admiration slips from the scriptural spiritual meaning; simply addressed by these “scholars” as a literary production. The fact: Scripture stands unrivaled by anything scholars meet in all the pages of the Grecian and Roman literature; indeed, anything the world has ever produced.

We get a flavor of what John saw. This archangel, his appearance includes his apparel, his ascendancy on the sea and on the land, and his actions are declarative. He speaks and the regions of the earth echo. There is a mighty roar as a lion. There is great thunder, on call, and sounding as if artillery in the skies. Everything is at his command. All this, in just the first three verses!

Some academics argue for this archangel being the Lord Jesus Christ; however, the text does not warrant that assumption.

Beginning in verse four, John intrudes upon the scene: “I was about to write, but I heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.'”

The rest of chapter ten occupies itself with John and his response to the archangel—along with a “little book (a scroll).”

John approaches the archangel and tells the archangel to give him the little book.” (I do not think that a person would approach this way if it had indeed been the Lord Jesus Christ.) The archangel’s response is, Sure, take it, and eat it. It will first taste like honey, but after you swallow, it will give you a stomachache.

Must taste like chicken. Now, I do like sweet and sour chicken, and other chicken recipes, but I do not think the scroll will be anything like that. However, this was definitely sweet and sour. Digesting the Word of God is sweet as we discover the will of God for our personal life, experience our communication/relationship with God through our prayer life, and discover God’s eternal plan for all who have accepted Christ as Savior.

Bitterness/sourness, however, is the taste of life we get, before things of our life come under the oversight of God. True bitterness occurs in the final judgment with Satan, demons, bowls, trumpets, seals, and battles—all with the clear victor, Almighty God.

In fact, we cannot hear the last word until we have heard the next to the last word –Bonhoeffer

Charles Dickens, in his Tale of Two Cities writes, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair . . . “

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

The context of this section of our Scriptures contains the sweet message of grace, and the bitter message of judgment and damnation. The Bible is a two-edged sword. It cuts both ways. It is both bitter and sweet.

Where do you and your friends sit with regard to the sweet and the bitter?

Apollyon . . . the Terminator

Vol.4, No.42 – October 20, 2019, Countdown to the end – 29

They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek he is called Apollyon –Revelation 9:11

Eighty years ago, the Russian theologian, Berdyaw wrote, “It is remarkable how little people think about hell or trouble about it. This is the most striking evidence of human frivolity.”

It is a cliché of many, “I have been to hell and back.” They may reference a bad experience, or they might be speaking about attaining something they love. Then there are those who speak of something as a certainty: “it is sure as hell.” If winning is an impossibility, it will happen only “when hell freezes over.” A bad experience “hurts like hell” or if one feels like giving up: “to hell with it!” In truth, those sayings do not reflect a truth about life’s experiences. They reflect impulsive responses; usually by someone that does not know much about hell.

The headline in the local news for chapter nine could be “All Hell is Breaking Loose.” The chapter tells of fearful demons, collaboratively working with Satan, the “prince of the Abyss.” They seize upon humanity and prepare humanity for the strong delusion, and for the exultation of the Beast. The purpose is to “complete” a universal power structure.

In a period of five months, locust-scorpions attack humanity (with the exception of the believers who are sealed). It is a terrible plague. Humanity wants to die because of their suffering; however, they cannot die. Suicide then becomes the preferred exit; however, they cannot commit that. They live in agony, death not being yet possible.

If that were not enough and unrestrained army is coming (9:18). The army is 200,000,000 in number. In the formations of the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation, this army, mounted on fierce horses, is a cavalry a mile wide, and eighty-seven miles long. Let that sink in for a moment.

What are their weapons? Fire, smoke, and brimstone (a gas with a Sulphur smell). Yuck! One-third of humanity dies under this judgment attack. It is a tremendous woe.

Unbelievably, instead of repentance, sin increases in a culture of permissiveness that is the accepted norm.

Note the list of four evil practices in verse twenty-one. The verse begins with murder, the flagrant and free taking of human life. Since no age is given, can it be right to assume that any season of life is fair game? The unborn? The senior citizens? Very likely.

Next on the list are sorceries; literally meaning the use of drugs. Seems that things cannot get worse in the drug culture of our day, but it is. How many have you supported with your vote for office, that have put the almighty dollar ahead of lives? Voted for legalization of drugs.

