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Revelation 18 & 19

The Fourth Angel’s Message
and the Second coming

 

Begin Text:

 

Today, we begin in Revelation 18.

 

Even though we don’t hear much said about this chapter, it is very interesting chapter four two reasons:

 

First, when the events of the sixth trumpet and the consequences for rejecting the free gift of eternal life are brought together, Revelation 18 really contrasts the boundless love of God with the pervasive rebellion that is found in every human heart.

 

In other words, when you understand how free salvation is, and how low God has set the threshold for salvation, it is amazing that anyone would reject God’s offer! …

 

God’s final offer of salvation is represented in Revelation 18 as a powerful message carried to Earth by an angel having great authority.

 

The message in Revelation 18 will be so torturous that the wicked will not be able to rest day or night while the message is being proclaimed.

 

Revelation 14:11   “…There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.”

 

This is the last message that the 144,000 will deliver. It can be boiled down to a single sentence:   Come out of her [the prostitute] my people….”

 

I call this message, “the fourth angel’s message” because it follows the three messages already given by the 144,000.

 

The second interesting thing about this prophecy is its use of parallel language from the Old Testament.

 

Because parallel language is used, some understanding of “Plan A” is helpful. In other words, there is an obvious parallel between the fall of modern Babylon and the fall of ancient Jerusalem.

 

We will begin today’s study; I hope you remember from the previous study that the great prostitute in Revelation 17 is Lucifer’s theocratic government.

 

Of course, Lucifer’s theocratic government does not yet exist.

 

However, at the time of the sixth trumpet, Lucifer will declare himself “King of kings and Lord of lords.” He will demand the formation of the one-world church/state and to achieve this goal, he will kill a third of mankind.

 

At that time he will abolish all the religions and governments of the world. This will put everything and almost everyone on Earth under his demonic control.

 

It is important that we understand the identity and establishment of the great prostitute because the fourth angel’s message is directed at those people who are still in Babylon but they have not yet committed the unpardonable sin. They are on the brink, but they haven’t blasphemed the Holy Spirit by rejecting His demand to surrender to the authority of Jesus Christ. 

 

You might be wondering, how on Earth could a sincere and honest person remain in Babylon, still undecided about the gospel of Jesus Christ when the sixth trumpet occurs?

 

Well, honest and sincere people will not be in a state of indecision at the time of the sixth trumpet.

 

The point here that God loves sinners – those people who are in rebellion. God loves people who are not honest and sincere because He knows that they can be transformed into saints by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit.

 

The Holy Spirit can transform any rebellious heart if the sinner doesn’t drive the Holy Spirit away through defiant rebellion.

 

Consider this:

 

There is a huge difference between living by faith and embracing truth…. And blessed is the person who experiences both.

 

When a person lives by faith, that person lives up to what he believes to be right no matter what. This is what Daniel’s three friends did at the fiery furnace test and their experience reflects the Biblical definition of faith!

 

On the other hand, embracing truth is not to be confused with living by faith.

 

A person can live by faith and know very little truth!

 

God wants people to know Truth because Truth produces a higher quality of life than ignorance can possibly offer.

 

For example, if your dentist tells you that flossing your teeth every day is important, and if you embrace this truth, you will experience a better state of dental health than someone who doesn’t know the truth about flossing.

 

The point here is that truth sets us free of the consequences that come through ignorance.

 

Profound statement coming:

 

Truth will set you free.

Ignorance will set you back.

 

This digression on the difference between living by faith and embracing truth is important in this study because you need to know that many people live by faith, but they also live in ignorance.

 

The apostle Paul discovered this phenomenon.

 

Acts 19:1   While the apostles was at Corinth; Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples

 

Acts 19:2   and asked them, “did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

 

Acts 19:3   So Paul asked, “The what baptism did you receive?” “John’s baptism,” they replied.

 

Acts 19:4   Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”

 

Acts 19:5   On hearing this, they were baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus.”

 

There are millions of people who love God, who live by faith, but they don’t know the truth about God!

 

And here is the interesting point: People who live by faith really don’t care what the truth is. They will joyfully embrace truth as they hear it because they inherently love truth!

 

Faith and truth are twin brothers.

 

This is why the Great Tribulation will be a showcase of truth and a test of faith. The truth about Jesus Christ will be revealed with great power and authority.

 

Everyone who embraces the gospel of Jesus (the truth about Jesus) will find himself having to live by faith! Persecution will demand it.

