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.”

The pause . . .

Vol.4, No.40 – October 6, 2019

“Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” I said to him, “Sir, you know.” –Revelation 7:13-14

There is a pause . . . an interlude. It is the calm before the storm breaks out in chapter 8. The entire world held in abeyance (a state of temporary disuse or suspension) by the all-powerful (omnipotent), Living God, waits.

A pointed and significant crowd of 144,000, gathered in Heaven, receives extraordinary care. Who are these?

  • The Seventh-Day Adventists say, “We are! We keep the Law and it’s Sabbath
  • The Jehovah’s Witnesses claim they are the “Overcomers,” and they are striving by good works, to be a part of the select 144,000
  • Theologians/denominations/preachers identify the 144,000 as the “12×12“—the “true” church
  • Some identify the 144,000 as the church that is Israel of the age – it is a position, a spiritual one, they say

What would happen if we simply accepted chapter seven at face value? God is not done with the Jew, with Israel.

Inside the Jewish universal heart is that presentment that God has some greater and better thing for their people. I must not deny to Israel the blessings as well as the curses –unknown author

God has a plan, a program, His outcome, a purpose for Israel; in God’s time coming to pass. The gathering of the 144,000 Jews is indicative of such a plan; not fully revealed in chapter seven, it is never-the-less grounds for our contemplation.

In verse 9, there is another company of people. After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches . . .

Who are these “blood-bought multitudes?” This is the throngs, redeemed. This is not Israel, nor is it the Church. These must be Gentile converts brought to the Messiah as the outcome of Israel’s restoration (becoming God’s missionaries and evangelists). Finally, thousands get it. They become obedient to the expectations of God (2 Corinthians 5:17f depicts the expectation of every believer, not according to denomination or Jewishness or even one who is a Gentile.

This huge band of believers stand before the throne of the Lamb. They join in the midst of angels to be a part of an awe-inspiring worship service. What makes their worship awe-inspiring? They worship God, because from out of the wrath and judgments God brings to the Great Tribulation, they come through martyrship. They worship because of who God is, not who they are. God’s strength made perfect in their weakness.

What about us? How is the reality of our worship? To whom is our worship directed? On the other hand, do we just come to church to follow a bulletin, be entertained, and then hopefully, only have to endure a 20-minute speech?

Revelation is not simply a book of the end times. The book is a challenge. The Great Tribulation believers have greater suffering that we could imagine. Surely, their prayers were many and specific. I wonder if they ended their requests to Almighty God with “But if not . . . I will still trust You and love You.”

Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen! –Revelation 7:12

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

How is our praying? Do they praise Almighty God? Do they belong before the throne? In spite of all that befalls us? But, if not . . . will you still trust God, still love Him?

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