Monday, August 30, 2021

Stand Up And Shine Out - Isaiah 60:1-5

Stand Up And Shine Out - Isaiah 60:1-5

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Introduction: A Change of Direction

A notorious drunk got on the bus early one morning after being out all night drink. He woke up on a bus bench and climbed into the bus. He staggered down the aisle, and as luck would have it he sat right next to an elderly woman who was reading her Bible.

She looks the wayward drunk up and down. He smiles his best smile though foggy eyes and terrible breath and tells the old saint, “Good morning, miss. Isn’t it a beautiful day?” A light of righteous indignation comes into her eyes and she says, "I've got news for you, Mister.  You're on your way to hell!"

Suddenly the man jumped up out of the seat and shouted to the driver, "Stop. I'm on the wrong bus AGAIN!"

Cause to Shine - Isaiah 60:1  

Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

God Commands His Nation

Background and Context: God speaking through Isaiah in the chapters previous to 60 has told the nation Israel it is a mess.

In Isaiah 58:1 He condemns their religious hypocrisy, “Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  Yet they seek me daily, and delight to know my ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and forsook not the ordinance of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God.

In chapter 59 He exposes their utter sinfulness 1 Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. 3  For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

But then suddenly we come to chapter 60:1 and God speaking through Isaiah tells the same people “Arise, Shine!”.” In the midst of such darkness such sin and such hypocrisy He says “Stand up and Shine Out.”

Why? How after such a scathing rebuke of the blackness of their sin, would he tell them this?

Well of course the reason is right there in the verse, “Arise, Shine for thy light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.”

It was not what hypocritical, sinful Israel could, would do or was doing. The reason they would be able to stand up and shine out was because of what God was going to do. He was going to bring a light to them, He was going to let His glory be seen  in them.

This would happen when their Messiah, their King, the Lord of Light was sent from God to rule and reign. This take place at the end of the Tribulation we have been preaching for the past 2 years. Well not quite that long. More specifically this is a prophecy of what will take place during the Millennial rule of Jesus on earth after He returns and scatters the night of sin from the earth.
Their light will be the light of their King, Jesus Christ. Lord of Lord and King of Kings.

Jesus himself claimed this part of Isaiah prophecies. He clearly stated that they were about Him. Every thing from Isaiah 58-66 is about God reclaiming Israel as His nation, His people and His spiritual wife. Each chapter is a sermon. Just like all preachers, The Lord liked to preach themes.

God’s Retaking of Israel and The Plan of Peace

Sermon I. False worship contrasted with true. 58:1-14.
Sermon II. Israel’s confession and her rescue by God. 59:1-21.
Sermon III. Radiance and peace of God’s redeemed people. 60:1-22.
Sermon IV. The joy-bringing gospel of the Annointed One. 61:1-11.
Sermon V. restoration of Zion; destruction of infidel heathen. 62:1–63:6.
Sermon VI. Israel’s plea for help, based on past mercies. 63:7–64:12.
Sermon VII. God’s mercy reserved for spiritual Israel. 65:1-25.
Sermon VIII. Blessing of true believers in the final age. 66:1-24. - Wycliffe Bible Commentary

Jesus Claims the Promise

When Jesus was here, He began the work that would one day result in God’s people Israel coming back to His father.  In Luke 4:16-21 we read, And he (Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read. And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

That is why in our text today, we hear the command of the Lord to Arise and Shine. Jesus has come and His light has banished the thickest night.

Jesus Commands His church

As you read this command given to Israel, shouldn’t it also thrill our hearts? Surely, we can see the parallel between God’s message to the nation of Israel and Jesus’ message to His church today.

All you have to do is look around.  Do you see hypocrisy? Hypocrisy is so prevalent, that most people believe it’s normal. Especially when it comes to politicians and the ruling elite that govern us. They can tell us what to do and then ignore the very same mandate when it comes to them, their friends, and their families.  Hypocrisy is a fog of lies that makes the darkness around us deeper. And let me tell you from God’s word, God hates hypocrites.
In the darkness around us it is easy to see the individual streams of hypocrisy trying to obscure the outright sin that is going on behind its veil. Never in our lifetimes nor in the history of this nation has sin been so openly accepted, encouraged and even applauded.  Babies are sacrificed to the God of planned parenthood, children are groomed for the God of homosexuality, families are being shattered by the god of feminism and many churches are being infiltrated by the god of this world. People, its dark out there.

Yet, in the midst of such great sin, we are told to god and be a light for Jesus. Just as God one day will say to Israel, “Arise, Shine!” We have already received that command from our Lord. Jesus has already sent us forth to be light in this dark world.

Unlike Israel, we are not waiting for a returning Savior, He is already with us. His light has already been given to us. God’s glory, that same glory that led Israel in the wilderness, and filled the Temple, has already come upon the church on the day of Pentecost.

Acts 2:1-4 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost.

We have seen the light of Jesus Christ, we have been baptized in the glory of God through the Holy Spirit and now in the midst of this present darkness we rise and stand as beacons of light, like lighthouses along a dark and stormy shore we light the way to safety and hope in Jesus Christ.

Illustration: Cutting Holes in the Darkness

At age twelve, Robert Louis Stevenson was looking out into the dark from his upstairs window watching a man light the streetlamps. Stevenson's governess came into the room and asked what he was doing. He replied, "I am watching a man cut holes in the darkness." This is our task, this is our calling to cut holes in the darkness with the glorious light of God.  -James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) pp. 178-179

In verse 2 the God tells Israel that in the Millenium they will be those lighthouses for him.

Covered in Dark Isaiah 60:2

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

God’s Promise

The people they would be a great light in great darkness
In Isaiah’s prophecy God paints a picture of strong contrasts.

A world and a people in great darkness.
The darkness upon the heart of the people even blacker than the darkness upon the world. God says it will be gross darkness.

The Hebrew word means gloom, like the darkness that comes not only from the night but also from a night is which the sky is filled with threatening clouds. A darkness in which even the moon and stars can’t be seen.
Then in the midst of this impenetrable blackness, God says, “But the Lord shall arise upon thee and his glory shall be seen in thee.”

Let me give you a review and a preview of our Revelation series. When Jesus the King of the Jews returns for his nation, it will be, just as is prophecied here, a black and seemingly hopeless night.

The Bible tells us that the stars will go out, the sun not shine through and the moon will be seen as though it is has been turned to blood.

Jerusalem will be at war with the world and at the very brink of defeat. Taking their last stand in the City of Zion.

Then at that moment, at the split second when it seems too dark to survive, a shout will be heard, “Look in the east, there is a light.”  And all the participaants in this battle from the Jews to the army of the Anti-Christ will look to the eastern sky and there they will see the light of Jesus, ripping through the darkness. He come like lightning, the Bible says and with Him all the host of heaven’s armies. He comes to claim victory, to save his people from utter destruction.

Then Israel shall arise and shine and God’s glory seen in her.

Listen to what happens next as its recorded by Zechariah 12:4-6, 8-9 In that day, saith the LORD,I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left:

Vs. 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

God’s Power - The darker the night, the brighter our light.

Isn’t it always this way with God? Doesn’t he always wait until we have spent our own strength and all we have left is hope in Him?

It should not break us, or cause is to faint or fall away when we see the world around us getting darker with each passing day. Yes, the darkness of men’s souls is so dark at times it seems as though there is no hope.
But it is at those deep dark times that God acts and the hope of the gospel and the promise of His Word shine the brightest. We need to realize that the darker the night the brighter is our light.  The harder our path, the greater will be our joy when we reach our destination.  The more hopeless our situation, the sweeter will be the victory in Jesus.

When you think its time to give up on this world, this country or those family and friends around you who seem too lost in the dark to ever find their way out, just remember you, child of God, you shine brightest to them in their darkest hour. No, it is not a time to be discouraged. It’s not a time to shrink back due to more bad news, or bigger disappointment. Oh no, that’s the time to Arise and Shine, for never has there been darker nights but we are even brighter lights through Jesus Christ.

