Wednesday 21 December 2011
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Read Revelation 15 at Bible Gateway.
The final series of judgments, the bowls of wrath, were contained within the seventh trumpet, just as the trumpet judgments were contained within the seventh seal (Rev 8:1-2). When the seventh trumpet was sounded, it was proclaimed that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our LORD and of His Messiah (Rev 11:15). The seventh trumpet judgment, i.e., the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath, are poured out in order to accomplish that end. The wrath is poured out on the kingdoms of this world, and that is what causes them to fall.
The wrath that is in the bowls, I believe, is the wrath that was treaded out from the grapes of wrath, which were harvested at the end of Rev 14. Everything that we have read, from the sounding of the seventh trumpet, until now, has been to identify upon what and whom the bowls of wrath will be poured out.
I noticed, this time, that the revealing of each series of judgments always takes place in heaven. The judgment is from the throne of God, as the Creator and Ruler of the universe. It is His right and responsibility to judge. The seven seals are revealed in Rev 5, in the presence of the four living creatures, and its revelation occasioned the praise and worship of all of heaven toward Him who would send the judgments. The seven trumpets are revealed in Rev 8:1-6. The scene has shifted once more to heaven. However, here the four living creatures are absent, and the praise and worship is absent. Instead, there is silence in heaven for about a half an hour. I do not doubt for a moment that this break in the previously established pattern is significant and means something. Now here, in Rev 15, the seven bowls of wrath are revealed. The scene is once again in heaven. The praise and worship has returned, and the four living creatures have returned.
Now why is it, when judgment is getting ready to be poured out, that praise goes up to God? Isn’t judgment a terrifying thing?
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.” Rev 15:3-4
Let’s remember where we are. The Lamb has appeared on Mount Zion and the little book is again prophesying, and the everlasting gospel is again being preached, to every nation, tribe, language and tongue. The tide is turning against the first and second beast, and its unshakable grip on the hearts and minds of men. However, the great earthquake of the French Revolution did not just succeed in striking a blow against absolutism and the Roman church. Atheism, “enlightenment,” the embracing of rationalism to the rejection of everything else, including God Himself, and His truth, and His righteousness, have become the leading philosophy of the world, to its own hurt and suffering.
It is not a coincidence that barely fifty years following the French Revolution, Darwin published The Origin of Species. Most of the atrocities of the twentieth century — Stalinism, Naziism, genocides — can be traced to the influence of this book. If God does not exist, then what can be wrong with shooting rampages, child trafficking, immorality and perversion, and all manner of injustice in order to increase wealth? It’s the survival of the fittest.
These wrongs which are rampant in our world today, must be righted, and it is by judgment, as the praise of the saints and angels proclaim, that men leave behind the great lie, realize the Creator exists to whom men must give an account, and come to Him to glorify Him. It is by judgment that eyes are opened, so that men may leave behind the kingdoms of this world, and enter into the kingdom of heaven to worship Him.