|Revelation 16 |
1 Then I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls [vials] of the wrath of God upon the earth."
2 And the first went, and poured out his bowl upon the earth; and foul and grievous sores fell upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon those who worshipped his image.
3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl upon the sea; and it became like the blood of a dead man; and every living thing died in the sea.
4 And the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and springs of waters; and they became blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, "You are righteous, O Lord, who is, and who was, and who is to be, because of your judgments.
6 For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink, as they deserve."
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments."
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, who has power over these plagues; but they did not repent and give him glory.
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the seat [throne] of the beast; and his kingdom was plunged into darkness; and people gnawed their tongues in pain,
11 And people blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, but they did not repent of their deeds.1
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river Euphrates; and the water of it was dried up, so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.2
14 For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, who go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle3 of that great day of God Almighty.
15 "Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who stays awake and watches, and keeps his garments, so that he may not be naked, and they see his shame."4
16 Then he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
17 And the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done."
18 Then there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as had not been since men were upon the earth, so mighty was the earthquake, and so great.5
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give to her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone weighed a talent (about one hundred pounds); and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague of it was exceedingly great.6
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 people blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, but they did not repent of their deeds. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, who has power over these plagues; but they did not repent and give him glory. These troubles will not come as a surprise to the people of the earth. God's prophets will preach the true gospel and announce the troubles coming to the entire earth, which prophecies will be accompanied by a demonstration of power that will be clearly seen and understood. But man has devolved to such a drunken, selfish, pleasure-filled lifestyle in the 21st Century that the vast majority of people will be unwilling to give up their "freedom" of slavery to sin. Instead they will bemoan the unfairness of God, calling him evil and cruel, calling his prophets evil, and cursing God. The whole earth, (with few exceptions), will openly hate and curse God. From the Word of the Lord within: "The selfish human nature is being exposed and brought out once for all." Human nature will be exposed to all men as demonic, hating God; just as Roman 8:7 has told us before: Because the carnal mind is enmity against God. For it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.
Thus the Lord will have an indelible record of the final result of man's "freedom" to decide good and evil for himself, (as the devil originally tempted Eve). For future worlds, man's "freedom" that led to world-wide hate of God, will be available for study as reminders where that supposed "freedom" ends up.
2 the false prophet. Many people think prophets only foretell the future, but Paul tells us, "he who prophesies speaks to men for edification, and exhortation, and comfort." 1 Cor 14:3. All preachers and teachers prophesy. If they have not been sent by God and if they do not speak the words God has told them to speak, they are false prophets: I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran [to you]. I have not spoken to them, yet they have prophesied. Jer 23:21. "The prophets prophesy lies in my name. I did not send them, neither have I commanded them, nor spoken to them. Jer 14:14. The false prophet(s) are the ministers of Christendom, not taught by the Lord's voice and light, not perfected by the Lord, not gifted with an authorized ministry, not sent by the Lord, and not speaking words from the Spirit of the Lord; rather they speak from their carnal minds, the nature of death, and preach their vain opinions from the imagination of their evil hearts. They have the sheep's clothing, but they speak like the dragon from their carnal minds.
3 For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, who go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle. We have already read where the beast with horns like a lamb, but who spoke like a dragon, had great power to perform many wonders, including bringing fire down from heaven; those miracles permitted to establish the false church. Now we see where more demons with power to work miracles are permitted to maintain the army that opposes the true church, this army being the collection of the many sects in Christendom and other world religions, gathered together in a place called Armageddon with the rulers of the world to do battle with the saints.
Edward Burrough, who was a kingdom-dwelling giant in the early Quaker movement, wrote that the many sects in Christendom along with the rulers of the world, were gathered together in the early Quakers' time to do battle with the saints, which is commonly referred to as Armageddon, which battle was, is, and is to come, (like Jesus, who is, who was, and who is to come, so is His revelation, so is the battle; all are experienced by those past, those present, and those in the future):
By faith with Abraham, have you come out of your native country, from your kindred, and out of your father's house: with Moses, have you forsaken the glory of Pharaoh's house, and chosen rather to suffer affliction among the poor despised people, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin. Great shall be your reward, you condemned ones; glory, honor and everlasting happiness is prepared for you if you stand faithful to the end. The Lord is with you as a mighty terrible one; and therefore shall all your persecutors be ashamed and confounded. The sound of a trumpet is heard among you, which makes all nations come to a stand, and all the heathen to wonder, and all the rulers, nobles, and chief priests are in consultation, combining together to suppress the Army of the Lord of hosts, which he is gathering together; fear not, nor be dismayed, for the sounding of your trumpet causes an alarm, and makes all the inhabitants of the land to tremble, and all bow before the sound of it, for the sound of it is terrible to the nations, to all kingdoms and dominions. The Lord of heaven is your captain, who rides upon the clouds, and whose glory is above the world; and therefore you shall obtain the conquest in the battle, and all your enemies shall be put to flight, and one of you shall chase one thousand, for he who has all power in his hand is with you; and all your enemies are limited by him.
