Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 12
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Revelation 9 & 16
Now let’s again turn to Revelation Chapter 15, where we pick up the bowl judgments. And remember as we are nearing that last year of the Tribulation, these judgments will become more severe, and closer and closer together.
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues (this is the wind down); for in them is filled up (or is consummated, or finished) the wrath of God.”
This is constantly emphasized. This is truly the wrath of God. There is no love here. And it is so refreshing to know that, as believers of the Gospel of Grace, we won’t be here. We will be taken out before these things begin. We can read these things and not have to worry about having to endure them. He tells us that we have not been saved to His wrath! We have been saved from it.
And for any of you who know not the Lord, who have never experienced salvation, this is written for you as an instigation to get right with the Lord, because this is going to be a terrible time. We know that eternal Hell will be worse than this, because it will be without end, but nevertheless, these folks will have to go through all of this with the physical and emotional pain and suffering and no hope of escaping it. So it is written as a warning for the unbeliever to yet consider God’s offer of salvation while the time is still available. Now in verse 2 we have a vision in heaven:
“And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast (here we see the martyred Tribulation saints already present with the Lord in glory), 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.”
It’s a verse like this where people get the idea that all we will do when we get to heaven is strum a harp. That may be part of it. But it will be far more than that! Now an interesting verse:
“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb,…”
Now those are two separate songs. Let’s go back to the song of Moses. Turn to the Book of Exodus Chapter 15. Remember that Israel has just come through the Red Sea. They’ve looked back and seen the residue of all the floating Egyptian horsemen, chariots and everything else. From all practical aspects it wasn’t a very pretty picture. But when Israel could look back on their years of slavery and mistreatment and sufferings, and then be able to see what had happened to their enemies, no wonder they could sing. So this is the song of Moses. And again this is (as I have made the analogy over and over as we have studied Revelation) such a repeat of that Exodus experience and dealing with the Pharaoh and the plagues, only on a far grander and greater scale. And here is another parallel. These Tribulation saints, who are now removed from their suffering and are in the presence of the Lord, they too will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. We won’t read it all because it’s too long, but here is the gist of it. Verse 1:
“Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, `I will sing unto the LORD (I remember when I was teaching up in Iowa, I had a class of young people on Saturday night, and the kids would bring their guitars and we would always sing songs before I would teach. And one of their favorite songs was based on the song of Moses), for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.'” And they continue on in their singing:
“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. The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.” Now that is only a part of the song of Moses. Now come on down to verse 11, continuing the song:
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them. Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.”
Do you get the picture? They are singing that song of deliverance of redemption. That is the song of Moses. Now I would like for you to stop at Psalms Chapter 22. Here is a song of David, and David could also put his thoughts into songs. Which were always to God’s glory. Words of praise and worship. This chapter is the chapter of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Come on down to verse 22:
“I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. Ye that fear the LORD, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him: and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.”
Now turn on over to Psalms 86 and you will see more or less that same theme of worship and praise. This, of course, will be so appropriate for those in the very throne room of heaven, having come out of that horrible Tribulation experience.
“Among the gods (that is the gods of this world) there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.”
“All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee,…”
This song is being sung in Revelation just before the Lord returns to set up His Kingdom. Do you see how appropriate all of this is? We will study about that when we get a little further into the Second Coming of Christ and the setting up of His Kingdom.
“…O Lord: and shall glorify thy name. For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell,”
Do you see the praise and exalting of that song? Now back to Revelation and this is exactly what they are going to be singing and proclaiming here in the very presence of God. Now verse 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 (remember I’ve told you that God isn’t being unfair), 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 (it has never happened yet, but it will!): for thy judgments are made manifest.”
“And after that I (John) looked, and , behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:” We saw that happen before back in Chapter 11.
“And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues (now here is your final bowl judgments), clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.”
“And one of the four beasts (or creatures. We referred to them early in the Book of Revelation. They are angelic beings) gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials (or bowls) full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.” This is a symbolic picture again of how this wrath will be poured out.
