Monday, December 22, Revelation Chapter 16
This chapter describes the seven plagues visited on the followers of Satan. The saved followers of Jesus are celebrating but it may be their blood that is being poured from the bowls. In any case, it represents righteous sacrifice for God.
You might notice the similarity between these seven plagues and the ten plagues visited on Egypt. It is no accident that the angel’s song in verses 5-6 is similar to the song in Exodus 15:1-3.
Verse 8 shows us the sun in keeping with the fourth lamp of each menorah being about the Messiah. The power of the Son of God burns away everything that is not good.
Each of these bowls should be thought of as a drinking bowl, more like a cup. The followers of Satan are meant to drink the blood of true sacrifice which turns to corruption in their mouths. While they drink the blood of corruption, we drink the blood of salvation and purity.
The three worst types of sin are idolatry, murder and sexual immorality. In the Torah the punishment for all three is death. That law is about to be enforced.
John Klein and Adam Spears in Lost in Translation, vol. 3 (pages 164-165), compare the seven bowls to the seven symptoms of syphilis, often associated with sexual immorality. It is interesting. Compare this list to each bowl: 1) ugly and painful sores; 2) disease retreats into the bloodstream; 3) random internal capillary bleeding occurs; 4) fever and intense flu-like symptoms; 5) blindness and blistering sores; 6) dehydration, insanity and hallucination; 7) death.
Biblically, the Hebrew word for earth is Adamah from which Adam comes. The first bowl is poured on the earth and the followers of Satan suffered. The second bowl is poured on the sea, killing its life-giving potential. The Hebrew word for blood is dam, from Adam also. The third bowl is cuts off the source of life, the rivers. The fourth bowl affects the central sun, the source of life on adamah. God has provided the sun for our benefit; now he turns it against the followers of evil. The fifth bowl removes the power to control adamah from humans. That is the power he gave to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2. God must take back that power to return adamah to its rightful form. The sixth bowl is poured on the River Euphrates. The Hebrew word for the river is Perath, meaning fruitfulness. God removes all the sources for growing or producing food. The Hebrew word for frogs is tsephardea, a word used to suggest temptation. Satan is still at work as he calls his earthly armies to battle God at Armageddon.
Before the seventh bowl, God sends one final message to earth in verse 15. The reference to keeping your clothes probably refers to the punishment to any guard caught asleep while guarding the Temple at night. He spent the rest of the night on duty naked.
When the seventh bowl is poured into the air, familiar words are spoken: It is finished! TLB It may not be fair to try to say whether the voice was God’s or the Messiah’s; they are one in the same.
The earth is flattened and bombarded but Satan lives.
Tuesday, December 23, Revelation Chapter 17
We are now back at the center menorah, Thunders. We see clearly that God is separating the wheat from the weeds, the sheep from the goats, the believers from the unbelievers, the righteous from the unrighteous. The message to Laodicea, be hot or cold, make a choice. To be lukewarm is to choose death.
Chapters 17-20 describe the two groups: the believers and the unbelievers. Chapters 17 and 18 describe those of whom Jesus will say Out of my presence, cursed as you are, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels! Phillips
Chapters 19 and 20 will have Jesus saying, I assure you that whatever you did for the humblest of my brothers you did for me; Phillips and those who have done what God wants will go to eternal life. CJB
First John is taken by an angel to a desert where he sees the harlot riding on a beast. Who is she? She is Astarte/Satan’s bride/the whore/the false high priest/the weeds. The woman was dressed much like the priests in the Temple. Verses 9-13 describe what she represents on earth.
One of the things we will see is a wedding in Hell. We will see what Satan does with his bride. Verse 16 describes the fate of the harlot.
Satan is still the dragon.
Abaddon is still around.
The False Messiah is Satan combined with the beast from the sea (a nephal).
The False Prophet is Abaddon combined with the beast from the land, also a nephal.
The beast is not Satan but a representation of the seven evil kingdoms; he is Baal.
In verse 18 we learn that the harlot is also a city which is to be destroyed. More likely, she represents all cities in which sin is practiced. Yet, Babylon in the Bible is always a representation of that which is evil. Notice that the seven evil kingdoms has Babylon listed first, fourth and seventh. They are the evil kingdoms and Satan places himself in the center position (fourth) on that menorah. He tries to imitate the Messiah again.
Do not forget that Satan will appear in the world in the dress of the religious. He will try to pass himself off as a man of God. We must be on our guard. Isaiah 14:6-23 describes the fate of Babylon/Satan.
Wednesday, December 24, Revelation Chapter 18
The new Babylon will fall to Isaiah’s prediction once again. Remember that Revelation is a description of what has happened, what is happening and what will happen. John is looking at all of history from beginning to end as though it is one giant photo. He gets to step out of time and look at events as God sees them.
When Babylon falls for the last time an angel will announce the good news. A second angel will encourage people to leave Babylon before they too are destroyed. This is a good example of seeing events “out of order” as we think of them. This is important because it shows that God never gives up on humans. God wants everyone of us in Heaven with him.
The Hebrew tradition is that the Book of Life has every name of every human who has ever lived or will ever live written in its pages. Those people who insist on having their names removed can do so, but God reserves the right to continue to offer opportunities to reenter the list.
Starting in verse 9 we see many followers of Satan weeping for the loose of Babylon, kings, merchants, sailors all see their fortunes lost.
The millstone in the ocean seals the fate of the city of sin; Babylon will never rise again. Verse 24: In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth. NIV
Thursday, December 25, Christmas
Friday, December 26, Revelation Chapter 19
This chapter opens with a beautiful picture of everyone in Heaven celebrating the elimination of Babylon. At first we are told it is a multitude, then the Twenty-four Elders are listed along with the four living creatures/the archangels (Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael). Next is a voice from the throne which must be Jesus the Messiah. The response comes from, apparently, everyone who was rescued from earth, everyone who ever believed in God.
In verse 7 the wedding is shouted out.
In verse 9 an angel speaks to John who is so caught up that he bows to worship a mere angel.
Yet, before the wedding one more bit of business has to be attended to. Satan and Abaddon live. This time when the white horse appears, the rider is the Son of God. The name written on him is unknown to any but God alone. [We call Jesus my dozens of names but none of us know his real name. We will.] The name that John could read (not the unknown name) is King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Verses 17-21 cover the entire battle of Armageddon. An angel calls all the birds of the earth to a feast. Satan and Abaddon are immediately thrown into the lake of fire and the Son of God speaks the Word of God to kill everyone left standing on earth. None of God’s army even get dirt on the white linens. Hollywood will never make this into a movie.
But this movie is not over. Satan and Abaddon still live, if in a very warm place. The thousand year period now begins. More in the next chapter.
Be righteous and do good.