Illustration. Christmas at Ravensbruk

   It was Christmas, 1944. Betsie had died. I was in a hospital barracks in Ravensbruck. Dark it was in my heart, and darkness was around me.

   There were Christmas trees in the street between the barracks. Why, I don't know. They were the saddest Christmas trees I ever saw in my life. I am sure it was with the purpose of blaspheming that they had thrown dead bodies of prisoners under the Christmas trees.

   I tried to talk to the people around me about Christmas, but they mocked, ridiculed, and sneered at whatever I said. At last I was quiet. It was in the middle of the night that I suddenly heard a child crying and calling, "Mommy! Come to Oelie, Oelie feels so alone." I went to her and saw a child not so young, but feebleminded.

   "Oelie, Mommy cannot come, but do you know who is willing to come to you? That is Jesus."

   The girl was lying on a bed next to the window, not far from my bed. Although Oelie was completely emaciated from lack of food, she had a sweet face, beautiful eyes, and wavy hair. It was so touching to hear her call for her mother. Oelie had been operated on and the incision on her back was covered by a bandage of toilet paper.

   That night I told this poor child about Jesus. How He came into the world as a little baby -- how He came to save us from our sins.

   "The Lord Jesus loves Oelie and has borne her punishment on the cross. Now Oelie may go to heaven, and Jesus is there right now. He is getting a little house ready for Oelie." Later I asked her what she remembered of what I had told her.

   "What is the little house like?" I asked.

   "It is very beautiful. There are no wicked people as in Ravensbruck -- only good people and angels. And Oelie will see Jesus there."

   Then Oelie folded her hands; together we gave thanks.
   Then I knew why I had to spend this Christmas in Ravensbruck -- 1944. Corrie's Christmas Memories

Coming of Kings - Isaiah 60:3

And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Jesus In Jerusalem Brings The World

The Lord promises the result of arising and shining.
Isaiah tells his nation the result of God’s shining and their arising. The Gentiles and Kings of the Earth would come to their light.

This nation, despised, invaded, attacked, and driven almost to destruction now becomes the nation where all the world comes. The Bible tells us that during the Millennium, the 1000 year reign of the Messiah upon the earth, all the world will flock to Jerusalem, all the great leaders of the world will make pilgrimages there.
Why would they do this? Because Jesus will rule and reign on the throne of David and all the world will come to see the true, everlasting, “light of the world.” They will come to hear Him, teach the words of life. They will come to feel His healing touch upon their broken lives and bodies. They will come to experience the deepest, truest love they will ever know. They will come to the Son of God and there will no longer be any doubt of who He is or what He can do.

Jesus In the Church Brings The Lost

That same reality, that will bring the nations to Jerusalem during the Millenium, can also bring people the light of Christ today. It can and it will, if it can be seen in us, our families and our church that Jesus rules and reigns on the throne of our heart today, just as He will reign one day on the Throne of David.

We must show the light and truth of Jesus in us and then people will see that light through us. Isn’t this what Jesus said, in Matthew 5:14-16 “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

We must not hide our light, we must be that city set on a hill, we must arise and shine!

Don’t be like the timid Christian who prayed every morning: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign." One day he found himself on a bus when a big, burly, intimidating man sat down right next to him even though the bus was nearly empty.
The cowed Christian anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus.  But before he got there, the big guy next to him, burst into tears and began to weep.  He then cried out with a loud voice, "I need to be saved.  I'm a lost sinner and I need the Lord.  Won't somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to the Christian and pleaded, "Can you show me how to be saved?" Our hero immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, I need to ask you, is this a sign?

It’s not hard, all you have to do is Stand up and Shine Out.

If you’re a child of God then the light is already in you. You’ve just got to get out from under whatever bushel is covering you up and let your light shine.

Illustration: Luigi Tarisio and 246 violins

Luigi Tarisio was found dead one morning with scarce a comfort in his home, but with 246 exquisite violins, which he had been collecting all his life, crammed into an attic, and the drawers of an old rickety bureau. He loved the violin but by collecting them in his attic, instead of letting others play them, he had robbed the world of all that music. Others, that he bought violins from had done the same. After his collection was discovered and gone through, they found a priceless Stradivarius. It was presented at a concert for the world to hear it music for the first time in over 147 years.
Don’t be like that misguided man. Your light is not meant to be hoarded or hidden. It is meant to be seen. Let is shine. -James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988), p. 492

Conclusion: “Let the Lower Lights be Burning”

The song, “Let the Lower Be burning” Was written by Phillip P. Bliss. At DL Moody’s urging Bliss became a singing evangelist so in 1874, Bliss and his young wife Lucy, began full time evangelism, “winning souls” for Christ.

Bliss wrote Hold the Fort, Almost Persuaded; Hallelujah, What a Saviour!; Let the Lower Lights Be Burning; and Wonderful Words of Life. He wrote the tune for It Is Well With My Soul. It seemed he had a great future before him, but on December 29, 1876, Philip and Lucy were traveling through Ashtabula, Ohio to an evangelistic meeting at Moody’s church in Chicago. While the train was crossing a bridge it which collapsed. All seven cars fell into the ravine. Phillip somehow survived the fall, but could not find Lucy, the carriages had caught fire but Bliss ran toward them to try to free his wife. They yelled at him to stop, it was too dangerous, but he said, “If I cannot save her, I will perish with her.” He would not let her die alone. That same love and devotion to lost souls is reflected in all his songs and this one is a fitting way to end this sermon.

Brightly beams our Father’s mercy from His lighthouse evermore,
But to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
For to us He gives the keeping of the lights along the shore.

Chorus: Let the lower lights be burning!
Send a gleam across the wave!
Some poor fainting, struggling seaman
You may rescue, you may save.
Dark the night of sin has settled, loud the angry billows roar;
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Eager eyes are watching, longing, for the lights, along the shore.
Trim your feeble lamp, my brother, some poor sailor tempest tossed,
Trying now to make the harbor, in the darkness may be lost.
Let the lower lights be burning! Send a gleam across the wave!
Trying now to make the harbor, some poor sailor may be lost.

Monday, August 23, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #13: God’s Wrath Outpoured - Revelation 16

 The Epistle of Jesus #13: God’s Wrath Outpoured - Rev 16  

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Introduction:  The bowl judgements are directed at the beast, his seat, and those who worship him. The judgements are severe, the worst up till now. Some wonder why God world be so severe so merciless? The world looks at this passage of the judgment of God in the book of Revelation and the Exodus or in the prophecies from Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah and the other OT books, they look at these and ask how can you believe in such a cruel, bloodthirsty God?

There are denominations that have bypassed all those passages or any passages that talk of hell and judgment. Instead, they only speak of God’s love, forgiveness, mercy and grace. Of course, they fail to see that forgiveness, mercy and grace are only needed, only possible in fact, if judgment and hell are part of who God is. There is no need of mercy if God does not punish sin.  

So they create a god in their own imagination, a god who has little power, little holiness and little sense. C S Lewis once said, “What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, ’What does it matter so long as they are contented?’ We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven—a senile benevolence who, as they say, ’liked to see young people enjoying themselves’ and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, ’a good time was had by all’.

But throughout the Bible we see a much different God that what the world wants. Psalms 76:7-9 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry?  Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still,
When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth.

God is Holy. God is righteous and God will judge sin. Revelation is the book that reveal that judgment upon the earth and Revelation 16 is the final series of judgments that brings it all to a conclusion. After the bowl judgments we will hear a great voice from heaven calling out. “It is done.”

We are going to read about some horrific, terrible things this morning all which fall according to the plan of God as John the apostle saw it happening about 2000 years ago. As you read this I want us to remember that yes God in His holiness is a wrathful, vengeful God, but also in that holiness that hates sin is a love that offers mercy to the those caught in sin’s web. Holiness is the reason sin is judged but it is also the reason pardon is offered. We can see this throughout the Bible and especially in the book of Revelation. Judgment is coming but before judgment is unleashed God sends warning after warning. But man in his arrogance does not care about God’s warnings. Man in his arrogance and complacency often ignore warnings of every kind.

