Archive for December, 2015

The Seven Last Plagues

The prophecy continues in Rev 15:1 as the seven angels bearing the seven last plagues prepare to pour them out. The words “filled up” in verse 1 mean to complete, end, or perfect, in Greek. We know that the number seven in scripture is associated with completeness or perfection. So when these seven last plagues are finished, Yahweh’s wrath against the wicked will also be completed or perfected.

As mentioned earlier, verses 2-4 show the second group of 144,000 that were resurrected. They have been victorious over the beast that only came into existence about 3 1/2 years before. This proves that these saints are end-time saints who died less than 3 1/2 years ago. The early Apostles and disciples who died in the first century after Messiah certainly cannot be included in this group since the beast of Rev 13 did not exist at that time.

The seven angels now exit the temple in heaven to carry out Yahweh’s will, the destruction of the wicked. Rev 15:6 – 16:11 are relatively self-explanatory. Each of the events resulting from these vials being poured out are to be taken literally.

The sixth angel’s vial in verse 12 needs some clarification, for certain aspects of it are figurative. For example, the river Euphrates would not need drying up in order for modern day armies to cross it. This should be understood in the same sense as Isa 8:7,8 where “the waters of the river, strong and many” are symbolic of the King of Assyria and his armies. This does not mean that the waters of the Euphrates river are armies. The Euphrates here, is figurative of Babylon. The city of Babylon was situated directly in the path of the great river with its waters forming a deep moat encircling the city. A network of canals were also formed within the city’s walls. This great city was in control of most commerce on the Euphrates river.

At the time of the fall of Babylon, Cyrus diverted the river so that his army could enter the unsuspecting city through the dry waterbeds. Symbolically, the same thing is prophesied to happen as a prelude to the fall of spiritual Babylon. Rev 17:1 & 15 tell us that symbolic Babylon “sits upon many waters” meaning people from all nations. Since Babylon the Great is comprised of apostate churches (of which Rome is chief), the waters of the Euphrates would represent the people that feed her with wealth. This river will eventually dry up as a result of the sixth angel’s vial, preparing the way for the kings of the east. These kings are Yeshua and his saints, who are also kings and priests, that return to earth in Rev 19 to destroy the wicked. They are not the same kings spoken of in Rev 16:14, that are eventually gathered at Armageddon, for they are from all the earth.( Consider Mt 24:27 and Ezek 43:2).

The unclean spirits of verses 13 & 14 are literal and will accomplish their objective, that is, to deceive world leaders into believing that they can retain their power and leadership by being victorious at the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 15 is not part of the story line. It is a prophetic warning to all who read Revelation throughout the ages. It is placed there, in the midst of Yahweh’s wrath upon the wicked, in the hopes that some will heed it, repent, and thereby keep themselves from being recipients of such great calamity. It is not a warning for those living between the sixth and seventh vial for at that time the wickedness of all men will be so great that they will not repent (vs.11). Besides that, all have received the mark of the beast (Rev 13:6) and therefore must drink of the wine of the wrath of Yahweh (Rev 14:9-11).

After the seventh angel pours out his vial a voice proclaims, “It is done.” This does not mean the seventh last plague is finished for we see the results of this plague in verses 18-21. It means the culminating act of Yahweh’s wrath has begun and, once it is completed, peace will reign on earth.

The results of this plague should also be taken literally except verse 20 that has the meaning of earthly governments not being found anymore. Verse 19 states that the destruction of Babylon is part of the results of the seventh vial. After a description of Babylon is given in Rev 17, its destruction is described in Rev 18. The warning of Rev 18:4 does not literally occur during the destruction of Babylon. It is a prophetic warning, for all who read Revelation, to come out of Babylon from its very inception until it is too late to come out. It is too late when a person accepts the mark of the beast.

Neither Rev 17 nor Rev 18 are a part of the story flow. The flow ends in Rev 16:21 and begins again in Rev 19:11 with the return of the King of Kings and his army of resurrected saints (288,000 in all) to do battle against the kings of the earth and their armies. Since we already discussed Rev 19:1-16 in the section on saints going to heaven, let’s continue with the concluding verse in this chapter.

In verses 19-21 we see the outcome of the battle of Armageddon. The beast and the false prophet are both cast into the Lake of Fire which proves, incidentally, that the fire coming down from heaven in Rev 20:9, 1,000 years later, is not the same as the Lake of Fire. The kings of the earth and their armies are destroyed by the sword of King Yeshua which symbolically represents his spoken word.

The Millennial Kingdom

As a result of all the death and destruction that has occurred since the Day of Yahweh began seven years ago, including the final battle of Armageddon, the earth will be almost totally void of inhabitants. Some people teach that the earth will be totally void of people throughout millennium based on Jer 4:23-26. However, as Yahweh says in verse 27, “yet will I not make a full end” (see also Jer 5:10,18). Several scriptures make it clear that there will continue to be nations of people dwelling on earth throughout the millennium that the Messiah and the saints will rule over (Rev 20:3,6,8; 2:26,27; Ezek 39:17-23; Zech 14:16-19, etc.). The people that remain alive after Armageddon will enter the millennium and be subject to all the laws of the Kingdom of Yahweh.

Before peace can be established on earth, the dragon, or Satan, needs to be cast into the bottomless pit (Greek – abussos, as in Lu 8:31 & 2 Pe 2:4). The purpose of confining him in the abyss is so he will be unable to deceive the nations that dwell on earth during the millennium. If there were no human beings alive on earth throughout the next 1,000 years there would be no need to confine Satan. He certainly cannot deceive those in heaven because he no longer has access to it. Ever since the resurrection and ensuing battle in heaven in Rev 12, he has been cast out of heaven forever.

Rev 20:4c reads, “and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years.” The correct translation is, “and they came to life and reigned . . .” Verse 5 should read, “But the rest of the dead did not come to life again until the thousand years were finished.” Verse 4 marks the resurrection of the main harvest of wheat (stage 5 of the first resurrection). So far, only the firstfruits of the wheat harvest were taken symbolized by the two wave loaves of Lev 23:17. Now is the fulfillment of the parable of the wheat and the tares (Mt 13:24-30,36-43). The tares, or the wicked, have all been gathered and burned leaving only the wheat to be harvested. The saints who are resurrected in verse 4 will also be given eternal life, as were the firstfruits, and will reign with Yeshua in the kingdom. They will not have a position as close to King Yeshua, as do the 288,000 firstfruits, but they will reign over those that entered the millennium in the flesh.

When the main harvest of souls is completed, the millennium will begin. It is then that the shadow of the Feast of Tabernacles will begin to be fulfilled. That particular feast, spoken of in Lev 23:39, was a celebration of the completion of the literal agricultural harvest in Israel. The millennium begins the celebration of the completion of the spiritual harvest of souls.

After the thousand years are finished, Satan will be set free for a short time. He will attempt to deceive the servants of Yahweh’s kingdom, those that entered the millennium in the flesh. He will not attempt to deceive the saints that have been resurrected unto eternal life for that would be impossible. Satan will manage to deceive many people, all of whom will be burned by fire out of heaven. At that point Satan will be cast into the Lake of Fire from which there is no return.

The great white throne judgment of Rev 20:11-15 marks the resurrection of all human beings who were not in the first resurrection. They will be judged according to their works and thrown in the Lake of Fire if their names were not found in the book of life. New Jerusalem, spoken of in Rev 21, appears to come down from heaven after the great white throne judgment.

” Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keeps the sayings of the prophesy of this book.” Rev 22:7

” Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates of the city.” Rev 22:14

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