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2012:  The End of the World?

Revelation 16

 

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So, how about it?  Were those Mayans lyin'?  Could the end be near?  Will people be more awake to that possibility this year than before?

 

Signs of the times say the end is drawing near.  Yes, it could be this very day.  It could be years away.  But it will happen, and the Bible indicates simply 'soon.'

 

Some today are saying:  Don't say the end is coming, because when it doesn't you'll lose credibility.  Preachers have said it for years, and it hasn't happened.  I say, "It's closer than ever before!"  Of course it hasn't happened.  It won't happen until it happens!  I happen to believe it could be anytime, based on the Bible.  And I hope I would lose credibility in your eyes ONLY if I didn't preach this as the truth!

 

Next event on God’s Prophetic Calendar:

The Rapture of the church.

Soon after the church goes in the air, the world begins the process of going off the air:  The 7 year tribulation begins.

 

It will be hell on earth (we don’t serve a half-baked God…yes, He’s a God of love, but also of wrath—“it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!”)

Revelation 6:17
For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It is the time of chastisement upon the world of sin.  But if you are saved today, remember…

Isaiah 53:5
But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

 

The Tribulation will be a horrific time: 

4 horsemen--widespread violence / war / famine / starvation / will make the holocaust look like a baby shower / you will be afraid to leave your home, if you have one / will take a day’s wages to buy a loaf of bread!

 

7 trumpet judgments [Seals]—1/3rd of all earth’s vegetation destroyed / 1/3rd of marine life killed / 1/3rd of salt water turned to blood / 1/3rd of ocean-going vessels destroyed / 1/3rd of freshwater poisoned / 1/3rd of all sunlight diminished…these things result in economic chaos and ecological disaster!

 

Angel then sounded 3 woes:

An invasion from hell—demons turned loose on earth so vile and wicked they have been incarcerated since they fell from heaven / will torture mankind / sting like scorpions / and 1/4th of world’s population is now dead…

 

The flower of wickedness will be in full bloom!

 

Then we meet up w/ the antichrist, and his sinister minister the false prophet, and it all goes downhill from there, beginning in ch. 16 as the 7 bowls of God’s wrath are poured out!

 

And here in ch. 16 we find the most intense / frightening / horrifying info. in the Bible, apart from the verses on hell and eternal damnation.

 

This is not fun info. to consider, but it’s God’s truth and He’s led us here to it this day…and it’s God’s will that good come out of this considering much bad which is coming to this sinful world.

 

Joke—little boy said, dad, “I think I may have flunked my math test” / dad said, “Do you have to be so negative?” / “OK, I’m positive I flunked my math test!”

 

Some things are positively negative…like Rev. 16!  Here is the climax of the great tribulation…and for the saved it’s nothing but good news for us and motivation to reach others and to know the signs of the times.

 

Here is the pouring out of the 7 bowls of wrath from the throne of God Himself!

        For 6,000 years + God has been offering grace, mercy, and salvation, but not in that day!

 

Here in ch. 16 are God’s 7 final judgments on those who rejected Him…

 

v. 1  The 7 bowls are poured out upon the earth 1 by 1.  Each angel has a specific target.

 

Bowl #1—

v. 2  Something like leprosy?  Maybe not leprosy…it may be a sore that is “nuclear fallout” in nature…either way, it’s poured out upon the worshippers of antichrist. (since they bear the mark of the beast, they’re easy to locate!) [microchip?]

 

By the way, if you didn’t know what the Bible says, you’d be all for this mark!  Think about it--no more kidnappings, bad checks…and most will go for it!

 

Those left on earth at this point have the mark, but now it’s not just the government that looks for them, but this first angel, and germ warfare happens in a way it’s never happened before [talk about WMDs!]

 

Bowl #2—

v. 3  (“as blood”)

All the salt water is affected, and every single soul in them dies!

