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Notes for

The Revelation

Chapter Sixteen


1. Jesus commands and the angels obey in this acted-out picture of the last day events. We should note that these priestly-robed angels get their bottles from one the four beasts, Revelation 15:7 which we know to be representations of God's people. See Notes for The Revelation chapter 4. It is not made clear which one gives the vials to them, so it is probab;ly not important. What is important is that this is a picture of the fact that the plagues cannot come until God's people are ready for them, as ready as they ever will be! The temple is filled with the "smoke" ascending from the altar of incense which is the prayers of the saints. Luke 18:1-8.

Trumpet after trumpet is to be sounded, vial after vial poured out one after another upon the inhabitants of the earth. Scenes of stupendous interest are right upon us in this chapter. As the decree issued by the various rulers in Christendom against commandment keepers shall withdraw the protection of their governments and abandon them to those who desire their destruction, the people of God will flee from the cities and villages and associate together in companies, dwelling in the most desolate and solitary places. Some will find refuge in the mountains, but many of all nations, and all classes, will be cast into prison. See Hebrews 11:32-40. Will the Lord forget His people at this time? Remember Daniel in the lions' den, and the three in the furnace?

Isaiah 49:13-16 Jesus will be close beside us during this experience

Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD has comforted His people, and will have mercy upon His afflicted.

But, like Jesus on the cross, we will not be consciously aware of His closeness

But Zion said, The LORD has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me. [See Matthew 27:46.]

We will need to remember this promise

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yes, they may forget, yet will I not forget you. Behold, I have engraved you upon the palms of My hands [with the nail holes]; your walls [your need of protection] are continually before Me.

How to live in that time

When Christ said to the tempter, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4), He was repeating the words that, more than fourteen hundred years before, He had spoken to Israel through Moses:

Deuteronomy 8:2-3

The Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness. . . . And He humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread only, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord does man live.

In the wilderness, when all means of sustenance failed, God sent His people manna from heaven; and a sufficient and constant supply was given every day. This provision was to teach them that while they trusted in God and walked in His ways He would not forsake them. In the temptation in the wilderness the Saviour practised the lesson He had taught to Israel. By the word of God assistance had been given to the Hebrew host, and by the same word it would be given to Jesus. He awaited God's time to bring relief. He was in the wilderness in obedience to God, and He would not obtain food by following the suggestions of Satan. In the presence of the witnessing universe, He testified that it is a less calamity to suffer whatever may befall than to depart in any manner from the will of God.

"Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."

Often the follower of Christ is brought where he or she cannot serve God and carry forward his or her worldly enterprises. Perhaps it appears that obedience to some plain requirement of God will cut off their means of support. Revelation 13:17. Satan will try and make them believe that they must sacrifice their conscientious convictions in order to survive. But the only thing in our world upon which we can rely is the word of God.

That will be the great test, to help ourselves, or rely totally on God.

Matthew 6:33 Jesus advises us

Seek you first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.

In this life it is not for our good to depart from the will of our Father in heaven. When we learn the power of His word, we shall not follow the suggestions of Satan in order to obtain food or to save our lives.

Our only questions will be,

What is God's command? and what His promise?

Knowing these, we shall obey the one, and trust the other.

In the last great conflict of the controversy with Satan those who are loyal to God will see every earthly support cut off. Because they refuse to break His law in obedience to earthly powers, they will be forbidden to buy or sell. Revelation 13:17. It will finally be decreed that they shall be put to death. Revelation 13:15.

Isaiah 33:16 But to the obedient is given this promise

He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.

By this, and other promises, the children of God will live. When the earth shall be wasted with famine, they shall be fed.

Psalm 37:19

They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.

The prophet Habakkuk looked forward to that time of distress and his words express the faith of the church:

Habakkuk 3:17-18

Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

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2. What is being described here is a vile-smelling and terribly hurting sore which at first will appear just like any one of the other calamities that mankind suffer from time to time. But when Christ ceases His intercession in the sanctuary, the unmingled wrath threatened against those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark (Revelation 14:9, 10), will be poured out. (Note that the saints of God are not affected.) God will no longer be able to protect the transgressor from the result of his or her sin and some will suffer quickly under this scourge.