Catastrophes often follow ignored warnings.

The Eruption Of Mount Vesuvius that buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

We have all heard about the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, AD 79, it killed a thousands of people and buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii. Yet most if not all of the citizens could have escaped if they had just heeded the warnings. In the past two other cities had already been wiped out by the volcano, but they did not heed history. Before the the day of the eruption, Pompeii experienced series of tremors and earthquakes, caused by an increase pressure of the lava below Mount Vesuvius.  
The mountain, which had been quiet and dormant, began to make groaning sounds, and the sea around the Bay of Naples became so hot that it boiled and produced bubbles. Animals, including rats, left the town in droves, while wells and streams, especially those close to the mountain, mysteriously dried up. The people of Pompeii ignored these obvious warnings and they died.

You might think, well that was ancient Rome, today we would be more aware, but we are not. Most of us can remember the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami. More than 230,000 people were killed, 500,000 were injured, and 1.7 million were left homeless on December 26, 2004, after 9.2-magnitude earthquake caused a tsunami that affected 14 countries in Asia and eastern and southern Africa. The deadliest natural disasters in recorded human history.

Seven years before the earthquake and tsunami, a top government official in Thailand warned that the country would soon be hit by a tsunami. His calls were ignored, and he was termed “crazy.” He was also banned from entering some parts of Thailand, where he was considered a threat to tourism.

The Pacific Ocean Tsunami Warning System also called the embassies and government officials of several Asian countries after the 9.2 underwater earthquake and warned them that they were at risk of a tsunami. Most countries ignored the warning, and even those that listened didn’t take any tangible action. Many countries still ignored the threat when it hit their outlying coasts and even refused to warn people living in the inlying coasts. In Indonesia, the sea receded several hundred meters after the earthquake, a clear warning of an incoming tsunami, but no one had told the people, and many ran into the retreated ocean to catch stranded fish, only to  look up as a wall of water moving as fast as a speeding train rose over them and it was too late.

There were warnings about the impending bombing Of Pearl Harbor, even sitting on the President’s desk, but they were ignored. There were many warnings from many sources about Iraq’s Invasion Of Kuwait, or the danger of the Challenger shuttle launching in cold weather and so many more. Warnings that were ignored and hundreds of thousands suffered.

The Warnings of Revelation

God Warns the World

We see it all over again on a even more unbelievable scale in the book of Revelation. The entire book is one, long, impossible to ignore warning that Jesus is coming back and God will judge the sins of earth, especially exacting vengeance upon those who have persecuted His people. 

Just a few Sundays ago we read in Revelation 14:6-12 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. … And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

The boundary finally reached. What we see finally happening in Revelation 16 is that God has reached the limit, not of his mercy, but of his plan for mankind. What we see is a boundary that has finally been reached.

Job 38:8-11 Or who shut up the sea with doors,
when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?
When I made the cloud the garment thereof,
and thick darkness a swaddlingband for it,
And brake up for it my decreed place,
and set bars and doors,
And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further:
and here shall thy proud waves be stayed?
What God did to the sea, He as done to all things in creation, he has set a boundary. He has also set a boundary to the rebellion, sinfulness and power of man. That boundary, that limit is reached in Revelation 16 and after this there are no more offers of mercy, no more cries for repentance. Those are past and only judgement on the earth and eternal punishment lie beyond.

The last seven plagues are the outpouring of God’s wrath directly upon the beast and his worshippers. God has taken the last of his people home with the harvest home reaping of chapter 15 and now there is only the reaping of the grapes of wrath.

Last Preparations

Chapter 14 and 15 were the final preparations for the final act of God’s judgment against mankind upon the earth. He has brought home the 2 witnesses, the 144,000 and the vast majority of all the believers upon the earth. He has sent forth one last messenger, the angel of chapter 14, who would be heard all around the world,  proclaiming the everlasting Gospel for the last time.

Now He has called forth his angels of wrath from within the Temple and they are sent to the earth and specifically to the kingdom of the Beast.

The 7 Bowl Judgments

The Last Judgments of God’s Wrath Outpoured

Revelation 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.  

1st Bowl Grievous Sores

Revelation 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

The word vial in the Greek is φιάλη/ phialē, which is a small shallow cup or bowl.

There are many parallels with this last series of judgments and the plagues that God unleashed upon Egypt in the book of Exodus. Just as God targeted the kingdom of Pharaoh, He now targets the kingdom of the antichrist. In Exodus, each plague was an attack on the pagan gods of Egypt, from their river the Nile, to their sun god Ra, to the bull they worshipped as their god of fertility.

Now the plagues, the bowls are targeted at the beast, his kingdom, his city and his mark. Once again God shows that only He is God and all others must answer to Him. The great dragon, the terrible beast, the false prophet are powerless to stop the judgment of The only true, Almighty, Holy righteous God of heaven and earth. 

The Greek word for grievous sore is helkos, the word that our word ulcer comes from. It is a loathsome, foul, incurable, running sore. And notice it is specifically poured upon those who have the mark of the beast and who worship Him. Suddenly, they realize that their all powerful leader can’t do a thing to help them. Just as Pharaoh was helpless before the God of Moses, the antichrist is helpless before the God of Revelation.

2nd  Bowl: Sea Turned to Blood 

Revelation 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

3rd Bowl: Water to Blood

Revelation 16:4-7 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

These two vials are poured out upon the waters of the earth. The second angel turns the sea to blood, and the third angel turns the fresh water, fountains, springs and rivers to blood. Very much like the first plague of Egypt in Exodus 7:18.  This is also an amplification of the plague of the second trumpet back in Revelation 8:8. The trumpet judgment  only turned a third of the sea into blood; here the entire water system of the world is turned to undrinkable blood.

This angel of the waters the praises God for this terrible judgment, not because it is so harsh but because it is just. Revelation 16:5-6 Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

The people of the earth, under the power, authority and influence of Satan have shed the blood of the saints, and now they are left with only blood to drink. Pharaoh had drowned the Hebrew males, and then his army was drowned in the Red Sea. Haman, in the book of Ester planned to kill the Jewish throughout Persia and he built a gallows to hang Mordecai on but instead it was Haman and his lineage that were hanged.

Answered Prayer

This final series of judgments are the answer to the prayers of the saints from chapter 6 on. It is the answer to prayer of the persecuted saints, the people of God, the beloved of God, throughout the ages. Untold millions of Jews have died at the hand of Satan’s warlords and kings. Untold millions of Christians have been massacred, burnt at the stake, and tortured by nations, kings, pagan tribes and even by a those who dared to call them selves The Church of God, but truly were the universal church of Satan.

Revelation 6:9-11 is the prayer that summarizes and distills all the prayers of all those who have suffered as God’s people. “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” This is that fulfillment, it is finally, finally here. After all the tears, all the pain, all the loss, all the persecution, God has said, “This is the boundary and the prayers of my people are answered now.

No, God is not cruel. God is just. God is righteous. God is holy and yes even as we read these terrible things we still can say, God is merciful. For He has been sending warning after warning, not just during the tribulation but throughout history. The prophets, the church, the nation of Israel, the Bible. God in his mercy is telling man to repent, warning man what is coming, but mankind is unwilling to accept their sin and therefore he also will not recognize his need for mercy.

4th Bowl: Scorching Of the Sun 

Revelation 16:8-11 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

The judgments of the fourth and fifth angels as they pour out God’s wrath touch the sky, the heavens. The 2nd and 3rd plagues were upon the water and now the plagues are poured out even on the heavens themselves. The fourth angel’s bowl causes the sun to scorch men. God turns up the power of the sun. It may mean that the buffering layer of the ozone or the magnetic belts has been damaged by the strikes from the comet and the asteroid, or it just may be the power of God over the sun and He just sends a sun storm so powerful it sweeps through the solar system and burns everyone exposed to it.