[earlier in the trib. 1/3rd of waters were affected…but it was just a warning…this is much worse!]

Imagine w/ me:  picture the world’s shorelines lined and cluttered w/ decaying corpses of sea life / unbearable stench…so bad that when you breathe you’d gag…a person from Decatur would fondly remember the Staley and ADM factories as “heaven on earth!”

 

So, they’ve got these sores, and no relief, and constant nausea.

 

Since waters are contaminated, ocean-going vessels will come to a halt. 

The world today doesn’t realize how dependant we are upon God…do we?  The now-salty waters of the world are God’s cleansing agent for the filth of the world, but then no longer!

 

Bowl #3—

vv. 4-7     fresh water is the target of this plague…the only resource left, and now it’s being plagued! 

Jesus turned water into wine, but the Father now turns it to blood!

The angel says to the Lord:  there’s a poetic justice in what you’ve done!  The antichrist has shed much blood of those who refused the mark, and many thru the ages before them, and now they’re reaping what they have sown! 

 

Gal. 6:7

Be not deceived, God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

 

Ex. 1Pharoah declared male Jewish babies would be drowned…and that’s how he and his whole army died!

 

EstherHaman decided to exterminate the Jews, and he wanted to start by hanging Mordecai…he sneakily concocted and started the plan into motion…and how did it end?  He was discovered and hung on the very gallows he prepared for Mordecai!

 

7                  Who is this under the altar?  Martyrs!  They cry out continually, how long until you judge them?

Here they say, “Good job, Lord, you have avenged us!”

 

Bowl #4—

v. 8  greatest heat wave in history—real global warming!  So unbearable that bodies will be scorched…a foretaste of hell right here on earth…w/ little water to drink, mind you!

        At the very least many thousands will die of thirst, heat exhaustion, skin cancer, etc.

 

[Ironic that the sun refused to shine 3 hrs. while Jesus was on the cross, but here it’s intensified!]

 

The OT prophets talked of this plague:

Deut. 32:24

They shall be burnt with hunger, and devoured with burning heat, and with bitter destruction:

Is. 24

6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.

 

Few?  Fact is, no one would be left if God did not supernaturally shorten the daylight hours!

Mt 24:22 -

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:

Some think that means the tribulation is shortened, but no, not true, Jesus said 7 years!

        The only interpretation is that some literal days will be shortened!  Perhaps this is thru the ash in the air blocking out the sun?

 

One more OT prophesy:

Mal. 4:1

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.

 

Think about this:  we’re already seeing in nature many things science struggles to explain:

Lk. 21:11, 25-26

21:11

And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

21:25

And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

21:26

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

 

“signs in the heavens” [realm of nature]

        Can you see the signs of the times?

All God would have to do to create this scenario is to remove one layer of the atmospheric blanket He currently protects us with!

Solar flares?  “Days shortened”—low lying cloud of dust?

 

You’d think that would break men?

v. 9b        They know there is a God…no doubt, He’s proven Himself, yet in their agony the last thing on their mind is repentance, but rather they curse Him, hate Him!

        [very revealing about the wicked heart of mankind!]

 

Don’t ever think that judgment brings men to repentance…it only rarely does!

        If God’s love doesn’t bring them, His wrath likely won’t!

        Those in hell aren’t begging to be saved, they curse, blaspheme God, gnash teeth [snarl in face of God!]

        Once you die lost, your character is forever fixed!

 

Rev. 22:11 [speaking of eternity…]

He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

 

The unsaved continues to sin in hell, rebel all he can, and his hatred toward his judge continues forever!

 

v. 9  is a description of hell!

 

 

4 words to describe the judgment of God:

 

Unwilling—God never judges willingly!

II Pet. 3

The Lord is … not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

If you’re left behind after the rapture to suffer these horrible judgments, it will be against the will of God!

 

He has never quickly judged…He’s longsuffering, allows us time to choose / doesn’t want robots / slaves forced to serve Him / wants volunteers!