 

Thus, the fourth angel’s message, the last message to mankind is very simple: Jesus calls everyone to come out of her [the great prostitute]. Jesus calls for everyone to stand for Truth and live by faith alone. Let’s take a look:

 

 

Revelation 18:1   After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor.

 

Revelation 18:2   With a mighty voice he shouted [throughout the world]: “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt [hang out] for every unclean and detestable bird [flesh eating vultures].

 

Revelation 18:3   For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. [The nations have swallowed her false doctrines – hook, line and sinker] The kings of the earth committed adultery with her [e.g., the kings of Earth used their civil authority to enforce the religious objectives of the great prostitute], and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” [The merchants of Earth are businessmen and woman, a group of people who will own and control the necessities of life and during the Great Tribulation. This group is highlighted because they will extort money from impoverished people and apportion excessive luxuries to themselves at a time when most of the world is suffering for even the most basic necessities of life.]

 

Revelation 18:4   When I heard another voice from heaven say: “Come out of her, my people [during the sixth trumpet, some people are still tossing back and forth on whether to receive the mark and Jesus calls them “my people.” He begs them to come out of the prostitute], so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues;

 

Revelation 18:5   for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes [against humanity].

 

Revelation 18:6   [Notice this declaration:] Give her back as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Mix her a double portion from her own cup.

 

Revelation 18:7   Give her as much torture and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow, and I will never mourn.’”

 

What does this language mean: ‘I sit as queen; I am not a widow’?

 

Look at these parallel words spoken by Jeremiah concerning the fall of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.:

 

Lamentations 1:1   How deserted lies the [ruins of the great city] city [of God], once so full of people!  {Prosperous and proud, the envy of nations – but now look at her. . .] How like a [impoverished] widow is she, who once was great among the nations! She who was queen among the provinces has now become a [contemptible] slave.

 

Lamentations 1:2   Bitterly she [Jerusalem] weeps at night, tears are upon her cheeks. Among all her lovers there is none to comfort her. All her friends have betrayed her; they have become her enemies.

 

Lamentations 1:3   After [suffering years of] affliction and harsh labor, Judah has gone into exile. She dwells among the nations [as a despised misfit]; she finds no resting place. [She is weak and defenseless that] All who pursue her have overtaken her in the midst of her distress. [Woe to Jerusalem, our great city has become a great ruin. . .] 

 

The parallel point here is that “Babylon the Great” will suffer the same destiny that befell ancient Jerusalem. There is a Sovereign God who overrules the universe and He will destroy the prostitute and its evil king.

 

Revelation 18:8   Therefore in [on] one day her [seven] plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine will befall her. In the end]. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her.

 

[You may recall from our study on the seven bowls, that after the fifth bowl is poured out on the great prostitute, the leaders of the world will realize that they have been duped by the devil’s masquerade. At this point in time, the kings and religious leaders of Earth will turn on the great prostitute and hate her.

 

The following lament occurs after the fifth bowl occurs:]

 

Revelation 18:9   “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her [for they know (a) that her destruction precedes their own and (b) they have lost everything that they lived for].

 

Revelation 18:10   Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off [-- have you ever noticed how people will deny association and distance themselves from each other when justice is gaining ground and everything around them is collapsing? Well, the kings of Earth cannot justify their adulterous actions with the great prostitute so they are represented as “Standing far off” to avoid the condemnation and punishment that is coming] and [they] cry: ‘Woe! Woe, [cursed, cursed] O great city, O Babylon, city of power! In one hour your doom has come!’

 

Revelation 18:11   [Then the rich merchants of Earth will weep and wail] “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes any more – [notice they don’t weep over the vile behavior of the prostitute, they cry over their loss of business]

 

Revelation 18:12   cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble;

 

Revelation 18:13   cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and [slaves, the] bodies and souls of men.

 

Revelation 18:14   “They will say, “The fruit you longed for is gone from you. [In other words, your objective has failed your purpose is gone.]  All your riches and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.

 

Revelation 18:15   The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off [they too cannot justify their greedy involvement with her, nor do they want to suffer in her condemnation and fate], terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn [for their financial losses]

 

Revelation 18:16   and cry out: “’Woe, Woe, O great city [who fared sumptuously and was consumed with vanity, the woman who], dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls!

 

Revelation 18:17   In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’

 

“Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off [they, too, cannot justify their willingness to make a living off her vanity, and they certainly don’t want to share in her condemnation and punishment].  

 

Revelation 18:18   When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, “Was there ever a city like this great city?’

 

Revelation 18:19   They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “’Woe! Woe, O Great City, where all who had ships on the sea, became rich through her wealth!          