Malachi 4:1 seems to describe this day, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

5th Bowl: Darkness In The Kingdom of the Beast 

Revelation 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

The fifth angel’s outpoured bowl of wrath brings not brightness but darkness. It is poured upon the seat of the beast, again much like the 9th plague in Egypt the plague of darkness. This darkness is so terrible, so overwhelming that it seems to drive those in the Beast’s kingdom, his seat of power mad. Vs. 10 says, “they gnawed their tongues for pain.”

Joel 2:1-2 describes the darkness of God’s judgment, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand;  A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness,

The 6th Bowl: Gathering of the Armies 

Revelation 16:12-16 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 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. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

In Exodus, God delivered Israel from Egypt by drying the Red Sea, here God dries up the Euphrates river to not to save his people, but to set a final trap for the armies of the kings of the east, who come to aid the anti-Christ in his attack on Jerusalem, but instead the they are gathered together, by the demons that look like vile frogs. These demon bring all these armies under the complete control of Satan and the Beast. They then are gathered to Armageddon. Armageddon literally means the hill of Megiddo and it is a description of the vast hundreds of square miles battlefield that begin at the foot of Mount Megiddo and run sall the way to Jerusalem.

Verse 15 is a promise to the saints on earth at that time. Jesus is telling them, “I am coming, don’t give up, don’t give in. I am coming!”

The 7th Bowl It is Done

Revelation 16:17-21 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 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. 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 unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

In Revelation 10:6–7
, God promised that “the mystery of God” would be finished when the seventh angel poured out his vial. This is the fulfillment of that prophecy.
God’s plan for the ages is finished.

The angel pours his vial into the air because Satan is “the prince of the power of the air.” Once again God shows it is He who has all power, not the great dragon.

When the seventh bowl is poured there is a voice from the throne, a voice that has been heard over and over since the first seal was opened. This great voice is the voice of God the creator as He marks the events that are taking place according to His sovereign will and plan for the ages. With this last bowl the term loud or great is heard. God is bringing His plan to completion, this is the climax of His judgment and only the return of Jesus the son, the Messiah awaits.

A great earthquake divides Jerusalem into three parts and a hail falls again like the the seventh plague of Exodus 9:22–26. These hailstones that weigh 125 pounds, weight of a talent of silver in John’s day. Everything in the path of this storm will be utterly driven into the ground. Like an inescapable carpet bombing upon the anti-Christ kingdom.

It is finished

That phrase “It is done!” has a precedent in the Bible and it also marked a great finish of God’s sovereign plan. 

John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

When Jesus died upon the cross he fulfilled God’s plan for man’s redemption. He paid the price with his own life’s blood. He offered His own soul for the ransom of man. On Mount Calvary He called out it is finished.

In Revelation 16 when God calls out “It is done” it marks the end of His plan, not for man’s redemption but for man’s judgment. Instead of Mount Calvary and the lamb of God giving his life, now we see Mount Megiddo and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah coming to take the life of Satan’s army, Satan’s false Christ and destroy Satan’s corrupted kingdom.

Two Mounts, one of mercy one of judgment. Two Christs one who gave his life for all mankind and a false on that brings mankind to their utter rebellious battle against their Creator.


Which Mount is the place where you will meet Jesus?
Have you looked up at Calvary and there seeing Jesus dying for you, have you called out for mercy? Have you repented? Have you accepted Jesus sacrifice on your behalf? If you have, if you will then God’s judgment is satisfied. God’s wrath is appeased.

But if you have not looked to Mount Calvary then you must instead look to the judgment that Mount Megiddo represents. You must understand that you are being manipulated, draw and deceived by the powers of Satan to a place that can only be a scene of destruction and eternal judgment.

Listen to God’s invitation in Isaiah 1:18-20 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:
But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Can the choice be any clearer? One path leads to Calvary, the other leads to Meggiddo. Which path have you chosen today?

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Worship Workshop #7: Last Thoughts on Worship

 Worship Workshop #7: Last Thoughts on Worship

Serving God is Worshiping God

Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We can and should worship God with our whole being. Our emotions, our spirit as well as our body should worship Him. Worshiping Him with our body is service, aka physical Christianity.

Discipleship is a form of Worship

Luke 9:57-62 And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

Worship through discipleship requires total commitment.

Luke 14:25-33 And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

Worship at this level requires us to count the cost and be prepared to to give our all and give up all.

Things That Kill Worship

Formalism / Ritualism / Traditionalism / Legalism

Matthew 15:2-9 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? … Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition. Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Mark 7:5-9 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition …

Colossians 2:8-10 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Pride / Ego / Elitism / Inequality

Matthew 23:1-12 Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Sin / Disobedience / Hypocrisy

Isaiah 1:11–15 11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts? Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.  Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear (worship) toward me is taught by the precept of men:

Hosea 6:6–7 For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

Amos 5:21–23 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

Matthew 15:7–9 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

Matthew 23:13-14 But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.

Matthew 23:23-28 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.


Worship like all aspects of our relationship and service to God comes down to having the right heart in His presence.

1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

1 Kings 8:39-40 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) That they may fear thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto our fathers.


Monday, August 16, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #12: Voices of Victory - Revelation 14-15

 The Epistle of Jesus #12: Voices of Victory - Revelation 14-15

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Introduction:  The voices of victory and wrath. In the chapters we will cover this morning the word voice or voices is used 11 times. It is all part of the great announcement, the proclamation, the exclamation of God’s victory. In Rev 14:6-20, we hear the voice of Angels. In Revelation 15-14, we hear the song of the victors and in Revelation 16 we hear the voice of finality, “It is done!”

Setting the Stage (Review) Let’s begin by setting the stage for these chapters.
Tribulation begins: The seven seals have been opened. There has been war, famine, scarcity, and pestilence that followed those four horsemen of the apocalypse. Through these global catastrophes, a single great ruler rises from the 10 strongest nations in Europe, the Revived Roman Empire. He destroys or conquers three of those nations, those kings, and the world sees him as their savior. Even the nation of Israel thinks that he could be their messiah when he gives them a covenant of peace.

Midpoint: Then sometime just before the mid-point of the seven-year tribulation, this great leader, that we know is not the savior, but the anti-Christ killed. The Bible says he receives a wound unto death. Then in what appears as a miracle he rises from the pit, from the abyss, from Hell, or so it seems. When this happens, he kills the two witnesses, the olive branches of God, the abomination of desolation, probably the image of the beast created by the false prophet, is set up in the most holy place of the Temple and the people of God seeing this is not their Messiah begin to flee for their lives.
The Seven Trumpets During this time in heaven the seven trumpets are blowing, bringing terrible natural disasters on the earth. Hail and electrical storms race across the world, burning up or smashing down 1/3 of the forests and grass. A great fiery mountain falls into the sea, a meteor or explosion from a volcano and 1/3 of the sea becomes like blood, 1/3 of the ships are destroyed and 1/3 of all sea life is killed. Then within no more than a few weeks a great star called Wormwood falls from the heavens and destroys 1/3 of all the fresh water supply. Because of all these terrible fires, these asteroids, comets or volcanoes, whatever natural disasters God uses, dust and water vapor are thrown into the atmosphere and the  the sun, moon and stars are darked and lose 1/3 of their brilliance.

The demonic deluded world blames God and God’s people for all that has happened and in response the mass killings of believers become a global obsession and goal. Satan now has his anti-Christ, his puppet, on the throne of the world and the world is forced to worship the Beast, as if he were God. Finally, Satan has the adoration, the worship that he has always been striving, deceiving, killing and lying for. The world lifts its voice in one great united cry of hate and blasphemy. But just as that Satanic chorus sound, the voices of heaven shout out in victory, and when they finish their shouts of praise, the choir of Hell will be forever silent.

The Voices of the Angels - Revelation 14:6–20
Six Angels Shout

The First Angel Voice Preaches The Gospel Vs. 6-7 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

This angel is seen flying the Bible says in the midst of heaven. That term in the Greek is very descriptive, in the midst, is in the middle of heaven. Midheaven refers to the apex of the sun at noonday, to the point in the sky when the sun has reached its meridian, its highest point. And at this highest height this angel will fly and sound his voice. As the world revolves from night to day and as noon hits everywhere upon the earth this angel will shout in a loud voice, “Fear God. Give glory to Him for Judgment is come. Worship Him that made heaven and earth, the sea and fountains of water.”  