The severity of the retribution imposed by sin which is awaiting the transgressor may by judged by the Lord's reluctance to allow justice to be executed. He has been able to delay it for at least 6,000 years that we know of, but now He is helpless in the face of the deliberate choice of all the living.

The plagues which fell upon Egypt when God was about to deliver Israel (Exodus chapters 7-12), were similar in character to those more terrible and extensive judgments which are to fall upon the world just before the final deliverance of God's people. At this time, too, God's people will be "passed over", as the Hebrews were after the first three, and during the last night. Exodus 12:7-14.

And, terrible as these future inflictions will be, God's justice will stand fully vindicated. The angel of God declares: "You are righteous, O Lord, . . . because You have judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." Verses 5-6 of this chapter.

By condemning the people of God to death, they have as truly incurred the guilt of their blood as if it had been shed by their hands. See Matthew 5:21-22 for this principle. In like manner Christ declared the Jews of His time guilty of all the blood of holy men which had been shed since the days of Abel; for they possessed the same spirit and were seeking to do the same work with these murderers of the prophets. Matthew 23:35.

The following words tell us how to explain to others how they may escape this sore, and the other calamities which will follow.

Exodus 9:20-21

He that feared [believed and obeyed] the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: and he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field [where they died as predicted].

Let us always remember that God did not cause the plagues in Egypt and He will not cause these last seven. They came then as a result of the rejection of His protection, and it will be the same again. But He was there protecting Egypt in the safe periods between them and His people during them, and He will be there in the future protecting His saints.

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3. There will be pollution in different places in the oceans which will look like blood and this will kill off great quantities of sea life. Instances of this type of plague have already occurred in various locations in the world, so again it will not be thought unusual.

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4. Again an angel acts out the plague by indicating that this one will affect drinking water. There will be a polluting of the fresh water sources. This will be more of a problem for humanity than the others, but fortunately it too will not be universal or all mankind would soon perish. We can live a long time without food but not without water.

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5. The phrase, "O LORD, which are, and were, and shall be" is a way of explaining His eternal life.

"As you sow...." is very righteous judgment. Each decides their own fate by accepting or rejecting the mercy of God.

It is not a lack of knowledge of spiritual light and understanding that will separate any person from the presence of God. These are not the things that will decide his or her destiny. It is the truth, brought home to the understanding, but rejected because of the cross it involves, that will condemn the sinner in that day of final judgment.

One day the whole world will stand condemned before the great moral standard of righteousness. In the great day of judgment every person that has lived on the earth will receive sentence in accordance as to whether his or her deeds have been good or evil in the light of the law of God, and this is a forerunner to that event. In that day every mouth will be stopped as the cross with its dying Victim shall be presented, and its real bearing shall be seen by every mind that has been sin blinded and corrupted. Sinners will stand condemned before the cross, with its mysterious Victim bowing beneath the infinite burden of human transgression. How quickly will be swept away every subterfuge, every lying excuse! Human apostasy will appear in its heinous character. All will see what their choice has been. They will then understand that they have chosen Barabbas instead of Christ, the Prince of Peace.

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6. In this plague, something happens to the sun and it scorches men with great heat. How this occurs is not explained, but see "Fly Sprays and Noah's Flood" for some ideas. The prophets describe the condition of the earth in this fearful time of drought.

Joel 1:10-20

The field is wasted, the land mourns; for the corn is wasted: the new wine is dried up, the oil languishes. Be you ashamed, O you husbandmen; howl, O you vinedressers, for the wheat and for the barley; because the harvest of the field is perished. The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languishes; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because joy is withered away from the sons of men.

Gird yourselves, and lament, you priests: howl, you ministers of the altar: come, lie all night in sackcloth [in mourning], you ministers of my God: for the meat offering and the drink offering is withheld from the house of your God.

