Chapter 16:17 – Chapter 17:6
“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’ 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and talked with me, saying to me, ‘Come, I will show you the judgment of the great harlot who sits on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth were made drunk with the wine of her fornication.’ 3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
“4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication. 5 And on her forehead a name was written: MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. 6 I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And when I saw her, I marveled with great amazement.”
Thanks for the emails that I have received over the week. Some of the emails made me think and do some searching; others encouraged me, and some not so much. Either way, the emails are appreciated.
We are going to venture into some interesting information this week. Not long ago, maybe a week or two, the pope and Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb signed an interfaith covenant in Abu Dhabi. Here we have the apostate version of Christianity agreeing and forming an alliance with the Islamic religion. If I recall correctly, the pope stated that they were brothers.
In Daniel, we see a statue some 2,500 years ago that outlined the present and coming ruling powers beginning with Babylon. The final empire was an unnatural alliance, one of clay and iron mixed together, a seemingly forged alliance that seemed to be forced rather than a natural one. Iron and clay do not mix. We just saw that alliance being formed right in front of our eyes. Between these two global religions, they will control between 2.5–2.7 billion people. By the time the Rapture takes its toll on the population, they may control about half the worlds’ population or more.
In Daniel 12:4, we see these harrowing words: “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Daniel is told that the words of his book were not for him or his time but for the time when knowledge would be increased and when men would “run to and fro.” We are here today. Our knowledge increases in the last 119 years have taken us from an average land speed of 30 miles per hour at the turn of the 1900s to where we can venture into space. At the turn of the century in 1900, the average person was born, lived and died within 30 miles of where they were born. Today we literally run to and fro on the earth. Air travel is just that; we can now take flight from Toronto to Brisbane Australia in under a day – a feat that used to take months just from England when travelling by ship back in the 1900s.
The Last Judgment of the Tribulation, verses 17-21
The words “it is done” can be translated “it is done and will remain done.” There is no fixing this from man’s perspective or under man’s power. God is going to do God-stuff; and man will stand in awe or run in fear or cringe in dismay, but they will not be able to fix it. What God is doing cannot be undone. There is absoluteness in these words. We can think of a similar statement by Jesus as He was hanging on the cross, “It is finished.” The work of salvation was finished. There was nothing more to do at all on the part of either man or God. All man had to do was to put his faith in God’s salvation to be saved. The work had been completed. The next event to follow this 7th Bowl will be the physical return of the Lord Jesus with the armies of Heaven.
In Numbers 16:20-35, we find an account of men who defied the leadership of Moses. God opened up the earth and swallowed them whole along with their tents and their families. As far as I can tell, this was the first time that an earthquake-like event ever occurred in the Bible. The earthquake that is recorded for us here in Revelation 16 is like no other event ever in history. It divides this great city (the city of the anti-Christ, modern-day Babylon) into three parts. Nations also fall with it, and we are told that the islands flee away and are not found.
This is extremely dear to me as I am from an island nation; Barbados is just a little dot in the Caribbean Sea. But England is also an island, as is Australia; it is an island continent. Imagine how much destruction this will cause. This is a global earthquake, or at least the effects of this earthquake are global. Not only will the islands disappear, but the mountains will be no longer found. God is going to level everything. What a catastrophe this will be; and, oh, what a display of God’s Sovereign power!
God remembers this city, the great Babylon, and His wrath is poured out on her. He then sends hail to fall upon the men of the earth. In Job 38:22, we are told that God has storehouses of hail. We have had some hail here in Canada in my time, some as big as a small marble maybe, but the hail in Revelation 16 is ‘great hail’; we are told that the hail is about one (1) talent. According to www.unitconversion.org, a talent is just over 75 lbs. Can you imagine the damage of 75 lb. blocks of ice falling on the earth and man? The destruction will make the movie 2012 look like a ride at an amusement park.
The men of the earth will blaspheme even more. No repentance here. No remorse. No guilt, just rage at God. They know for sure who is doing this. By the way, there will be no atheists in the Tribulation, at least not towards the middle and then the end; they will defy God with full knowledge of His power and who He is. Defying God can harden your heart so much that you become calloused, even when seeing Him face-to-face, so to speak. You are so hard to the wonders of the Lord that, even with His power and even His person clearly displayed, you are defiant and rebellious.
This is a horrible situation to be in. We see a lot of people in this place today. We see women and men touting their ‘feelings’ over what is right and what is true. They hate the truth and anyone who speaks it; it has become offensive. When the absolute Truth shows His face, Jesus the righteous, they will be just as defiant, and their pride will cost them dearly.
The Judgment of the False church – Chapter 17:1-6
Chapters 17–18 will focus on the destruction of Babylon. This focus will culminate in chapter 19 with the return of Jesus to fight for Israel against the invading hordes of the Anti-Christ and his armies. In Chapter 17, we find some clues to help us to form an idea of who the Great Harlot is.