To this sin-soaked world, hearing that there is a true God, a true creator should be good news. Hearing that judgment is coming but there is still time to repent should be good news. The Gospel preached by this earth orbiting angel is the same gospel, the same good news that has been preached from the Garden of Eden to the arenas of Rome. It is the same Gospel that can turn us from creatures doomed to the wrath of God to children of God who sing His praises. One last chance, to hear and believe the angel’s voice cries out, but the those on earth refuse and God’s last judgment inexorably proceeds.

Next we see in vs 8…

The Second Angel who Proclaims the Fall of Babylon vs. 8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.
Though this angel proclaims the Fall of Babylon here, it is such a momentous event that it is taken back up again in chapter 17. We will only deal with this question here. Why Babylon, why this city was chosen to be the symbol of God’s wrath upon the oppressors and persecutors of God’s people?

In Genesis 10:8-10 we read, “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

The original Babylon was a city founded by Nimrod, the mighty hunter before God. This word hunter means, champion, warrior, conqueror. Nimrod founded the first world empire by becoming a “hunter of souls.” He earned that title before God by creating the  first pagan religion from which all other paganism has sprung, like poison streams running from a poison spring. Nimrod crowned his empire by building the tower of Babel, trying to reach the heavens, trying to make man like gods. The tower was the focal point of the empire and paganism was the faith that tried to make men into gods.

Babylon became the cradle of idolatry and when God scrambled their languages, they took their pagan gods and belief system with them.

In the Book of Genesis we are shown the beginning of the world and the beginning of paganism and now here in Revelation we are at the end of the world and the destruction of the city that birthed paganism. We have come full circle, the birthplace of false worship, will be the deathbed of the false messiah and the false prophet. Babylon will fall, both the city and the God hating, Christ denying, demon worshipping system it represents.

Listen to this prophecy in Jeremiah it has a double fulfillment, once in the Babylon of his time and once again in the Babylon of the Anti-Christ’s time and shows God’s hatred for Babylon and all it spawned.

Jeremiah 51:6-9 Flee out of the midst of Babylon,
and deliver every man his soul:
be not cut off in her iniquity;
for this is the time of the LORD's vengeance;
he will render unto her a recompence.
Babylon hath been a golden cup in the LORD's hand,
that made all the earth drunken:
the nations have drunken of her wine;
therefore the nations are mad.
Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed:
howl for her;
take balm for her pain,
if so be she may be healed.
We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed:
forsake her, and let us go every one into his own country:
for her judgment reacheth unto heaven,
and is lifted up even to the skies.

The Third Angel Sounds the Final Warning vs. 9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

The third angel then tell us why those who have received the mark of the beast cannot be redeemed, cannot be saved, cannot have any hope.

Revelation 14:10-11 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

The worshippers of the anti-Christ, the beast, have by their own choice, drunk deeply from the Devil’s cup of immorality and blasphemy directly from the hand of the Antichrist, and the False Prophet. Now God will pour down their unwilling throats, the cup of His wrath.
This imagery is drawn from the old testament and is the final fulfillment of all those OT prophecies of God’s wrath.

In Psalms 75:7-8 it says,  But God is the judge:
he putteth down one, and setteth up another.
For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red;
it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same:
but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them.

Jeremiah 25:15-16 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it. And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

Pay close attention to the qualifying statement of the angel in verse 11. And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

It is a horrible thing to hear of Hell and its eternal punishment. It is not a subject that any preacher should love to preach about. It is not something that we should rejoice that anyone will go there. But as horrid, painful and abhorrent as it is, it is nevertheless fully, unconditionally, 100% true. It is an absolute reality, and it is absolutely an eternal suffering and torment.

What Jesus Said about Hell You ask how can you believe such at thing? Well I believe it because Jesus taught it. Jesus gives up more detail about Hell than all the other prophets of the Bible combined. Jesus tells us that hell is a place as Mark 9:46 says, “Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

It was Jesus who warned us in Luke 12:5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.”

It was Jesus who opened a window into hell and let us see the rich man who died and was sent there to suffer. In Luke 16:23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments…

The third Angel doesn’t finish his message on the warning of hell, instead he sounds a note of encouragement to the persecuted saints of that day. Vs. 12 “Here is the patience (the word means the perseverance, the endurance) of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”

The angel tells them hold on because God’s righteous judgment is coming. Hold on, God has not forgotten you. Hold on, God has not overlooked the persecutors of his beloved. Hold on, God’s wrath is ready to be poured out like a boiling acid upon a world filled lovers of false gods and haters of the true God. The true God has not forgotten and His wrath is coming.

The Voice of Promise

Now at that last phrase we hear another voice not the voice of an angel. This voice sounds from heave and it is the Voice of Promise vs. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

It is written for them who will be enduring the worst persecution that God’s people have ever endured, but it should be applied to all of God’s children throughout the ages who have died believing the promises of their Lord. They will have rest from their labor and that which they did for the Lord in this life will follow them into eternity. It will be true for those future saints and never forget it is true for us, his saints today.

The Fourth Angel of  Harvest Homecoming vs. 14
And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

Two Harvests There are two harvests that take place in Revelation 14, this harvest in vs.14 is preceded by the promise of rest to those who die during the tribulation. This first harvest is also carried out not by an angel but one sitting upon the white cloud who looked like the son of man. This can only be Jesus and this harvest is not a harvest of wrath as the next one will be, but it is a harvest of homecoming. This is Jesus taking his people, his believers, his saints out of the world that is now a place fit only for the wrath of God. This harvest by Jesus brings his own home. It is not the rapture, it is death and dying but it is the final time those saints will ever suffer or fear. “he that sat on the cloud has thrust in his sickle and the earth was reaped.” God’s people come home in this harvest.

The Fifth and Sixth Angels of Fire and the Winepress of Wrath vs. 17 – 20 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

Two angels are next seen but only one cries out. The first angel come out of Heaven’s temple, directly from the presence of God, where the golden censor of the prayers of the saints was taken and cast down into the earth. This angel come forth and he carries a “sharp sickle”

As we see him standing there with his gleaming, sharpened blade, we hear the voice of the angel of fire. Probably the angel we will read about in a moment who carries the bowl that will scorch the earth when it is poured out. This fire angel gives the word, “Thrust in they sharp sickle, and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth, for her grape are fully ripe.”

The angel of the sickle reaps the earth, which now only contains the worshippers of the anti-Christ and those reaped are not taken home but instead are cast into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And we are given a detail that will come back to us later when we see the Battle of Armageddon. “ the winepress was trodden outside the city, (Jerusalem) and blood came out deep as the bridle of a horse (around 4 feet deep) and flowing a thousand and six hundred furlongs (200 miles long.) If this sounds impossible just remember that when Jesus returns he will slay the armies of the beast, an army that was measured over 200 million soldiers. He will slay that army with the sword of his mouth, the Bible says, in other words. Jesus will destroy that massive army with one single word from his mouth. When it happens it will be like a great sythe, a deadly sharp sickly sweeping from one end of that army to the other and the blood that will flow from that great army, slain in a single instance as if from a single blade, will easily flow 4 feet deep and stretch for 200 miles.

We get an insight into this last battle from Isaiah 63:1-6
Who is this that cometh from Edom,
with dyed garments from Bozrah?
this that is glorious in his apparel,
travelling in the greatness of his strength?
I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save.
Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel,
and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat?
I have trodden the winepress alone;
and of the people there was none with me:
for I will tread them in mine anger,
and trample them in my fury;
and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments,
and I will stain all my raiment.
For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.
And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.
And I will tread down the people in mine anger,
and make them drunk in my fury,
and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

The battle of Armageddon is yet to come in the Book of Revelation but it is mentioned here in prospect because of what John sees next in chapter 15.