We are told what to do at that time

Sanctify you a fast, call a solemn assembly, gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land into the house of the LORD your God, and cry to the LORD. Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.

How do the beasts groan! the herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yes, the flocks of sheep are made desolate.

O LORD, to You will I cry: for the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also to You: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.

Amos 8:3 The shock will be great

And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, says the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

These first four plagues are not universal, happening to the whole world at the same time, or all the inhabitants of the earth would be cut off before the second coming. They will occur at different times in different places increasing in intensity as they spread.

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7. Joel 2:30-32 This time has been known about for centuries

And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD has said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.

In this plague the sun goes out! This is a universal plague, as are the next two, for the seat of the beast is the whole world.

Acts 2:19-21 The warning was repeated in the New Testament

And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: the sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: and it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

They "blasphemed" or blamed God for their troubles, but still did not change their behaviour or repent. Selfishness is still their basic way of life.

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8. Just as it was in the experience of Cyrus the servant of God, so it will be in the experience of Jesus the Son of God. Cyrus came from the east to overthrow Babylon, and Jesus and His followers come from the east also, for He approaches our planet as it turns. Cyrus was able to divert the river Euphrates that ran through the literal city of Babylon and supported it, and here the river is used to symbolize the people who support the ministers of Babylon the Great in their persecution of the saints. The people become aware of where they have been led and attempt to turn from their former actions, not because they are sorry for what they have done, but for what is happening to them. This is sometimes called Esau's repentance. Hebrews 12:16-17. But it is too late. Like the people outside Noah's ark when the flood came, like the five foolish virgins who had no extra oil, they will find that the "door" is shut.

When God's presence was finally withdrawn from the Jewish nation in the year 34AD, priests and people knew it not. Though under the control of Satan, and swayed by the most horrible and malignant passions, they still regarded themselves as the chosen of God. The ministration in the temple continued until the year 70AD; sacrifices were offered upon its polluted altars, and daily the divine blessing was invoked upon a people guilty of the blood of God's dear Son and seeking to slay His ministers and apostles. This blasphemy did not cease until the Roman army destroyed the temple when they conquered Jerusalem.

In the same way, when the irrevocable decision of the heavenly sanctuary has been pronounced and the destiny of the world has been forever fixed, the inhabitants of the earth will not know it. The forms of religion will be continued by a people from whom the Spirit of God has been finally withdrawn; and the satanic zeal with which the prince of evil will inspire them for the accomplishment of his malignant designs, will bear the semblance of zeal for God.

But when the sixth plague falls on the earth, the people will see that they have been deluded. They will accuse one another of having led them to destruction; but all will unite in heaping their bitterest condemnation upon the ministers and leaders of their religions.

Unfaithful pastors have prophesied smooth things; they have led their hearers to make void the law of God and to persecute those who would keep it holy, while they knew it was not right. Now, in their despair, these teachers will confess before the world their work of deception. The multitudes will be filled with fury. "We are lost!" they will cry, "and you are the cause of our ruin;" and they will turn upon the false shepherds.

The very ones that once admired them most will pronounce the most dreadful curses upon them. The very hands that once crowned them with laurels will be raised for their destruction. The swords which were to slay God's people will now be employed to destroy their enemies. Everywhere there will be strife and bloodshed.

Jeremiah 25:31

A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword.

Isaiah 44:23-28; 45:1-3 This fact should make the saints rejoice

Sing, O you heavens; for the LORD has done it: shout, you lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He that formed you from the womb, I am the LORD that makes all things; that stretches forth the heavens alone; that spreads abroad the earth by Myself; that frustrates the tokens of the liars, and makes diviners mad; that turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolish; that confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; that says to Jerusalem,

You shall be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, You shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof:

That says to the deep, Be dry, and I will dry up your rivers.

That says of Cyrus, He is My shepherd, and shall perform all My pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, You shall be built; and to the temple, Your foundation shall be laid.