The sects of Christendom, (including Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists, Puritans, etc.), along with judges, justices, sheriffs, mayors, generals, colonels, governors, legislators, even the King and Lord Protector, made brutal war against the early Quakers, which Quakers as the Word of the Lord within said: "exhibited their moral ethnicity of the Church of Christ." Speaking of the sects of Christendom, the Word of the Lord within said:
they are the spirits of demons, working miracles
With miracles, demons convince those in the deficit sects of Christianity that God is answering their prayers and that their religion is the true religion. Despite the scriptures of the New Testament clearly stating that we should love our enemies, that we should pray for our enemies, that we should turn the other check, and that it was Satanic to even think about killing those that do not share our faith; with misdirected zeal in defense of their false religion, do the deficit sects of Christianity, (wolves in sheep's clothing), hunt and kill who are truly born of the Spirit: but as it was then, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Gal 4:29. Yes, the time is coming when whoever kills you will think that he is doing a service to God. John 16:2.
All the Protestant and Catholic sects that killed, (or even approved of killing), those with a different religious opinion were very different from real Christians; in even considering murder, they were following and yielding to their father the devil, who was the murderer from the beginning.
When the true church comes out of the wilderness to become a publicly seen entity again, the battle will once again be taken up — the army of false Christians persecuting the true Christians; the false Christians of Christendom having been massively deceived with the miracles of demons performed over the centuries, fooling all except the elect to think the source of the miracles was God. When the true church appears again, it will come in such power that the miracles of the demons will pale in contrast.
Does this mean that all prayers from those in Babylon are answered by demons? No, God hears the prayers of those still inside Babylon who are struggling to avoid sin, whose hearts are truly tender to Him, and who repent of anything they are shown by Him; and because they have yet to discover the true hope and true gospel, because they have yet to be shown that Babylon is worship of the devil, because they have yet to be called out by Him, He will sometimes take pity on such a soul and grant his prayer. But to those healing ministries with great show, great pomp, great words of vanity, loud and raucous services, the same cannot be said; you will know them by the fruits they obviously lack: self-control, peace, gentleness, humility, etc. One such healing ministry of several years ago, (still highly touted by the Pentecostals), had a minister who slugged people in the stomach to heal them; one man he slugged so hard that he died, but of course the minister then raised him from the dead. I won't comment on the current ones, but you can judge them by their fruits and thus trace the source of their miracles.
The Lord is recorded as warning us three times about false Christian prophets, (ministers, evangelists, teachers), that perform miracles:
Power without truth is how the false church of Babylon was established. Do not be deceived with power accompanied by lies. Unless power is accompanied by the true gospel, (freedom from even the desire to sin, union with Christ and God, and translation into the kingdom of God while still on earth), through repentance on the inward cross of self-denial that results in Jesus appearing in your heart to destroy all sin, such power is from the devil and not God.
Never accept any demonstration of power as necessarily coming from God. Remember Jannes and Jambres, the Egyptian Magicians, who cast down their rods that turned into serpents, and who turned the waters of Egypt to blood. The miracle workers of Christendom, who preach the false gospel of instant grace as a license for excusing continuation of sin, derive their power from Satan. However, the power of Satan is not limited to false Christian ministers; it is also frequently demonstrated in other religions.
Although Babylon's false prophets are very difficult to discern, the elect are not deceived because their love of the truth overrides their being impressed with demonstrations of power accompanied by lies.