“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.”
Now here they come, one right after the other. Each one will be more severe then the previous one, leading up to the very battle of Armageddon. And the bringing of the nations to the Middle East. But first, Chapter 16, verse l:
“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials (or bowls) of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial (bowl) upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore (or boil, remember Egypt) upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.”
Now remember the mark of the beast (and we talked about in an earlier lesson), this is where people cannot buy or sell or do any kind of business unless they have the mark in their right hand or forehead. So just about the whole world will come under this plague of miserable boils. Now verse 3:
“And the second angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the sea (I think this is possibly the oceans as we know them); and it became as (liken unto) the blood of a dead man; and every living soul (creatures and fish) died in the sea.” Can you imagine what that does to the shores and ocean? We talk about pollution. We know nothing of pollution as it’s going to be here.
“And the third angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.”
This is literal blood. Remember again, the Egyptians had to dig fresh water wells and tried to get fresh water that way. Here, God is going to turn all drinkable water into blood. Why blood? Again look at the human race tonight. They are blood-thirsty. I’ve always put it this way: God created Adam a human being, but as soon as Adam became a sin creature, he became inhuman. And all you have to do is look at your newspaper tonight, and what has mankind become? He has, I think, become an inhuman being. There is not another species on earth that misuses their own species as man does. You don’t see anything in the wild kingdom that torments its own. Only man. I suppose according to the Jerusalem Post that the Syrian are the masterminds on torture. They can dream up things that no one else can dream up. We use to think that Iraq was the best at this, but the Syrian puts them in the shade in torturing people. Man has intrinsic ability to somehow be blood thirsty. So God is saying here, “Alright, you’ve been blood thirsty now for 6000 years, now drink it.” And it becomes a plague.
“And I heard the angel of the waters say, `Thou art righteous (Even the angels will never come back and say, “God, why are you doing this.” Instead they say, “You are righteous God. They are getting exactly what they deserve.”), O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.'” Now here is what we are talking about:
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.”
History tells us that during the dark ages (that period of time between about 500 to 1500 AD – that period before the reformation), in that thousand years of human history, it is estimated that at least 50 million Christians were put to death. Many of them horrible deaths. We can’t even imagine, and yet they did it gladly for their faith. Bring it up to recent history. Again, during the seventy years that communism reigned and ruled Russia, also about 50 million people were put to death. By their own government! Indeed, they have shed the blood of saints.
“And I heard another out of the altar say, `Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.'”
Do you see the emphasis here? I know the first thing that we humanly think is, God isn’t being fair. After all, why does this one generation have to come under such terrible cataclysmic events? It’s this generation that is just simply bringing to a head everything that the previous generations have been sowing the seed of. And God has always done that. Remember the verse that contains the Ten Commandments? “And I will visit down to the third and fourth generation.” That’s the way God does things. Now verse 8:
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire (or intense heat).”
Go back for a moment to Isaiah Chapter 13. Because I always like to help people realize, that there are some groups who think that Revelation shouldn’t even be in our Bible. But always remember, it still fits with all the rest of the Old Testament. Let’s start at verse 9:
“Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, (now this is Isaiah written approximately 700 years before Christ), to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.” Now here it comes in verse 10:
“For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine. And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.”
And in another place, the earth will be moved in and out of its orbit. And our scientists tells us if the earth was to tilt just two degrees off of what is normal, the earth would either burn up with heat, or would freeze up in the cold. So during that time the weather will be almost out of control. We are already seeing just a little bit of it, the bizarre weather around the world. Let’s come back to Revelation. I would like to finish the sixth bowl judgment and then be ready for the battle of Armageddon in our next lesson. So now let’s look at verse 10:
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial (bowl) upon the seat of the beast (Anti-christ in the city of Jerusalem); and his kingdom (world-wide) was full of darkness (don’t forget this also happened in Egypt); 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. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up (why?), that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.”
So the Euphrates River will be as dry as a bone. And that last obstacle will be removed for the 200 million-man army to come to Jerusalem.