Thus says the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have held, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before you, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.

And I will give you the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the LORD, which call you by your name, am the God of Israel.

For the literal facts of this exploit of Cyrus, see "The Fall of Babylon".

 

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9. We have seen the dragon (Satan and his angel followers) and the beast (the civil authorities Satan works through on earth). Now we are introduced to the false prophet, his last brilliant effort to fool the people of the world. These are the three major religious divisions of Satan’s kingdom (Verse 19). The "dragon" is represented on earth by spiritualism as shown in the power of the occult; the "beast" by the Roman Catholic system of church/state combination; while the "false prophet" pictures the Protestant churches which "protest" that they are following God’s commands but are rejecting the Sabbath of the Ten Commandments. It is these three which will form an unholy alliance and persuade the various factions of the earth to unite in one last desperate effort against the people of God.

Marvellous beyond expression is the blindness of the people of this generation. Thousands reject the word of God as unworthy of belief yet and with eager confidence receive the deceptions of Satan. Well do these words describe them...

Isaiah 28:14-18

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, you scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem [this represents also the various religions of the world]. Because you have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement [believing in an immortal soul]; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come to us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tried Stone, a precious Corner Stone, a sure Foundation. He that believes [in Him] shall not make haste.

Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet [the plumbob of Jesus' life]: and the hail [of truth] shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then you shall be trodden down by it.

In past centuries, sceptics and scoffers denounced the bigotry of those Protestant leaders who claimed they were following the faith of prophets and apostles.

Many also amused themselves by holding up to ridicule those who believed in the solemn declarations of the Scriptures concerning Christ and the plan of salvation, and the retribution to be visited upon the rejecters of the truth. They pretended great pity for minds which were so narrow, weak, and superstitious, as they called them.

In the not so distant past, large numbers of Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. The world was "hot", for or against religion.

But most of the world's inhabitants today totally ignore God's warnings as not applying to them at all!

They manifest as much assurance as if, indeed, they have made a covenant with death and an agreement with hell - as if they have erected an impassable, impenetrable barrier between themselves and the vengeance of God. Nothing can arouse their fears. So fully have they yielded to the tempter, so closely are they united with him, and so thoroughly imbued with his spirit, that they have no power and no inclination to break away from his snare.

Satan has long been preparing for his final effort to deceive the world and he is succeeding strongly today. The foundation of his work was laid by the assurance given to Eve in Eden:

"You shall not surely die." Genesis 3:4.

"In the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil." Verse 5.

Little by little he has prepared the way for his masterpiece of deception in the development of spiritualism. It is he and his angels who "answer" the calls of mediums and psychics and fuel the present almost universal interest in a life after death.

He has not yet reached the full accomplishment of his designs; but it will be reached in the last remnant of time. Says the prophet: "I saw three unclean spirits like frogs; . . . they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

Except those who are kept by the power of God, through faith in His word, the whole world will be swept into the ranks of this delusion. "All the world" will "wonder after the beast". Revelation 13:3. The people are fast being lulled to a fatal security, to be awakened only by the outpouring of the wrath of God.

Through the two great errors, the immortality of the soul and Sunday sacredness, Satan will bring the people under his deceptions. While the former lays the foundation of spiritualism, the latter creates a bond of sympathy with Rome. The Protestants of the United States will be foremost in stretching their hands across the gulf to grasp the hand of spiritualism; they will reach over the abyss to clasp hands with the Roman power; and under the influence of this threefold union, the world will follow in the steps of Rome in trampling on the rights of conscience.

We are not told exactly what these three "frog-like" creatures represent, but their purpose is very clear. To so confuse the minds of the people that they will "gather" together to fight against God's truth. It is possible that they are illustrations of such things as books and magazines, TV programmes, and machines like space games, the last of which are busily preparing a generation to shoot first and ask questions later of any "alien" who might approach the earth. In all of these there is an underlying current of people coming back from the dead, plus guiding and helping "angels" who confirm humans in their selfishness, and the basic thought that there is another life immediately after this one. These errors are just as common in the professed Christian churches as out of them. The immortality of the soul is accepted and taught as fully as the theory of evolution, which today is accepted as a fact.

All these "frogs" make the mind unfit to handle the serious truths of the Bible. One of the chief causes of mental inefficiency and moral weakness is the lack of concentration for worthy ends. We pride ourselves on the wide distribution of literature; but the multiplication of books, even books that in themselves are not harmful, may be a positive evil. With the immense tide of printed matter constantly pouring from the press, old and young form the habit of reading hastily and superficially, and the mind loses its power of connected and vigorous thought.

Furthermore, a large share of the books and TV and even the InterNet that, like the frogs of Egypt, are overspreading the world, are not merely commonplace, idle, and enervating, but unclean and degrading. Their effect is not merely to intoxicate and ruin the mind, but to corrupt and destroy the character. The mind, the heart, that is lazy and aimless, falls an easy prey to evil. It is on diseased, lifeless organisms that fungus roots, and it is the idle mind that is Satan's workshop. Let the mind be directed to high and holy ideals, let the life have a noble aim, an absorbing purpose, and evil finds little foothold.

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10. Whatever these frog-like creatures symbolise, they are shown to be thoroughly bad by the fact that in the next verse Jesus has to drop all symbolism and give the "trumpet" a certain sound. In plain words He tells all that He is coming right now, but suddenly and quietly. When He says, "I come as a thief", He is referring to the close of human probation, which will pass by without remark by the people of the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:2-3

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction comes upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Ezekiel 33:4-5

Then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet, and takes not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul.

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11. "Armageddon" (the word is literally Har, mountain and mageddon, assembly) is actually the mountain of God as can be seen through the link. It signifies a "place of assembly" and has no actual physical counterpart on earth, but is a state of mind where humans are willing to fight God.

Isaiah 14:12-13 It is the place Satan wants to control

How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How are you cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations! For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation [the great assembly place in heaven], in the sides of the north [God’s place in heaven]...

The battle of Armageddon on earth will be when the supporters of Great Babylon take their weapons to the clergy of their religions and kill them in their despair at being tricked. Although they will do this, the word of God says that they have not repented of their way of life, and therefore they cannot be saved.

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12. "It is done" - the end has come. We are told in chapter 18:8 that Babylon's plagues "come in one day" and that twenty-four hour period has arrived.

Ezekiel 7:1-9

Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Also, you son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is the end come upon you, and I will send My anger upon you, and will judge you according to your ways, and will recompense upon you all your abominations.

And My eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity: but I will recompense your ways upon you, and your abominations shall be in the midst of you: and you shall know that I am the LORD.

Thus says the Lord GOD; An evil, an only evil, behold, is come. An end is come, the end is come: it watches for you; behold, it is come. The morning is come to you, O you that dwell in the land: the time is come, the day of trouble is near, and not the sounding again of the mountains. Now will I shortly pour out My fury upon you, and accomplish My anger upon you: and I will judge you according to your ways, and will recompense you for all your abominations. And My eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: I will recompense you according to your ways and your abominations that are in the midst of you; and you shall know that I am the LORD that smites.

To human sight it will appear that the people of God must soon seal their testimony with their blood as did the martyrs before them. They themselves begin to fear that the Lord has left them to fall by the hand of their enemies. It is a time of fearful agony. Day and night they cry to God for deliverance. Luke 18:1-8. The wicked exult, and the jeering cry is heard: "Where now is your faith? Why does not God deliver you out of our hands if you are indeed His people?" But the waiting ones remember Jesus dying upon Calvary's cross and the chief priests and rulers shouting in mockery: "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He be the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him." Matthew 27:42. Like Jacob, all are wrestling with God. Their countenances express their internal struggle. Paleness sits upon every face. Yet they cease not their earnest intercession. See "Jacob's Trouble" for more detail.

