The Weekend Word
14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.
- The demonic spirits are trying to gain recruits for the army of the unholy trinity to persuade all the kings of the entire world to gather for this final battle.
- How does this work? The kings of the world are turned against God through the false teachings. This corruptive speech, these false teachings make the world think it is more powerful than God and his church. We see this today in a world that has no fear of God and that God’s church on this earth is the problem.
15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)
- On the great day of God almighty, it is not just the gathering of the enemies for war on God’s people, but also the great pronouncement of Jesus that he is coming as a thief
- Rev 3:11 – “I am coming quickly.” – Rev 3:3 – “I will come as a thief.” – Matt 24:36-44 describes his coming like a common thief. – see matt 24:43.
- Guard your garments – the clothing that was washed in the blood – Rev 7:9,13-14
- A garment of righteousness – Job 29:14; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:4.
- Worn by believers who have been baptized = clothed in Christ – Gal 3:27; Eph 5:26; Col 2:12 & 3:10; Acts 2:38.
- This is a word of promise that bolsters the church of God on earth to remain faithful. This is a great time of fear that we all would have, a temptation to surrender to the foe and give up the Christ garment and stand naked and ashamed.
- Look back to Rev 3:18 as Jesus compels the church at Laodicea to remain clothed in white garments so that the shame of their nakedness would not show.
- See Rev 17:16 to see the flip side as we would read of the harlot who in her nakedness is destroyed. This harlot represents apostate Christianity.
16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
- Assembled – been assembled. This language of being gathered / assembled is used in Matthew to speak of people who are gathered for judgment. This judgment is to sort everything out – the good from the bad – the tares from the wheat – the sheep from the goats etc. Matt 3; Matt 13; Matt 25
- Who are the ones who often do the gathering? The angels – God’s agents / servants.
- So Armageddon is really just a gathering for judgment. How else are you going to get all the bad guys together?
- This is funny. This battle has already been fought and has already been won. When? On the Friday we call good at Mt Calvary and in the empty tomb.
- Here in the book of Revelation it appears Satan has not yet received notification as he still thinks he has some bite left, though all of his teeth have been pulled. There is no battle to be fought, but he thinks he can reverse the cross and defeat the church of Jesus.
- There is a position that holds all of this is literal – that the dragon and the 2 beasts will gather all the bad guys from around the world into this one location and attack the church near Jerusalem. I also seem to remember that the Left Behind books included an entire volume titled Armageddon.
- One thing to get out of this, symbolic or literal – things are bad and get worse for the church.
- It seems that the 6th bowl is the preparation for battle of the great day and the 7th bowl is their quick defeat – just as we will see again in chapter 19. The same story.
The Seventh Bowl
17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
- The air = the domain of all false gods – “the prince of the power of the air.” Ephesians 2
- Whose voice do we hear? God’s voice – from the throne.
- Again, we see the end.
- This is not the same as Jesus saying “it is finished”. It is a different meaning. These censors, these plagues are done. There is a time of repentance and after that time, it is done! This is why Jesus says he comes as a thief. (v. 15).
- My message to those still hanging around who have stayed away from Christianity – if you think you need to work on your salvation, wrong, wrong, wrong. The salvation has been done – you have been forgiven whether you believe it or not.
18 And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.
- This is all Mt Sinai language / vision. Sinai is judgment and wrath in the NT. It is the place of the law and it is scary.
- Lightening etc is also a sign of God’s presence.
19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.
- Chapters 17 & 18 will describe in great detail this great city – the great harlot who dwells within.
- Split into three parts – if we look to Ezekiel 5:2 & 12 we see that the Israelites were divided into 3 parts – each of which would die because of God’s judgment.
- God remembers – When it comes to forgiveness God says that he no longer remembers our sins. However, for the unrepentant that refuse to live in Christ, how does God remember you / them? In your sin and he gives them the cup.
- It is a bit odd to see so many Christians today who still want to drink of the cup that has already been drank by Jesus. We fight the battle that has already been fought, we remember the sin that has already been forgotten – oh what a miserable lot we are —- Romans 7.
20 And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.
- No place to hide.
21 And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.
- This is the enactment of ‘the wages of sin is death’. Saint Johnny One Note preaches the same message over and over again.
- All of this is bad enough that John uses the Old Testament imagery from Isaiah and Egypt – the hailstones from the plagues.
- This time it is more devastating. Remember how I have said that each telling of the judgment cycle gets ratcheted up a bit from the previous telling? Hailstones are now up to 100 pounders – OUCH!
- This again is the answer to the question “who will be able to stand?” If you are one of the citizens of Babylon, well you won’t be able to stand.
- Those who worship the lamb and follow him, those who dwell on Mt Zion and the New Jerusalem – they can and will stand.