Following these, the list includes sexual immorality, literally fornication. This is the total disregard for the marriage vows, the living together culture, the sexual immorality of same gender cohabitation and marriage. Have you seen the news that STDs are rising in our country, indeed, around the world? Such an enlightened world, it is not?

Finally, the list includes thefts. Presently, fraud, deceit, and dishonesty are the order of the day. Identity theft, hacking, phishing, spam, it goes on and on. What a safe world in which we live! Even our government steals from us and gives the proceeds to countries that will support the deep state.

My dad used to tell me that things will go along this way for some time, then it will change, it will get worse.

Notice the overruling power of God. It interweaves throughout the passage.

  1. God allows this judgment to occur
  2. God sets the limits on the destructive power of the demon-locust-scorpions
  3. God brings it to a conclusion only when His purposes in the judgment finishes
  4. God is in complete control

What a terrible time the great Day of Judgment will be! I am not trying to exaggerate its horrors, but am only trying to tell you what God’s Word says concerning that coming day of wrath. It is not my purpose to alarm you, but to warn and, if necessary, to alarm you into seeking shelter underneath the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ –M.R. DeHaan

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

If this is coming – and it is – what sort of Christian ought we be? How many do we personally know that would experience these judgments – suffer the outcomes. Do we want that to happen? How urgent is the sharing of the Gospel? What of those God crosses your path with; is it important that they also hear the Gospel? When will that really be important to us?

God’s Judgment . . . Wrath is coming

Vol.4, No.41 – October 13, 2019, Countdown to the end – 28

Now the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared to blow them –Revelation 8:6

Seven seals on the scroll were opened. There is silence in Heaven for the time space of one-half hour. Can silence deepen? Yes. This silence is absolute. This silence deepens the sense of anticipation as the angels hold seven trumpets. The silence is pregnant.

The angels raise their trumpets. Something momentous is about to happen!

The narrative in the balance of chapter eight includes four of the trumpets. The last trumpet blast does not occur until late in our tenth chapter. There is much to take place. Every trumpet blast is destructive – affecting life as the world knows it.

  • Trumpet One: 1/3 of the earth and vegetation burn up
  • Trumpet Two: 1/3 of the sea turns to blood, 1/3 of the creatures contained die, and 1/3 of the ships destroyed
  • Trumpet Three: 1/3 of all fresh water comes to ruin; countless thousands die when they drink it
  • Trumpet Four: 1/3 of the light from the sun, the moon, and other heavenly bodies dim, throwing the world into chaos

Then in Revelation 8:13 there is a dire warning. Read it. The first four trumpet blasts are a drop in the bucket to what is in store for the people of the earth.

What is God doing in the first four trumpet judgments? He effectively shakes the foundations that people take for granted. The earth and its vegetation, the sea and its creatures, the ships and shipping lanes, the fresh water—that which people of the earth drink, and the celestial lights in the sky dim. All this forms a foundation for lives of people of the earth.

Earth people assume these foundations will always be there; will always be stable (in spite of paranoid climate change philosophies). Foundations are important. Even our homes and businesses stand on foundations. Navigation across the earth is based on foundations. Commerce is based on foundations.

The judgments form a reality for earth-bound humanity – the One who stands behind foundations is the One who gave them to humanity. This One can simply command a trumpet be blown, and the One removes 1/3 of what humanity relies upon.

The judgments bring to reality that humanity not only takes for granted the foundations the One provides; humanity also takes for granted the foundation Giver. Now the time comes for the Holy One who sits on the throne to execute justice.

Humanity seeks to dismiss the absolute truth of a Holy God. Excused offered, other gods employed, and little acknowledgement of the reality of Almighty God is common.

So dramatic are the judgments, and so unmistakably an evidence of the power and sovereignty of God, that men on earth can no longer ignore the facts. God is dealing with humanity. Philosophy and warped theology dismiss a God of judgment. After all, religion teaches that God is simply a grace giving One. Catastrophic judgments – well, that is metaphors to get humanity’s attention. Yet the Word of God is plain; humanity must avail themselves of grace before it is too late, for judgment is coming.

For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).

Worthy are you, our Lord and God! Revelation 4:11

He, who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches! Revelation 2:7

Behold, Jesus is coming soon Revelation 22:6

Life Application

What humanity suppresses is not because they do not know. No one can suppress the unknown; one can only suppress the known. What we suppress is a choice (not always a good choice). It is what is common to humanity. What truth are you suppressing today? It is your choice. What you need to be concerned about is the outcome of your choices. “So they are without excuse.”

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