   

Did you notice there are three groups of people who wail for the great prostitute?

 

Kings, merchants and sailors stand far off, while they lament her destruction and describe their relationship with the prostitute, Woe! Woe! O great city of power [kings], wealth [merchants] and the means to get wealth [captains and sailors]….

 

In one hour her destruction will begin and it will last for 50 days (through the fifth bowl). After Lucifer’s great deception is unmasked, the kings, the merchants and the sailors know there is no savior, no remedy, no excuse and no possible recovery….”

 

When the fifth bowl is poured out and the devil is unmasked, there are no words to describe the loathing that the wicked will have toward the great prostitute.

 

Revelation 17:16   “The beast and the [having the] ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh” and burn her with fire.”

 

Let’s return to the parallel with ancient Jerusalem….:

 

Jeremiah 19:8   “I will devastate this city [of Jerusalem] and make it an object of scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds.

 

Jeremiah 19: 9   I will make them [the inhabitants hiding in the city from Nebuchadnezzar’s army] eat the flesh of their sons and daughters, and they will eat one another’s flesh during the stress of the siege imposed on them by the enemies who seek their lives.’”

 

When circumstances become desperate enough, people will literally eat one another.

 

God knows how to totally demoralize evil people. He simply destroys their gods – their dreams, ambitions and possessions. When he takes away their means to obtain wealth and to make money – what will be their reason for living?

 

Ironically, while the powerful and wealthy are lamenting their great loss on Earth….

 

Rejoicing begins in Heaven….

 

Revelation 18:20   Rejoice over her [destruction], O heaven rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you.’”[For those who like proof texts, here is a great proof text showing that God’s vengeance is the inverse of the golden rule. In other words, as you did unto others, the same will be done unto you – double the pain!] 

 

Revelation 18:20   Rejoice over her, O heaven! Rejoice, saints and apostles and prophets! God has judged her for the way she treated you. ‘”

 

This reference to the “saints, apostles and prophets” refers to the 144,000 who were the focus of the wrath of the great prostitute during the sixth trumpet. I believe these three descriptive titles are given the 144,000:

 

1.   Because the 144,000 lived by faith, therefore, they are called “saints.”

 

2.   Because the 144,000 were selected as God’s servants and sent forth to proclaim His Word, therefore, they are called “apostles.”

 

Revelation 11:1   I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there.”

 

  1. Because the 144,000 spoke the testimony of Jesus – which required the gift of prophecy, therefore, they are called “prophets.”   

 

Revelation 10:7   “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his [144,000] servants the prophets.”

 

These three titles are limited to the 144,000 because they are the only people in Heaven who lived on Earth during the persecution of the great prostitute.

 

Revelation 18:20   Rejoice over her [destruction], O heaven! Rejoice, [you] saints and apostles and prophets [who recently arrived from Earth for]! God has judged her for the way she treated you. ‘”

 

Revelation 18:21   When a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again.

 

Revelation 18:22   The music of harpists and musicians, flute players and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No workman of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of the millstone will never be heard in you again.

 

Revelation 18:23   The light of the lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s great men. By your magic spell [intoxicating wine, foolish doctrine] all the nations were led astray.

 

Revelation 18:24   In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” [Remember, 1/3 of mankind was killed in order to set up the great prostitute]

 

We have already studied the point that when the devil establishes his one world church/state, a huge number of people will acquiesce and go along with the devil’s demands because they would rather join with the devil than die. So, understand this profound point:

 

Self-defense is the most potent argument for survival the carnal nature can produce. Self says: “I must survive at any cost because I am nothing if I am dead.”

 

This argument is the basis for war. One self decides that it must prevail over the will of another self.

 

Consider this: When the survival of self becomes more important than obeying the demands of our Creator, the self becomes God.    

 

Think about this: Lucifer led a third of the angels into war against God by leading them to think that warring against God was the only way they could survive.

 

Similarly, when Lucifer gains control of the world, people will see that in human terms, survival is only possible if they go along with Lucifer’s demands.

 

Finally, when Babylon implodes, Lucifer will lead the kings of Earth into war with God in order to save self!

 

As I said: “When survival of self becomes more important than obeying our Creator, then self has become God.”

 

Listen carefully:

 

It is God’s will that many of His saints perish during the Great Tribulation. This is one of the reasons why He has given us the book of Revelation.

 

Revelation 6:9   When he had poured out the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained….

 

Revelation 13:10   If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints.

 

Revelation 18:24   In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.”

