Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Their Hearts Grow Hard!

It's hard to imagine a time in this world when things get so bad, that people will shake their fists at God in unbelief despite what is happening all around them. Great judgment and wrath being dispensed from God upon a Christ-rejecting world. But when you look around today, the one religious group that is facing the most hostility and persecution is those that believe in Jesus Christ. During the 7-year Tribulation Period that is coming to this world we live in today, some day in the very near future, God will begin to dispense the judgment He has been holding back on those doing just these horrific things today.

Some people I have heard, said that when they see these things happen, then they know God is real and will turn back to Him. They may not have a chance. Why would anyone want to put all their future eternal security in waiting when you can be assured of our eternal destination today?

As we continue in our Bible study through the Book of Revelation in chapter 16, we find ourselves watching the final moments of God's wrath being poured out on a Christ rejecting world. These bowl, pan or vial judgments are truly the worst of the worst. Yet those who rejected Christ all the way up to this point will be 100% committed in their unbelief, while those that are what we call Tribulation Saints, believers living during this horrific time, are also 100% committed in their faith in Christ. This is based on the testimony of the 144,000, the angels in the sky proclaiming the gospel and the two witnesses. The number of these saints will be so great in multitude that no man can number them. Yet these are the saints that will die for their faith in Christ on a much bigger global scale than what we are seeing today. These believers by this time will never bow to the image or take the mark of the best. They can no longer be tempted in that fashion. They belong to God.

Revelation 16:2 ~ "So the first angel went and poured out his bowl onto the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image."

These are foul and evil sores. Probably a plague of ulcers and boils. The brief descriptions of these last seven judgments may suggest that they occur in rapid succession upon a world already badly battered and bloodied.

Revelation 16:3 ~ "The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it become like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea."

We all know that when blood is taken from a living person it is red, but this is blood from a corpse so it would be rust colored and smelling horrible. This happened once in Egypt in the Old Testament with Moses and Pharaoh, but it was a local event. This time it will be globally. It will devastate all the seas and oceans. Have you ever smelled a dead sea creature? Can you image the smell of this one event. It's toxic. You will not be able to clean or purify this water. Imagine the stench and disease that will accompany this event.

Revelation 16:4 ~ "The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood."

This angel's bowl now turns all the fresh water into blood. ALL of it. Though drinking bloody salt water would be toxic, drinking bloody fresh water, even though disgusting, would not be.

Revelation 16:5-7 ~ "And I heard an angel in charge of the waters say, "Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of the saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve! And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!"

The angel knows this judgment is righteous and fair. Because the world has shed the blood of God's saints and prophets, He is just in dispensing His judgment upon the world. They deserve to dringk the blood because they shed the blood of saints and prophets.

Revelation 16:8-9 ~ "The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory."

When you consider this judgment you have to think, where are people going to go to attempt to cool themselves off from heat? They can't go jump into a swimming pool, lake, shower or go to the beach any longer. ALL the water in the world at this point is blood. Yet in the midst of even all of this, they are still rejecting God and cursing Him for what is happening.

Revelation 16:10-11 ~ "The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds."

When pressures come in your life as a believer, what will you do? If you haven't had the ultimate test yet of your faith, it will come. What will you do? Quit. Flee from God. Blame Him. Or will you stand firm with God even though you don't understand it? It will either make us bitter or better when these trials come in our life. There is no place we can run from God. A faith that can't be tested is a faith that can't be trusted. Here in what we are reading, these people placed their trust in the world, the global leaders and it has left them with false hope and security. I have seen and know people that when the worst kind of adversity comes in their life, they simply shake their fists at God, blame Him, reject Him and walk away. It's sad, because God never walks away from them. I pray that one day, they will find God again. In fact most atheists were former believers in Christ, but gave up their faith because God chose not to answer their prayers the way they wanted. We need to cry out to God when adversity comes and trust that He will bring us through it.

We need, as believers, to be watching, because the world is being prepared even now.

Revelation 16:12 ~ "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east."

Interesting to note here the rise of Asia, or the Kings of the East, and the focus of the world on the great river Euphrates. We are seeing this even now all the time, Babylon is the modern day nation of Iraq and the Euphrates River still exists in our world today, even though these scriptures were written more than 2000 years ago. Do these still exist today? Yes!!!

In ancient cultures today, the Euphrates River divides the east from the west and one day will be dried up. There will also come a day when 200 million soldiers from various nations in Asia will make preparations for war against God. Literally these are the kings of the rising of the son. The armies of the nations of the Orient will be aided in their march toward Armageddon by the supernatural drying up of the Euphrates River. We know who is responsible for that!

If you remember reading in Revelation 9:14, that there are four fallen angels bound in chains beneath the Euphrates River waiting to be released upon the world. They are truly the worst of the worst.

Revelation 16:13-14 ~ "And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), and out of the mouth of the beast (the Anti-Christ), and out of the mouth of the false prophet (global religious leader), three unclean spirits like frogs. 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."

This is the ungodly trinity, Satan, the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. The kings of the world are the worlds political leaders. There is a great spirit of the Anti-Christ working in the world today. The anti-God agenda is everywhere and it is pure evil and wicked in its intent and purposes in the hearts of people today. If you want to see what is happening in the world today, read the entire Book of 1 John. It is the atmosphere that is being manifested in the world today and will only increase in the last days. The war will consist of several battles, beginning with the Antichrist's campaign in Egypt (Daniel 11:40-45) and including a siege of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2) as well as the final battle at Armageddon.

The only way out of this is through faith in Jesus Christ. It is a great time to be encouraged if you know where to look. Jesus has given us His promise. 

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