 

Noah—120 years he preached before judgment fell!

Sodom & Gomorrah—for years God’s people wondered why God allowed it to continue…then the sky fell!

America—it’s been a long time since God was kicked out of school / Roe v. Wade initiated the holocaust of the ages / gays out of closet and into Congress…

 

God loves them, doesn’t want to judge them, is waiting, longsuffering…

But He’s holy, righteous, just, and eventually you cross the line!

 

2nd word:

Unexpected

Proverbs 6 is talking about the ‘naughty man’ who seems to be getting away w/ his sin…

Prov. 6

 

6:15

Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.

 

Proverbs 29    

 

29:1

He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.

 

 

Lulled into a false sense of security!

Lk. 12—rich farmer said, I’ll eat, drink and be merry!

        God said, thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee!

Ananias and Sapphira crossed that line and were suddenly slain!

 

3rd word:

Unspeakable

Mt. 24

24:21

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

“Eye hath not seen…!”

Words cannot describe it…it’s unspeakable!

 

4th word:

[unwilling, unexpected, unspeakable…also…]

 

Unnecessary

You don’t have to be there for these judgments…Jesus died in your place to save you!

 

Ill.--Vietnam [we are so proud of those who served, they were victorious, even if our country wasn’t!]

        What a shame when our boys would die to take a hill, only to have our government give it back!

 

It was unnecessary death, we could have given that hill up w/out them dying!  I hope we’ve learned our lesson and don’t repeat this kind of tragedy in the mid east!

 

Don’t die an unnecessary death by rejecting Christ…don’t proclaim His death to have been unnecessary!  You don’t want to be here when God’s Bowls of Wrath are poured out…and the great news is:  you don’t have to be!

 

Part 2, PM

 

Bowl #5—

v. 10        A plague of supernatural darkness just like in Moses’ time in Egypt…so thick you could feel it / drive to insanity!

        This won’t be worldwide…will only settle over kingdom of antichrist…perhaps where headquarters are…Jerusalem or maybe Rome?

 

This plague is God’s way of saying to the world:  you could have followed the light, but you have chosen darkness

[instead of the Bright Morning Star / you chose the prince of darkness]

 

Bowl #6—

v. 12        2 keys:

River Euphrates / kings of the east

 

Why target the River Euphrates w/ a plague?

The prominence of this river in the Bible is extraordinary:  mentioned in Genesis…and here in Revelation…and 25X’s in-between.

 

It’s the approximate location of the garden of Eden…and here the battle of Armageddon.  [the cradle and the grave!]

 

This is modern-day Iraq, Iran, Syria…ancient Babylon!

 

Plague #6—the waters of the Euphrates are dried up!

1,730 miles long / over ½ mile wide many places / 30 feet deep many places!  Dams are being built upstream.

In the news a couple years ago:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/14/world/middleeast/14euphrates.html

[It WILL literally happen, and is a sign of the times when it does.  Euphrates has been like an invisible line, a barrier like a force field]

 

Dried up for specific reason:  kings of the east!

 

Almost all Bible scholars agree this is a ref. to an Asian coalition, led by none other than red China!  This is a full-scale invasion of the west, coming from the east…unprecedented in history!

Think about this:  The Euphrates River is the far eastern border of the land God promised to Abraham.  God keeps His promises!  But here in the tribulation all bets are off!!

 

Now an army of 200 million soldiers is mobilized…on the move!  And they bring w/ them the technology they have stolen from us and had “hand-delivered” BY us [traitors / spies /espionage] over the last several decades or so!

 

This is an Asian coalition, though…China may lead the way, but throw in some others:

Arab/African Confederacy—Dan. 11—“Kings of the south”!

Russians—Ezek. 38-39—Gog and Magog—in Daniel called “Kings of the North”!

United States of Europe—revived Roman Empire—10 toes of Daniel’s statue!