Isaiah 51:11-16; 21-23 God's message of comfort

The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing to Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am He that comforts you. Who are you, that you should be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man which shall be made as grass; and forget the Lord your Maker; . . . and have feared continually every day because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy? And where is the fury of the oppressor? The captive exile hastens that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord your God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is His name. And I have put My words in your mouth, and I have covered you in the shadow of My hand...

Therefore hear now this, you afflicted, and drunken, but not with wine: Thus says your Lord the Lord, and your God that pleads the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling, even the dregs of the cup of My fury; you shall no more drink it again: but I will put it into the hand of them that afflict you; which have said to your soul, Bow down, that we may go over: and you have laid your body as the ground, and as the street, to them that went over.

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13. The three parts of Babylon, the dragon, the beast and the false prophet are at last exposed and their unity will be seen as a deception.

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14. When the sun goes out in the 5th plague, the whole world will be plunged into darkness, the temperatures will drop, and blocks of ice which have been circling the earth since the time of Noah's flood, will commence to fall. This is not something that any one on earth can miss.

When Job's mind was being straightened out he was asked some questions to show his weaknesses, and inability to know all that God does. One of those questions was about the ice blocks in space.

Job 38:22-23

Have you entered into the treasures of the snow? Or have you seen the treasures of the hail, which I have reserved against the time of trouble, against the day of battle and war?

These hailstones, weighing about a "talent", or 25kgs each, will destroy much.

The people of God will not be free from suffering; but while persecuted and distressed, while they endure privation and suffer for want of food they will not be left to perish. That God who cared for Elijah will not pass by one of His self-sacrificing children. He who numbers the hairs of their head will care for them, and in time of famine they shall be satisfied. While the wicked are dying from hunger and pestilence, angels will shield the righteous and supply their wants. To him that "walks righteously" is the promise: "Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure." "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue fails for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17.

As Habakkuk 3:17-18 reveals, "Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls" yet shall they that fear Him "rejoice in the Lord" and joy in the God of their salvation.

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Special Note

When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honour the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a spontaneous movement for their destruction. (This will be during the first four plagues). As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people of the world's nations will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. This is in accordance with facts from the past. See the St. Batholomew massacre as an example.

The people of God - some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains - will plead for divine protection, while in every quarter companies of armed men, urged on by hosts of evil angels, will prepare for the work of death. It is then, in the hour of utmost extremity, that the God of Israel will be able to interpose for the deliverance of His chosen. Says the Lord;

Isaiah 30:29-30

"You shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goes . . . to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of His arm, with the indignation of His anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hailstones."

With shouts of triumph, jeering, and swearing, throngs of evil men and women will be about to rush upon their prey, when, lo, a dense blackness, deeper than the darkness of the night, will fall upon the earth. The sun has gone out in the fifth plague, the earth shakes in the great earthquake, and the hailstones arrive. What a day! The attention of the would-be killers will be diverted from the Christians in their efforts to save themselves.

Soon after this, some of the graves will be opened for the special resurrection, and "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth. . . awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the messages of the first three angels of chapter 14 will come forth from their tombs glorified, to hear God's covenant of peace with those who have kept His law.

"They also which pierced Him" (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ's dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, will be raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honour placed upon the loyal and obedient. Revelation 1:12-16.

Those who have sacrificed all for Christ will at that time be secure, hidden as in the secret of the Lord's pavilion. Psalm 27:5. They have been tested, and before the world and the despisers of truth they have made clear their faithfulness to Him who died for them. A marvellous change will have come over those who have held fast their integrity in the very face of death. They have been suddenly delivered from the dark and terrible tyranny of men transformed to demons and their faces, so lately pale, anxious, and haggard, will now be aglow with wonder, faith, and love. Their voices will rise in triumphant song:

Psalm 46:1-3

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof."

We have been told beforehand in many places what Jesus will say, what we will say, and what angels will say on that day. Those verses should form a large part of our understanding of last day events.