 

Given the persecution that is coming, we have to understand this profound truth: When a martyr’s faith is required, a martyr’s faith will be given. God does not propose to save His children from persecution or death. However, God will see to it that our normal fear of death is displaced with a peace that passes understanding.

 

God will give His saints peace and holy boldness if they will submit their lives to His will.

 

Lucifer’s government is called the great prostitute because everyone who attempts to save his life through compromise or submission to the devil shows that he loves his life more than he loves God.

 

Note: Each “unsealed” person will be forced to choose whether he will participate in the great prostitute for survival while the fourth angel’s message is being proclaimed throughout the Earth.

 

This final test reveals an important fact: Those who submit their hearts to God’s last call will be empowered to face death without fear. Those in rebellion will be unable to face death. They are doomed to become part of the great city because they don’t have the courage to “just say no.” Of course, those like the 144,000 who were sealed during the three angel’s messages will not be fearful because God grants every sealed person perfect peace.

 

The great tribulation story parallels the spying that took place in Canaan. For forty days the 12 spies looked over the Promised Land. Remember the testimony of the ten leaders? Remember the testimony of Caleb and Joshua? How is it that only two men felt Israel could possess the land? Peace comes through faith in God!]

 

This is the vortex where the Great Tribulation ends…. It’s a test to see who will live by faith and who will not.

 

This difficult choice reminds me of the way that drug cartels are established in South America. Evil men working for a drug lord will approach bankers, lawyers, and government officials saying: Which do you want – the silver or the lead?

 

The silver represents money [bribes] and the lead means bullets.

 

They say, “Work with us and the money is yours. Work against us and death is certain.” This is a tough position to be put in and many men, fearing the loss of life or harm to their family, surrender their integrity to the cartel.

 

Selling out to the drug lord makes them a prostitute. When we exchange our moral integrity for monetary gain or even survival, we have “souled” out.  

 

When survival is justified by moral transgression, God is not honored and the devil knows this. When survival becomes more important than obeying God, the survival of self has become God.

 

John 15:13   “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

 

Jesus voluntarily laid down his life for us and he requires his disciples to be willing to lay down their lives for His sake.

 

Matthew 10:38   Anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.

 

Matthew 10:39   Whoever finds his life [through compromise] will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

 

So far, we have viewed the destruction of the great prostitute through the eyes of those who benefited from her. Now, John takes us to Heaven to view her destruction through the eyes of the 144,000:

 

Revelation 19:1   After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,

 

Revelation 19:2   for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his [144,000] servants.” [As I said earlier, this rejoicing scene occurs at the end of the fifth bowl.]

 

Revelation 19:3   And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.”

 

Contrary to what many people say, the phrase, “for ever and ever,” does not mean that the great prostitute will burn eternally.

 

Rather, the phrase means her destruction is sustained according to the law of vengeance. In other words, God’s vengeance is not momentary.

 

God’s law of vengeance requires that the wicked suffer for as long as it takes – until full restitution is accomplished.

 

This is why Jesus said: Luke 12:5   But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.

 

The idea here is that the wicked have to suffer the same pain and suffering they imposed on God’s saints – times two. This punishment is far more torturous than human beings can inflict.

 

This is why Paul wrote, Romans 12:19   “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.]

 

Revelation 19:4   The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!”

 

Revelation 19:5   Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great.”

 

Revelation 19:6   Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. [This is the sixth bowl. Jesus assembles His mighty army for Armageddon.]     

 

Revelation 19:7   Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.

 

Revelation 19:8   Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts [dikaioma] of the saints.)  

 

KJV:   “…For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

 

LW:    “…For the fine linen is the justification [dikaioma] of her saints.”

 

Revelation 19:8   Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the [dikaioma] justification of the saints.)

 

Profound Statement:

 

There is only one ticket to Heaven. In the Bible, this ticket is called “the righteousness of God.”

 

It is the righteousness, which Christ achieved in our place.

 

Romans 1:17   For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

 

The only way a sinner can enter Heaven is through faith.

 

When a sinner puts his faith in God, that sinner is willing to go, to be and to do all that God asks of Him without regard for the consequences.

 

GoBeDo.    This is the Biblical meaning of faith.

 

Everyone living the GoBeDo life is given Christ’s robe of perfect righteousness. A sinner is only justified in God’s sight through Jesus’ righteousness.

 

Remember the story?

 

Matthew 22:2   “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son.

 

Matthew 22:3   He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.

 

Matthew 22:4   “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who had been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’

 

Matthew 22:5    “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business.

 

Matthew 22:6   The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them.