The Voice of the Victors Revelation 15:1–4
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. 2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. 5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. 7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

Throne Room to War and Trophy Room

John sees several wonders, several signs in heaven. We are seeing the throne room of God turned into a war room and a trophy room in this passage. He sees in Vs. 1 The Sign of the Seven Avenging Angels carrying the last seven plagues that will complete God’s wrath, then in vss 2-6 he sees Saints Standing On A Sea of Glass and Singing, finally in vss. 6-8 he sees the temple of God opened and the seven avenging Angels sent out with bowls filled with the wrath of God.

First John seems to catch just a glimpse of the seven angels before his attention is caught by something he has not seen until now.  He comes back to the angels in vs 5. But first he describes this amazing sight. Revelation 15:2 a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. Now you don’t see that everyday.

What does this symbolism it mean, what does it tell us and the future saints?

The clue is in the songs they sing, the song of moses and the song of the lamb. In Exodus 15 we find the Song of Moses as it was sung by the Hebrew children after they had passed through the Red Sea and saw Pharoah’s army drowned.

The Song of Moses Exodus 15:1-2 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying,
I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously:
the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and song,
and he is become my salvation:
he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

They had passed through the sea led by a pillar of fire and now John sees the tribulation saints standing on a sea of glass mingled with fire, lifted above the flood and the flame of persecution.  The also sing the song of the lamb, telling us that these are not just Jewish believers, but are also saints of all nations, tribe and tongues who also were harvest home in the last chapter by the lamb, the son of man himself. And so in voices of Victory, they sing both songs standing on that glassy, fiery sea that can no longer harm them.

I can’t help but wonder what the song of the lamb might be. There is a song that only the 144,000 can sing, but this song is not that song. This is a song of the ages, this is the song of the redeemed, this is the victors voices lifted in glorious sound that will out sing even the songs of the angels.

These are the last of the God’s saints coming home. They refused to bow to the Beast, the refused to worship the image of the false prophet, they refused the mark of damnation. It will cost them everything, it will cost them their families, their friends, their jobs, their very existence and subsistence on this earth. In the end at that great homecoming harvest it will cost them their lives. Will it be worth such loss and pain and sorrow? Will it?

Look there with John’s eyes and find the answer, “Revelation 15:2-4 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” They sing, they sing not in sorrow or loss but they sing in victory, they sing in joy, they sing in triumph.

I wish we could hear the song, listen to the cresending notes of such a pure, flawless song empowered and inspired by all they have experience, endured and overcome. We can’t hear the tune, but we can hear the words for John recorded them.

The Song of the Lamb Vs. 3-4 “Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.”

This will be the fulfillment, the climax of all the songs that have honored God and his majesty from the beginning of time. From the first song sung on the dawn of creation by the angels as the watch God speak the universe into existence, to all the Psalms from 1 to 150. It will incorporate into its melody and rhythm every hymn written down from the by the first believers in the church of Jerusalem to every Isaac Watts, John Newton, Fanny J. Crosby, Ira Stanphill, John Peterson, Chris Tomlin and Keith Getty. It will be like singing from the Baptist, American, Heavenly Highways and Celebration Hymnals all at the same time. It will be “Great and marvelous”

Aren’t you glad that John didn’t add, “A song only they can sing?” I am because I believe that once they start that song, singing of Moses and the Lamb. They we will be able to join in. We will know ever word and the melody will be a part of our heart, our life our soul. We will sing that song with voice of victory because we will be overcomers in our own right through the power and grace of the lamb of God.

Conclusion: We can’t sing the song of Moses but we can sing a song of the lamb. Lets all stand and sing our own song of the lamb to close this morning. May it reflect our own joy and victory through Jesus our Savior.

There is a Redeemer.
There is a redeemer
Jesus, God's own Son
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
Holy One

Jesus my redeemer
Name above all names
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah
Oh, for sinners slain

Thank you, oh my father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
'Til the work on Earth is done

When I stand in Glory
I will see His face
And there I'll serve my King forever
In that Holy Place

Thank you, oh my father
For giving us Your Son
And leaving Your Spirit
'Til the work on Earth is done

Friday, August 13, 2021

Worship Workshop #4: Worship God Through Praise

Worship Workshop #4: Worship God Through Praise

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God and Praise

Job 38:4-7 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;  When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

From the beginning of creation, praise has been associated with God. It seems He has woven praise into the fabric of creation and all of creation is lifted closer to God in praise. Even after this world ends and the new one begins, praise will continue to be defining element of our worship of Him.

Defining Praise

Hebrew and Greek Words:

Hebrew (תְּהִלָּה, tehillāh, “psalm,” “praise,” תּוֹדָה, tōdhāh, “confession,” “thanks-giving,” שָׁבַח, shābhaḥ, “to praise,” “glorify,” זָמַר, zāmar, יָדֶה, yādhāh, “to stretch out the hand,” “confess”;

Greek:  αἰνέω, ainéō, ἐπαινέω, epainéō, ἔπαινος, épainos):

The English word praise comes from the Lat pretium, “price,” or “value,” and may be defined generally as an ascription of value or worth. - ISBE

Praise may be bestowed upon unworthy objects or from improper motives, but true praise consists in a sincere acknowledgment of a real conviction of worth. – ISBE

Praise and thanksgiving compared. Praise of God is the acknowledging of His perfections, works, and benefits. Praise and thanksgiving are generally considered as synonymous, yet some distinguish them thus: praise properly terminates in God, on account of His natural excellencies and perfections, and is that act of devotion by which we confess and admire His several attributes; but thanksgiving is a more contracted duty and imports only a grateful sense and acknowledgment of past mercies. We praise God for all His glorious acts of every kind, that regard either us or other men; but we thank Him, properly speaking, for the instances of His goodness alone, and for such only of these as we ourselves are in some way concerned. – Unger Bible Dictionary

The Object of Praise

God is the ultimate focus of praise.
Psalms 103:20-22 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

The Participants of Praise

Creation praises Him
Psalms 19:1-3 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

Angels Praise Him
Revelation 5:11-12
And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Creatures of Creation Praise Him
Revelation 5:13
And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.

Reasons for Our Praise

He is worthy of praise because He is God.

2 Samuel 22:4 I will call on the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: …

He is worthy of praise because of His attributes
His majesty. Ps 96:1, 6; Isa 24:14.
His glory. Ps 138:5; Eze 3:12.
His excellency. Ex 15:7; Ps 148:13.
His greatness. 1 Ch 16:25; Ps 145:3.
His holiness. Ex 15:11; Isa 6:3.
His wisdom. Da 2:20; Jude 1:25.
His power. Ps 21:13.
His goodness. Ps 107:8; 118:1; 136:1; Jer 33:11.
His mercy. 2 Ch 20:21; Ps 89:1; 118:1–4; 136:1–26.
His loving-kindness and truth. Ps 138:2.
His faithfulness and truth. Isa 25:1.

He is worthy for praise for His works.

Psalms 106:2 Who can utter the mighty acts of the LORD? who can shew forth all his praise?

Creation Rev 4:11
His salvation. Ps 18:46; Isa 35:10; 61:10; Lu 1:68, 69.
His consolation. Ps 42:5; Isa 12:1.
His judgment. Ps 101:1.
His counsel. Ps 16:7; Jer 32:19.
Fulfilling of His promises. 1 Ki 8:56.
Pardon of sin. Ps 103:1–3; Ho 14:2.
Spiritual health. Ps 103:3.
Constant preservation. Ps 71:6–8.
Deliverance. Ps 40:1–3; 124:6.
Protection. Ps 28:7; 59:17.
Answering prayer. Ps 28:6; 118:21.
The hope of glory. 1 Pe 1:3, 4.
All spiritual blessings. Ps 103:2; Eph 1:3.
All temporal blessings. Ps 104:1, 14; 136:25.

Means of Praise
Singing: Ex 15:1–21; Jdg 5:1–31; 2 Ch 5:13; Ne 12:46; Ps 40:3; 47:7; 149:1; Is 12:5; Ac 16:25; Heb 2:12
Musical instruments: Ex 15:20; 1 Ch 23:5; 2 Ch 5:13; Ezr 3:10; Ps 43:4; 71:22; Ps 150:3–5
Dancing: Ex 15:20; Ps 149:3
Offerings  Le 19:24
Speaking: Ps 51:15; 63:5; Is 57:19; Heb 13:15
Public worship: Ps 100:1–5
Spiritual fruit through Jesus Christ: Php 1:11 - The NASB Topical Index,

Praise can release God’s Power

2 Chronicles 20:21-22
And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever. And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.

When the people began to praise God, He fought for them.  The enemy turned their weapons on themselves.  The army then came only to spoil.

Worship Through Praise

First, be a person of praise
Psalms 51:15 O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise.
Praise should be done with the understanding, the mind and with my heart, spirit and soul. It should be an intellectual and an emotional experience.
1 Corinthians 14:15  What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.
Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name

Secondly, live your praise.
Praising God is much more than just singing or playing an instrument is showing your praise through your life and actions.

Praise Him with your life

Ephesians 1:11-12 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Praise Him in my heart

Ephesians 5:19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

Praise Him with my Voice

Hebrews 13:15  By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Praise Him in trials

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

Praise Him in His house

Jeremiah 17:26  And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the LORD.


Praise greatly deepens my worship and relationship with God. When I worship God in all the aspects and facets of praise, my worship will deepen and my experience of being with God will grow. God’s presence is more fully sensed and revealed in praise.

Psalm 95:1–7 O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

J.I. Packer had this wonderful observation about praise, "I’ve experienced God’s presence most powerfully in worship, often during the singing, I suppose because when we sing to Him, we are looking hard in His direction." – J.I. Packer

Monday, August 9, 2021

The Epistle of Jesus #11: The Counterfeits – Revelation 13-14

The Epistle of Jesus #11: The  Counterfeits – Revelation 13-14

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Introduction: The WWII Nazi Counterfeiters

At the beginning of World War II, the Nazis were looking for ways to weaken Britain and their economy. September 1939, there was a proposal to begin extensive operation which would use skilled counterfeiters to forge British pounds, then air drop them into England to be distributed and ultimately to bankrupt the Bank of England. Later in 1942 the Nazis used concentration camp prisoners who were skilled artists and prisoners to forge bank notes from the bank of England, these they used to bribe all their spies and saboteurs and to buy weapons. In all over $10 billion in today’s money was printed.

Today we are going to read from Revelation 13 about the Christ Counterfeit. He is called the Beast, and the Anti-Christ. He is a pseudo-savior, a masquerading messiah, and a lying lord. He pretends to be the savior of the world, sent by God to bring peace and an everlasting Kingdom. He is even able to stop the enemies of Israel with a peace treaty and he may even be responsible for rebuilding the Temple. He is the worst kind of evil, an evil that pretends to be good.

Here in Revelation 13, John like a spy writing to warn the nation of Israel and those who believe in Jesus, about the counterfeits they will encounter in the last world war, the war of Satan Against The Lamb of God.

Satan determined, after his failed coup, to destroy all that he could of God's creation, a war of attrition rather than a complete revolution. Satan especially sought to corrupt and destroy, God's highest creation, that creation that was made in His very own image, man. In order to execute this long game, Satan, over centuries and centuries, had to keep the truth from mankind. The truth about redemption, the truth about grace, the truth about hope couldn’t be seen, so Satan began to create counterfeit truths. Lies that sounded like truth, looked like truth but at its core, there was no redemption, no grace and no hope. These counterfeits of Satan, at their core were the deadliest, most damnable lies. Like a bottle of Tylenol that turns out to be strychnine, or a candy apple filled razor blades, Satan’s counterfeits were planted in order to trap and spiritual kill man.

Satan has always utilized this game plan of counterfeiting and corrupting the things of God in order to disrupt and destroy the creation of God and in Revelation 13 we see his greatest, his finest, but also his last, diabolical counterfeits.

Look at the first counterfeit from Revelation 13 vss 1-10 The Beast

The Beast from the Sea -  Revelation 13:1-10

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If any man have an ear, let him hear. He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

The Counterfeit Christ

Now we fully meet “The Beast”, the counterfeit Christ. The word for beast here is not at all the same word as the beast or creatures in the opening scenes of the throne room. That was word was the Greek work, Zoa, from which we get our word, zoo and zoology. That word means a created thing or animal. But this word, truly fits the English idea of a beast. This is the word therion, and if means a wild beast, a poisonous beast, a monster. This is the anti-Christ, Satan’s counterfeit of the Son of God and the Messiah of the Jewish people.

He rises Out of the Sea: The sea, used here in this symbolic passage, is the sea of humankind. We can see this in Revelation 17:15 And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. The sea is mankind especially the  nations of the Gentiles.

From this we know that the therion is human. He is not a demon, nor he is not supernatural. He is a simply a man empowered and willfully possessed by Satan.

Here is his Description: He has Seven Heads. This is the same as the Dragon who gives him his power. The seven heads stand for the seven Gentile empires, the powers, that have ruled the world.

Some count these empires from Egypt to the revived Roman Empire of Daniel’s vision in Daniel 2 and that fits number wise but I think it should start not from Egypt but from Babylon, just at the vision did.

Here is how those kingdoms would breakdown.

Egypt – Assyria – Babylon – Greece – Roman – Revived Roman (Tribulation) – Anti-Christ.

But I think this is a better count. 1. Babylon – 2. Greece – 3 Roman – 4. Revived Roman – 5 Anti- Christ before His Deadly Wound – 6 The Woman on Scarlet Beast – 7. The 10 Kings who kill the woman and reign during the Beast’s absence –– 8 The returned Anti-Christ.

Where do those extra kingdoms come from?

Revelation 17:10–13 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

Ten Horns with Ten Crowns all titled blasphemy. This is the Revived Roman Empire that will be in play just as the Tribulation begins. They are part of Satan’s kingdom and are first foretold in Daniel 2:42  And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken.

Daniel 7 Daniel also talks about the Revived Roman empire and the beast in Daniel 7:7-8 Here we see the kingdom and the anti-Christ is called the “little horn) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

So the anti-Christ rises to power as one of the 10 King federation, from the countries of the old Roman Empire and he then destroys or takes the power of three of those kingdoms, probably by the wars that we saw all the way back in the opening of the first four Seven Seals, that showed the rider on the white horse.

Revelation 6:2-4 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. And when he had opened the second seal, I heard the second beast say, Come and see. And there went out another horse that was red: and power was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Finally, John’s description of the Counterfeit Christ tells us that he had the characteristics of a Leopard, bear, lion with the dragon power. These are all descriptions from Daniel 7 of the empires of the world. So the anti-christ will incorporate all the worst of those pagan powers into his kingdom.

 And very important, John says that, one of the 10 heads is wounded as it were to death. The deadly wound is then healed and then continues for 42 months, 3 ½ years. He is given power to prevail against God’s people. He is worshipped by all kindreds, tongues and nation whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb.

Something happens to the Beast, perhaps and assignation, perhaps a political or war loss, perhaps he dies, but whatever happens, he comes back. The Bible says he rises from the pit, and when he comes back, no one can stand against him. Now all the world believes that the counterfeit Christ, has come back from the dead, he truly must be the great hope for mankind.

Delusion: Paul may have been thinking about the anti-christ, perhaps even this very even when he wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

The world without faith in Jesus will be utterly deceived. They will be true believers in the most deadly counterfeits Satan ever created.

Primed For the Anti-Christ

We told you that Satan has been playing the long game, a war of attrition, attacking the creation of God bit by bit, people by people, nation by nation.

As part of that war he has used counterfeits throughout history. Satan doesn’t know when Jesus is coming back and so he has had to have a potential anti-Christ read at all times. I think it makes sense to see Hitler as one of Satan's counterfeits, a potential Beast. He fit all the prophecies, from the revived roman empire to the nations he invaded to come to power, to saying great things and making war on the people of God. He wasn’t the anti-christ, but what is truly sobering is that Satan has another Hitler ready to put into that anti-christ role right now, today. He always has. This is what John said…

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

This world is primed for the big lie of the Counterfeit Christ.

The world believes in evolution not creation. That man exists by random chance not by the direct creative act of God.

In 1933 The Humanist Manifesto was written to declare that man didn’t need a make-believe God, miracles, a savior or a heaven. It said things like… humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created. Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process. humanists find that the traditional dualism of mind and body must be rejected. We are convinced that the time has passed for theism, deism, modernism, and the several varieties of “new thought.” Today most people in our world are humanist and see the world as devoid of God.

Because of that they have rejected almost all moral and ethnic teachings and law from God’ Word. Therefore in today’s world, the abortion of an innocent baby in the womb is not murder, while the actually murder of an individual is not punished by taking the life of the murderer. The most innocent among us are given death while the most guilty are given life.

Our society believes that homosexuality is not sin and that you can reject the way God created you and choose your own gender. The AMA recently called for gender to be removed from birth certificates, saying it has no basis in science. States like CA and NY have already taken gender off birth certificates.

In our own nation we see that riots are called peaceful demonstrations, while peaceful demonstrations are called attempted coups. In our society, anarchy is order, chaos is Freedom, and the most sickening sin is holy. In our world today, churches are evil, Christians are haters and God Himself is the real monster.

We are primed for the anti-Christ, all it will take is the right event and the right man and Satan already has the man ready to go.

The Beast from the Earth – Revelation 13:11-18

And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The Counterfeit Forerunner.

The second beast is also called the False Prophet. He will be the anti-forerunner, the false John The Baptist to the False Christ of the Tribulation.

He arises from the earth and has 2 horns like a lamb but the voice of a dragon. He will perform miracles and as the forerunner to the Beast will cause people to worship the Beast. He will even create an image of the beast that comes to life. And cause people to worship this image or to be killed.

This image is referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15-22 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. … For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved…

The false prophet will put that image in the Temple and that will be the clearly understood sign to the Jewish people that this cannot be their Messiah and they must run and they must hide.

Mark of the Beast The other significant thing that John tells us the False Prophet does in in Revelation 13:16–17 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

However this mark will be put on or in people it will be necessary if they are to buy or sale anything. It could be as simple as a tattoo, it could be a RFID chip embedded in your hand, it could be an ultraviolet tattoo scan code that will only show under a black light. It doesn’t matter how its done, only that it will force the world to do what the Beast and the False Prophet tell them to do.

Does this sound farfetched? How could anyone in their right mind believe that such a thing would be okay? Well, all you have to do is take a look at the news and see how many people in this nation are calling for a vaccine mandate and a vaccine passport and once again realize how primed we are for the anti-christ. Politicians, news pundits and people on social media are calling for everyone to comply or not be allowed to shop, go to school or come out of their houses.

Now don’t misunderstand me, I am not making a statement about the vaccines being bad or that you shouldn’t get one. I’m certainly not saying they are the mark of the Beast. Wouldn’t that be ridiculous. Look on YouTube after services though and I’ll bet you can find some preachers saying just that. But not me, not at all.

Remember what we said about Satan always have a man to step in and be the anti-christ and only needing the right event to put him in place? Now I really don’t think Covid-19 is that event, but it will be an event or crisis like that. And when it happens, we as a society have already been primed for deception and the majority will say, “Sign me up. Put that beautiful mark right here.”

The Counterfeit Trinity. Final note about the False Prophet and his 666 mark

Here is John’s final warning about the mark of the beast. In vs. 18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

The mark is the number of man. Man was made on the sixth day of creation, his number is 6. The mark of the beast will be 666. Now everything in this passage today has been symbolic and so I don’t think the mark will actually be the numbers 666 but whatever the mark is it will be an affirmation of man as elevated to the place of godhood. When they worship the beast or the image of the beast they are worshipping themselves, so why would they mind a reminder of that final ascending truth on their forehead or in their right hand. As Humanism’s creed shouts, “Man is the measure of all things!”

This is the last move in Satan’s game strategy. He will use the Beast and the False prophet to imitate the messiah and the forerunner. He will try and replace the True Trinity with a Counterfeit Terror Triad. This is why the number 6 is repeated three times. 666,the number of man is asymbol of the Unholy Trinity, The Devil’s Trinity. It will bring to Satan what he has always desired.

Isaiah 14:13-14 I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High!

This is the ultimate goal of humanism,  it will appeal to those upon the earth who so deeply and devotedly hate God. To worship the Dragon and the Beast is to worship themselves as beings freed from the power, authority and judgment of God.

This moment in the tribulation, when the Beast arises and the false prophet places that living image, that clone or robot in the most Holy Place of the Temple. Will be the darkest time the world has ever known. It will look like the Great Dragon who launched his first attack in the Garden of Eden, will finally have won. He along with the Unholy Trinity have achieved godhood and are being worshipped by all the world. God’s highest creation man has given themselves fully over to Satan and those who won’t worship are being killed by the millions upon millions or running and hiding. To them these last remnants of God’s truth, the world has become one vast minefield of Satanic wrath.

How can those people hope to beat Satan and his masterpieces of Counterfeiting? How in our own time can we hope to stop the humanism, the anarchy, the immorality, the delusional that makes people believe a lie?

Let me go back to the counterfeit money. Do you know how they train Treasury agents to spot counterfeit money? They don’t show them thousands and thousands of flawed counterfeits and have them identify each mistake. No that would be an impossible task. Instead, the agents are shows real money, the genuine article. They are taught about every colored thread, every watermark, every invisible writing and how the ink and the paper and the engraving points to the real thing.

How do we convince the world about the counterfeits. How do God’s people recognize the Antichrists of this present world? In the same way as the Treasury agents, by looking at the true Christ. By know Jesus, the Son of God, God in the flesh. When we see Him we see something that cannot be obscured or hidden by even Satan’s most cunning counterfeit.

And that is what happens next in the Epistle of Jesus, Revelation chapter 14. We are only going to touch on it this morning, but look what we see. Not the Beast from the sea, not the Beast from the earth, oh no now we see….

The Best from Mount Zion – Revelation 14

Revelation 14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.
And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

The Lamb Stands

When it seems Satan has won, when it seems the people of God have lost and are reduced to hiding and fearing even to go out into the world. When it is the darkest day that the world has ever known. Jesus Stands Up.

Jesus Stands Up for his people. Jesus Stands up for Israel. Jesus stands up to rise to battle against the Unholy Trinity. Jesus Stands Up!

The Lamb of God stands on Mount Zion, he is not seen in the Temple now but outside on the mount of God and with him the 144,000 that have died in his service during the first half of the tribulation, their forehead bears the mark of God the father and they stand in honor with Jesus for the great sacrifice they gave. They stand in anticipation of what as if to say, “We are coming, and Heaven is coming with us!”

And heaven recognizes the significance of this moment for another of the great songs of Zion breaks forth in Revelation 14:2–3 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

What a moment, what glory to be there and hear that song played on heavenly harps that accompany the song of the 144,000 They heroes of God.


This Present Dark World

This world isn’t as dark as it will be during the Tribulation, but it is dark. The anti-christ has not seized power but as John said, “today there are many little anti-christs.” It may seem impossible to see our way to victory, to turn our family, friends and communities to the Truth. It may seem a lost cause to pray for a nation that has believed such great delusions and now believes the lies of Satan.

It may seem that way but the solution, is the same as we see in Revelation 14. Look to heaven, look to mt Zion. Look and see Jesus stand. Put our eyes on him, put our faith in Him, put our hope on his strong shoulders.

Do you need to see past the darkness, the lies, the deception and the counterfeits of the Dragon? Then look to the great shining truth, the great unchanging reality of the Son of God.

This is what Paul told the suffering Hebrew Christians in Hebrews 12:1-3 Listen to this spirit inspired words.

“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. …consider him! 22-29 …ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant… Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.