4 Behold, I come like a thief. Blessed is he who stays awake and watches, and keeps his garments, so that he may not be naked, and they see his shame. The Lord appears within your heart when he is not expected, like a thief in the night. So, keep watching, keep listening, keep seeking, keep repenting, keep giving; do so, and your garment of righteousness will keep you from being naked when he appears. This indicates a personal, spiritual experience, rather than a single event on the earth. The fact that this verse, (15), is between verse 14, which speaks of gathering the kings of the earth and the whole world to the battle, and verse 16, which references the battle to take place in Armageddon, is strong evidence that this battle occurs whenever the Spirit of Christ appears in those truly born again; for whenever that Spirit appears, the world unites in an attempt to destroy it. Why? Because the Spirit of Christ insists that men become holy, pure, and perfect; therefore, those who have a form of religion and are still following their carnal minds and evil imaginations, find that insistence from the Spirit of Christ to be very threatening to their presumed salvation and supposed pass to heaven, (covenant with death and agreement with Hell), when they die still sinning. But as it was then, he who was born after the flesh persecuted him who was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Gal 4:29.
5 there was a great earthquake, such as had not been since men were upon the earth, so mighty was the earthquake, and so great. George Fox in multiple writings mentions this earthquake as a personal, spiritual experience, rather than a physical event on the earth. This great earthquake comes on the righteous as Jesus appears to destroy the sin in them; in this great day of the Lord, by this great earthquake every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; it comes on the wicked when they die. Below are a few of Fox's statements, written over 300 years ago:
And now the great earthquake John speaks of, is coming among you false prophets, antichrists, harlots, and apostates from the apostles, compellers to your worship.
And an earthquake is coming upon you that has not been since the foundation of the world, out of which earthquake we have come, into what cannot be shaken.
Woes, vials, thunders, plagues, and earthquakes are come, and coming upon you!
This light will let you see the good ground without you; so are they who are the good heart, plowing up outside, so plowing up the fallow ground within you. As you hear the thunder without you, so you may hear the thunder within you; the voice without, so the voice within you. These are figures. As the earthquake without you, so the earthquake within you; and as mountains without you, so mountains within you; as hail-stones without you, so hail-stones within you; as wolves without you, so the nature of wolves within you; here you can go no way but you may read your figure.
Now is the fulfilling of the word of God. Now is the earthquake known, such an earthquake as has not been since the foundation of the world. The mystery of iniquity shall be discovered, and the true mystery of godliness is revealed, which does discover it. Glory to God in the highest, and the Lamb and the saints shall have the victory.
The alarm to the world is given, the trumpet is sounding, the woes is going forth, plagues to the beast, vials, and thunders, and earthquake, such a one as has not been since the foundation of the world,
Now see your fenced cities broken down with the arm of the Lord God. The power of the Lord God is going over your city to break it down, and you are as Cain, that went from God, to whom the woe belongs, and plagues, and misery, and thunders, and vials, and the earthquake shall be known to shake down that part.
6 there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone weighed about one hundred pounds; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague of it was exceedingly great. There are a number of Old Testament passages that refer to God' s use of hail in a battle context (Psa. 18:12-13; 78:47-48; 105:32; 148:8; Isa. 28:17; 30:30; 32:19; Ezek. 13:11-13; 38:22). George Fox in multiple writings mentions hailstones as a personal, spiritual plague, rather than a physical event on the earth. The following is from George Fox's Letter #91, which shows that the seven thunders and the seven bowls, (or vials), or plagues, including the hail and earthquakes, are an individual experience of tribulations in the revealing, (the revelation), of Christ within you:
In the spirit of the living God wait upon God,
to learn of and to be taught by him.
For now the beast opens his mouth in blasphemy,
speaking great swelling words.
And now is the cage of unclean birds, and the unclean spirits,
which are gone forth into the earth, seen.
And now are the locusts seen, and the caterpillars known.
And now are the seven thunders uttering their voices.
And now are the hailstones falling,
and the vials of the wrath of God pouring out upon the beast and the false prophet.
However a physical event was recorded in the following scriptures:
Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? Or have you seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war? Job 38:22-23
And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Bethhoron, that the LORD cast down great hailstones from heaven upon them to Azekah, and they died; there were more of them who died from the hailstones than those whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. Joshua 10:11
The size of the hail has been described at just under 100 lbs.; whatever was hit by hail of that size would be destroyed. Only underground would survive.
Hail was used as a plague against Pharaoh, which destroyed all plants and trees in Egypt, Exo 9:22-26, except in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel lived. The land of Goshen also had light in all the Israelite homes, while the rest of Egypt was in darkness; which is the allegory of the mature believer's body is full of light, while those of the world remain in spiritual darkness.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter