Saturday, January 13, 2024

The Seat of the Beast

Bobservations' Column
Titled - "The Seat of the Beast"
Written by: Pastor Bob Lawrenz

Revelation Chapter 16 describes the seven world-wide judgments as Satan’s reign on Earth begins to be shut down. Christians are to remember that as powerful as Satan is, God is yet more powerful. Today, and since Jesus’ time on Earth, we live in what is known as “The Church Age.” And in Colossians 1:12-20, we read that Jehovah has turned all authority over to His beloved Son, Jesus. He is described as not only the living image of the His Father, but the One who implemented the Father’s plan of Creation, and is the Creator of all things in heaven and in Earth. Jesus is the Second Person of God’s Triune Being that stands in the midst of God’s Spiritual realm, and Earth’s fleshly realm. Jesus translated God’s will into physical reality.

The “how and why” of these two realms was all decided ahead of time, but the inner workings of the Trinity keep it all in a balance. While Lucifer was created in the Spirit realm, mankind was created in the fleshly realm of the Earth. As our Creator, we are Jesus’ possession, and like an artist, a sculptor, or a potter, we are His design. Like all these, He has left His signature on us, AND given us free will that we might choose to be called His handiwork.

Of the final three Bowls of Judgment to cover, we begin today with the fifth bowl, the “Seat of the Beast.” It is a look judgment of hypocrisy and false religion; of disappointments due to spiritual blindness.

Since the 6th Chapter of this book, Judgments began to get increasingly more severe. Thousands, if not millions have lost their lives for rejecting the love, grace, and mercy of Jesus. And people still refused to repent. It is a Christ rejecting world, and these judgments signify that God is not playing around, and Satan’s rule must come to an end before his followers completely destroy God’s creation (Matthew 24:22).

Mankind’s only hope is in Jesus Christ…

Hebrews 6:19 - 

“Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and that which entereth into that within the veil.”

The Veil of the Temple divided even the priests from the Holy of Holies.
Jesus invites us into His Holiness….

Bobservations' Column:  Audio Version

Sunday Morning's Audio Message:
Revelation 16:10-21 - "The Seat of the Beast"

Summary/Additional Bible Notes:  

Today we are finishing up the sixteenth chapter of Revelation describing the last three bowl judgments.  They are God's judgments that will be poured out upon the earth because of the willful rejection of God, and His means of salvation through Jesus Christ.  

These are called "the last" judgments and will take place just before the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the ushering in of His Millennial Kingdom.  Each of these seven judgments come in rapid succession, each one stronger and more furious as they are emptied out. 

Last week we covered the first four judgments, today we begin with the fifth bowl judgment as it plunges the kingdom of the beast into darkness. The wicked, those who have aligned themselves with the beast, having taken his mark will by no means repent and turn to God, they respond by gnawing their tongues in anguish and by cursing God.  It is incredibly sad those who face God's wrath do so by their own choice.  It is sad that anyone would choose hell over heaven; Satan over God; lies over truth; death over life; judgment over salvation, but they do, and they will. 

The sixth judgment dries up the Euphrates to prepare the way for the kings of the east. Next, demons assemble the kings (leaders) of the whole earth to battle against God at a location referred to as Armageddon, meaning the hill—or mountain—of Megiddo (Revelation 16:8–16).

The seventh bowl judgment brings about an earthquake that splits Jerusalem into three parts. Also, as a result of this earthquake, cities worldwide fall, Babylon feels God's wrath, islands flee, mountains crumble, and hailstones weighing about 100 pounds bombard people. Still, the wicked refuse to repent. Instead, they curse God (Revelation 16:17–21).

Seat of the Beast (16:10) - referring to either the Antichrist's actual throne, or his capital city, but extends to all his dominion.  Regardless of where the darkness begins, it eventually covers the Antichrist's entire kingdom.

Full of Darkness (16:10) - Worldwide darkness is elsewhere associated with the judgment of God.

Gnawed Their Tongues (16:10) - A futile attempt to alleviate the pain from their sores, the drought, and the fierce heat.

Blasphemed the God of Heaven (16:11) - The fruit of their loyalty to the Antichrist and their anger at God for the cumulative miseries brought about by these judgments. "God of heaven," is a frequent Old Testament title for God, appearing also in the New Testament in this verse. 

Their Sores (16:11) - The lingering effects of the first bowl judgment are the chief cause of their blasphemy.

Euphrates (16:12) - Also called, the great river" five times in Scripture (see 9:14; Genesis 15:18; Deuteronomy 1:7; and Joshua 1:4). It is no ordinary river. It is one of the great rivers of the world.  Its flood plain was the site of the first human city (Babel) after the great Flood and it was the site of Nebuchadnezzar's magnificent capital city of Babylon in the days of Daniel the prophet.  On its shores will apparently be erected the even more magnificent new Babylon to serve as the capital of "the beast" in his brief but unprecedented worldwide reign in the great tribulation.  The water supply of new Babylon will depend on the Euphrates.  The sudden drying up of this river will be a lethal blow to the city.

The Kings from the East (16:12) - Back in chapter 6, a major factor that contributes to the rise of the beast was the catastrophic defeat of the northern confederacy headed up by Gog near the beginning of the tribulation.  The great coalition of Russian and Arab forces will be decimated there, giving the European and western nations the opportunity to consolidate their own power.  Out of these emerge the beast as leader.  Most of the political and military developments to this point (see Daniel, Ezekiel and Revelation) seem to focus on the nations of the North, South and West.   There are, however, great nations in the east - China, Japan, India and many others.  For ages they have been dominated by false religions (Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism and others) all envisioning an eternal universe, with no concept of a transcendent, omnipotent, personal God who created all things.   Thus, these pantheistic systems were and will always worship false and demonic spirits, all associated with idolatry - utterly condemned by God's prophets, and God's Word.   God providentially draws these kings and their armies in order to destroy them in the Battle of Armageddon (v. 14).  Their reason for coming may be to rebel against the Antichrist, whose failure to alleviate the world's suffering will no doubt erode his popularity.  Or this may be a final act of rabid anti-Semitism intent on destroying Israel, perhaps in retaliation for the plagues sent by her God.  Since the sun may have melted the ice caps on Ararat, flooding the valley of the Euphrates as the river overflows its banks and bridges, the land will be swamped.  God will have to dry it up miraculously for the eastern army to get to Armageddon.

Three Unclean Spirits (16:13) - They are "seducing spirits," with their "doctrines of devils" (1 Timothy 4:1). In the New Testament, this is a common designation for demons (see Matthew 12:43; Mark 1:23; Luke 8:29).  These are especially vile, powerful, and deceitful (v. 14). They, of course, have no physical bodies of their own, but will undoubtedly use the host who will be demon possessed. 

Like Frogs (16:13) - Further describing their vileness (see Leviticus 10:11).  Frogs in the Old Testament were unclean animals according to dietary laws (Leviticus 11:10, 11, 41).  Even Persian mythology viewed them as plague-inducing creatures.  These unclean spirits are unclean, ugly, and clamorous, like frogs. 

The Dragon - The Beast - The False Prophet (16:13) - This is the "UNHOLY TRINITY."  They are composed of Satan (the dragon; see 12:3), the Antichrist (the beast; see 11:7), and the Antichrist's associate (the false prophet; see 13:11).  These three spew out this plague of frogs (demons).

Miracles (16:14) - These are signs, supernatural wonders (see 13-12-15) designed to deceive the kings into invading Palestine (see 19:20; 1 Kings 2:20-23; Mark 13:22).  Their impact will be so great that the unclean spirits are able to induce the kings to make the journey to Palestine in spite of their sores, the intense heat, drought, and darkness.

Kings of the Earth (16:14) - This in not just the eastern confederacy, but all the world begins to gather in Palestine for the final, climactic battle (Psalm 2:2,3; Joel 3:2-4; Zechariah 14:11-3).

The Battle of that Great Day of God Almighty (16:14) - This is the Battle of Armageddon (v.16).  It is the great war with God and Christ (see 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 and Joel 2:11; 3:2,4).  The war will end when Christ arrives (19:17-20). 

Watcheth and Keepeth His Garment (16:15) - Our Lord stresses the need for constant READINESS for His return (see 1 John 2:28).  The imagery pictures a soldier ready for battle, or a homeowner watchful for the arrival of a thief (see also 3:3; 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 4; 2 Peter 3:10).  The insertion of this divine promise in verse 15 seems to be out of place, as it is addressed to believers, not the wicked.   Could it be that there will be some who are still alive who have refused the mark of the beast, those who have during this awful tribulation period have put their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those Jews, who have fled to the mountains, who are protected by the Lord.  

Armageddon (16:16) - The Hebrew name for Mt. Megiddo located 60 miles north of Jerusalem.  The battle will rage on the nearby plains, at the site of Barak's victory over the Canaanites (Judges 4) and Gideon's victory over the Midianites (Judges 7).  Napoleon called this valley the greatest battlefield he had ever seen.  But the Battle of Armageddon will not be limited to the Megiddo plains, it will encompass the length of Palestine (see 14:20).  The Lord will go forth and fight against the nations who have gathered in war against God.  "The Lord shall roar out of Zion" (Joel 3:16).   "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy" (Zephaniah 3:8).

Seventh Vial - IT IS DONE! (16:17) - This vial, or bowl, will complete God's wrath (except for final judgment on the rebellious at the end of the Millennium: 20:7-10) and immediately precedes the second coming of Christ.  It will usher in the worst calamity in the history of the world.  The voice from the temple in heaven is undoubtedly that of God Himself.  "It is done!" means, "It has been and will remain done" (see John 19:30).  God will punctuate the completion of His wrath with a devastating earthquake - the most powerful in earth's history (see 16:19-21). "For thus saith the Lord of hosts: yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts" (Haggai 2:6, 7).  See also: Isaiah 24:17-21; Joel 3:16).

The Great City (16:19) - The Great city is none other than Jerusalem, the "holy city."  Of all the cities upon the earth, Jerusalem will be spared utter destruction at the end of the tribulation.  It is the one eternal city, as the earth endures in its present form, and will finally be replaced as the new Jerusalem in the new earth after the Millenium.  See 1 Chronicles 23:25; Psalm 125:1; Micah 4:7. Jerusalem will be split into three parts (Zechariah 14:4), not as judgment (see 11:13), but in preparation for the Millennial Kingdom, and the Reign of Christ (see 6:12-14; Isaiah 40:4-5).  See also:  11:13; 21:10; Zechariah 14:1-8.

Cities of the Nations (16:19 -God's purpose is very different for the rest of the world's cities, they are to be destroyed.

Babylon (16:19) - The capital of the Antichrist's empire will receive a special outpouring of God's wrath as prophesied in Isaiah 13:6-13.  Chapters 17 and 18 give the details of its destruction.

Every Island Fled - Mountains - Not Found (16:20) - This powerful earthquake will radically alter all the earth's topography, preparing it for the coming millennial kingdom.  See 6:12-14; Isaiah 40:4-5).

A Talent
(16:21) - The heaviest weight a normal man could carry (about 75 lbs.). the huge size of the hailstones indicates unparalleled atmospheric convulsions.  Such massive chunks of ice will cause unimaginable devastation and death. 

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