Israelis…definitely a part of the end times and the battle of Armageddon…and conservative estimates say there will be at the very least 300 million soldiers involved…probably more!

 

No wonder the Bible says the blood will flow for 200 miles as deep as a horse’s bridle!  It will take 7 months just to bury the dead!

 

v. 13-14   “working miracles”

        Have you noticed how miracle-hungry our world has become?  We are obsessed w/ the supernatural:  healings and tongues to new age mysticism and the occult / tv shows on angels, ufo’s / Area 51…the people of our world are being set up / the pump is being primed / there’s a concerted effort in the spirit world to give people an insatiable appetite for miracles so this unholy trinity will be viewed as miracle-working gods!

 

v. 15        Here in the middle of all of this we have this warning! 

 

Bowl #7—

17-21                    the atmosphere is the target of this final plague

v. 17        the air!  I like this because it destroys the very last trace of Satan’s abiding place! 

Eph. 2:2  “prince of the power of the air”

[this plague destroys every nook and cranny of Satan’s dwelling place!]

 

Air is the preferred method of war today / Iraq was pelted from seas hundreds of miles away / jdam bombs dropped from miles in the air can go thru a window!

 

This plague is tied to Armageddon, so it is reasonable to think this is a massive air exchange / full scale nuclear war perhaps…w/ most or all nations of the world emptying their biggest guns!  And the result is this huge earthquake…

 

v. 18        What else in the natural realm could cause this kind of earthquake than that?!

 

This is tectonic / cataclysmic / seismic / volcanic…all rolled into one!

 

The book of Zechariah refers to men’s flesh melting off of them.  Sounds nuclear. 

Zechariah 14:12
And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

 

Then every major city of the earth is leveled!  Capitals only?  Or anything w/ skyscrapers / height?

 

v. 19        Imagine the metropolitan areas leveled / judged in one fell swoop!

 

Imagine Hawaii disappearing /Philippines / the Galapagos / thousands of Micronesia / Melanesia / Polynesia / perhaps Long Island? / Other islands such as Gilligan’s / Fantasy? / Temptation?!

 

All kidding aside…the mountains also disappearing, sinking into the heart of the earth:  Rockies / Swiss Alps / Himalayas/ Andes / Mt. Everest!

 

The climax includes the raining down of hailstones in weight over 100 lbs. each!

v. 21        Talent=approx. 114 lbs!

ill.—when they tested nuclear bombs at sea last century the fallout created hailstones of 20 lbs. each, some of which dented the armor of ships!

 

They blasphemed in spite of all of this!  As they will in eternity!

 

v. 17 reminds us of what Jesus said on the cross:  “it is finished”…every sin was paid for / judged…and if you get in on that ‘it is finished’…you won’t have to face this judgment!

 

 

We wouldn’t wish these things on our worst enemy, much less those close to us, in our circles!

 

We’ve seen 7 Bowls of God’s Wrath…

 

Now Consider these 3 cups:

God’s grace / mercy / justice—they’re all attributes of God!

Grace:  receiving something good from God which you don’t deserve

Mercy:  not receiving something bad from God which you do deserve

Justice:  receiving exactly what you deserve

 

3 cups of salvation:

Cup of Grace 

Mt. 26

Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

26:39

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

What was in that cup?  Every sin ever committed by mankind!

II Cor. 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; (why?) that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

 

Cup of Mercy

Ps. 116:13

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.

The only way we can be saved is by His mercy.

Eph. 2:2-4

2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy…

If you don’t drink from the cup of grace or the cup of mercy offered to you…then you have to drink from the 3rd cup…

Cup of Justice

Rev. 16:19-21

This cup is brim-full of God’s wrath!

 

God extends his Almighty arm toward you, and in His loving hand is just a piece of paper, but it represents forgiveness, salvation, and it will set you free!  Will you walk out that door today and reject the pardon?

 

 

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