Prostitution is a symbol of spiritual infidelity. This is a deliberate act. One does not commit fornication accidentally. We find an amazing story in the book of Ruth. In it we find two women leaving the country of Moab with Naomi in Ruth 1:6-18. One daughter-in-law, Orpah, and the other, Ruth, are leaving to go back to the land of Israel. As they exit the city, Naomi tells the ladies to return to their country as she cannot provide them with a husband. Orpah, we are told, returned to her people and her gods (vs. 15), but Ruth clings to the God of Israel, the God of Naomi, and she returns to Bethlehem with her. There she is married into the lineage of our Saviour Jesus.
Here is a great example that the Harlot church made a choice; they could have turned to the God of Israel but they did not. They, in the person of Orpah, returned to the gods of Moab.
This harlot church has global effects; she sits on many waters, she has political power, she is courted by the kings of the earth, and she affects the whole population of the earth or at least a very large portion of it. Later, she is described as a “woman sitting on a scarlet beast.” The idea of scarlet is that of luxury, splendor and a woman of means. Scarlet is the color of royalty and nobility and great wealth. She, as a prostitute (a whore), adorns herself in splendor to attract her suitors. In contrast is the Lord Jesus. In Isaiah 53:2, we find these words describing the physical appearance of Jesus:
“He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no stately form or majesty to attract us, no beauty that we should desire Him.”
He did not display His majesty, and He was not beautiful so as to attract us to Him. He came as a servant according to Philippians 2:5 and set the example for us. The New Testament church is not supposed to be a whore dressed up to meet the world, but a chaste bride waiting for her husband. She is beautiful to those that are looking for true, and ugly to those that simply want the external trappings of a harlot. Harlots do not look to form everlasting relationships; they use their suitors for profit. And when the opportunity for profit expires, so too do the affections that were once so freely given.
This woman (false church) was covered in the names of blasphemy, constantly adding pagan rituals to further and further take away the power of the Gospel. The Latin phrase ‘extra Ecclesiam nulla salus’ means that outside the church, referring to the Catholic Church, there is no salvation. The current pope said this very thing on June 3rd, 2013.
The very name “Catholic” refers to the universal church. There is no such thing as the universal church. The word that is translated from the Greek refers to the local assembly from within a city. There is a church in each city or multiple churches if the city is quite large. All the saved people are in the family of God, but not in a universal global church. The very wording of the Epistles are they that show that a church or churches existed in a location like Ephesus, Galatia or Rome.
Doctrines like purgatory where the dead wait in transit for their loved ones to pay indulgences to get them out of purgatory into Heaven; transubstantiation that teaches that the bread and wine become the literal body and blood of Jesus, promoting cannibalism that is strictly forbidden as is the drinking of blood (Deuteronomy 12:16); even the idea of confession to a priest – these are all abominable practices that put a man in the place of God. We are called to confess our sins to God in 1 John 1:8-9.
Right now, the Catholic Church is engulfed by a pedophile scandal on a global scale. Hundreds or even thousands of trusting families have been devastated by the sexual abuse that the priests have proffered on an unsuspecting and innocent people. This abuse has been compounded by the cover-up that is still going on all around the world. The filthiness has been going on for decades in some cases, and on multiple continents, as the church has moved pedophile priests from one diocese to the next rather than discipline them or have them arrested.
This ‘church’ is also drunk with the blood of the saints. Beginning in the 13th century, the Catholic Church engaged in inquisitions designed to deal with heresy. Anyone who did not believe like them were targets. Conservative Baptist groups (some called Paulicians) were slaughtered by them in 1160 AD under the order of Henry II. Cardinal Hosius, President of the Council of Trent, said in 1524 that “had the Baptists not been cut off with the knife for 1,200 years, they would outnumber all the Reformers.”
Over the centuries, the Catholic Church has slaughtered those that kept to the strict interpretation of the Bible and condemned all who added to it – as the Catholic Church does all the time. Today, the Catholic Church may appear more civil, but it is not; and when the time comes, it again will step up and be the global superpower that it is. The Vatican is well-funded, it is everywhere, and it already has envoys intertwined in the governments of the world. Catholicism has its foot securely planted in the EU, and it has just added the nation of Islam to its brotherhood. The foundation of the New World Order is forming right before our eyes— in plain sight.
It is this unholy alliance, this bloodthirsty harlot, that God will pour His 75-lb. hailstones on. It is this headquarters in Vatican City that God will destroy with an earthquake and send horror such as has never happened on the earth before. This man, the pope, who wants you to believe that he is God’s messenger on earth, will find out that He is not Jesus. He is just flesh, dust and dirt that has unleashed the wrath of God on himself (whoever may be serving in that position at the time), his network and his cohorts.
We will explore more about this woman next week. For now, we should be eyes wide open. The Bible is playing out in front of us in Technicolor. We can see the end forming right in front of our eyes, covered and cheered by every liberal news outlet. They do not realize that they are cheering the very ending and provoking the wrath of Almighty God.
We still have these words of hope available to us as we wait on Jesus:
Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”
We have begun Live Streaming our Sunday sermons on FB; go to our page at Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church. Check us out; we are currently teaching through 1 John.