While these words of holy trust ascend to God, the clouds will sweep back, and the starry heavens will be seen, unspeakably glorious in contrast with the black and angry firmament on either side. The glory of the celestial city will stream from the gates ajar. Then there will appear against the sky a hand holding two tables of stone folded together. Says the prophet:

Psalm 50:6

The heavens shall declare His righteousness: for God is judge Himself.

Jeremiah 25:30-31

Therefore prophesy you against them all these words, and say to them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation; He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword [that they may destroy themselves], says the LORD.

That holy law, God's righteousness, that amid thunder and flame was proclaimed from Sinai as the guide of life (Exodus 20), is now revealed to men as the rule of judgment. The hand of the Spirit of God will open the tables, and there will be seen the precepts of the Ten Commandments, traced as with a pen of fire. The words will be so plain that all will be able to read them. Memory will be aroused, the darkness of superstition and heresy will be swept from every mind, and God's ten words, brief, comprehensive, and authoritative, will be presented to the view of all the remaining inhabitants of the earth.

The voice of God will be heard from heaven, declaring the day and hour of Jesus' coming (See note on Matthew 24:36), and delivering the everlasting covenant to His people in the form of the Ten Commandments. Genesis 9:16. Like peals of loudest thunder His words will roll through the earth. The people of God will stand listening, with their eyes fixed upward. Their countenances will light up with His glory, and shine as did the face of Moses when he came down from Sinai. Exodus 34:29-30. The wicked will not be able to look upon them. And when the blessing is pronounced on those who have honoured God by keeping His Sabbath holy, there will be a mighty shout of victory.

Soon there will appear in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man's hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. Matthew 24:30. In solemn silence they will gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud, its base a glory like consuming fire, and above it the rainbow of the covenant.

Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. Not now a "Man of Sorrows," to drink the bitter cup of shame and woe, He comes, victor in heaven and earth, to judge the living and the dead. "Faithful and True," "in righteousness He judges and makes war." And "the armies which were in heaven" (Revelation 19:11, 14) follow Him. With anthems of celestial melody the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng, attend Him on His way. The firmament seems filled with radiant forms - "ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." Daniel 7:10.

No human pen can portray the scene; no mortal mind is adequate to conceive its splendour.

Habakkuk 3:3-4

His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of His praise. And His brightness was as the light.

As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye will behold the Prince of life. No crown of thorns now mars that sacred head; but a diadem of glory rests on His holy brow. His countenance outshines the dazzling brightness of the noonday sun. "And He has on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords." Revelation 19:16.

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Matthew 27:46 Jesus called out while He was on the cross

And about the ninth hour [3pm] Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?

Psalm 22:1-5 His call was based on this Scripture

To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.

My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My roaring? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You hear not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

But You are holy, O You that inhabit the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You: they trusted, and You did deliver them. They cried to You, and were delivered: they trusted in You, and were not confounded.

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Exodus 12:7-14

And they shall take of the blood [of the pass over lamb], and strike it on the two side posts and on the upper door post of the houses [making a sign like a cross], wherein they shall eat it.

And they shall eat the flesh in that night, roasted with fire, and unleavened bread; and with bitter herbs [special vegetables] they shall eat it. Eat not of it raw, nor sodden [or boiled] at all with water, but roast with fire; his head with his legs, and with the purtenance [entrails] thereof. And you shall let nothing [that can be eaten] of it remain until the morning; and that which remains of it until the morning [the inedible bits] you shall burn with fire.

And thus shall you eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand [fully clothed ready to travel – with faith in God’s word]; and you shall eat it in haste: it is the LORD's passover. For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the LORD. And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.

And this day shall be to you for a memorial; and you shall keep it a feast to the LORD throughout your generations; you shall keep it a feast by an ordinance [or ritual] for ever.

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Luke 18:1-8

And He spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; saying,

There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: and there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge says. And shall not God avenge His own elect, which cry day and night to Him, though He bear long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily [as quickly as He is able to].

Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall He find faith on the earth?

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