 

Matthew 22:7   The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

 

Matthew 22:8   “Then he said to his servants, “The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come.

 

Matthew 22:9   Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’

 

Matthew 22:10   So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. 

 

Matthew 22:11   “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing [the provided] wedding clothes.

 

Matthew 22:12   ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without [putting on the] wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless.

 

Matthew 22:13   “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

 

Matthew 22:14   “for many are invited [to the wedding banquet], but few [people give the invitation full attention, consequently, few] are chosen [become – the elect – ekiektos].”

 

The wedding robe represents the righteousness of Christ which God Himself provides to every submissive sinner.

 

This is the heart of the gospel of Christ.

 

Romans 1:17   For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

 

Back to Revelation 19   …verse 9 transitions from wedding plans to real time on Earth in A.D. 95….

 

Revelation 19:9   Then the angel said to me, ‘Write: ‘blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, ‘There are the true words of God.”

 

Revelation 19:10   At this I feel at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to [uphold and honor] the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

 

A few words are necessary to explain how the testimony of Jesus” is “the spirit of prophecy.”

 

Revelation 1:9   I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the isle of Patmos [A.D. 95] because of the word of God the testimony of Jesus.  

 

The Romans exiled John to Patmos because He obeyed the Word of God and upheld the testimony of Jesus.

 

The Word of God is a phrase that refers to the Scriptures, the written Word of God – the Bible.

 

The testimony of Jesus is a phrase that refers to a present truth which Jesus speaks from Heaven from time to time and the Holy Spirit enables people on Earth to discover and understand this truth.

 

The process of bringing present truth to the forefront is conveyed through the gift of prophecy.

 

John 16:13   “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

 

John 16:14   He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

 

John 16:15   All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”

 

So, when Jesus has something to say to His people on Earth, the Holy Spirit hears what Jesus has to say and He conveys this information through the gift of prophecy to someone on Earth.

 

This phenomenon was very present in the first century A.D.

 

Notice what Paul says about this process:

 

Colossians 1:25   I have become its [the gospel’s] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness

 

Colossians 1:26   the mystery that God has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.

I should point out that this phenomenon is rare because the Word of God contains everything that God’s people need in matters of faith and doctrine.

 

However, God’s people need a little extra help and encouragement from Jesus from time to time, so the gift of prophecy is exercised from time to time so that people can hear more clearly what the Bible has to say.

 

Now listen carefully to this:

 

The testimony of Jesus always draws people toward the Bible, the Word of God.

 

The testimony of Jesus is not the Bible; it comes as an inspiration to further investigate the Bible.

 

Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to help people understand the Bible because the Word of God is man’s authority in matters of faith and doctrine.

 

John was on the isle of Patmos because he obeyed the Word of God and as the Spirit would give him utterance, he would speak words from Jesus.

 

When the testimony of Jesus is functioning, God’s people have to be on their toes, well-studied and thorough students of the Bible BECAUSE the devil easily counterfeits this spiritual process.

 

 John knew this. He wrote,

 

1 John 4:1   Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

 

The only way to test someone who claims to supernaturally speak ‘the testimony of Jesus” is by comparing their report with Scripture.

 

During the past 2,000 years, the testimony of Jesus is an addition or a higher authority than Scriptures.

 

Jesus would not say anything that is contrary to the Bible. Never.

 

And don’t make the mistake of thinking that everything a prophet may say is “the testimony of Jesus.”

 

If you listen to a prophet, and take to heart only those things that align with

Scriptures, you will be safe.

 

During the Great Tribulation, the 144,000 will speak the testimony of Jesus and guess what? Their four messages will clearly align with Scriptures!

Let’s go back to verse 9….

 

Revelation 19:9   Then the angel said unto me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, ‘These are the true words of God.”

 

Revelation 19:10   At this I feel to his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “Do not do it! I am fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to [uphold and honor] the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”

 

Unfortunately, for many people, the word prophecy means, “future telling.”

 

In the Bible, prophecy has a much broader meaning.

 

Prophecy is a field of study that is concerned with the past, present and future from God’s perspective.

 

A proper understanding of prophecy will produce an awesome understanding of God’s love and God’s ways.

 

When these two elements are brought together, God’s plan to eliminate sin from His universe becomes overwhelming and amazing.

 

God is so cool. There is nothing like Him!!!

 

Many people want to hunker down and focus on the requirements of salvation as though nothing else really matters….

 

Yes, salvation is a very important topic, however, the true student of prophecy is not focused on one matter to the point of excluding others, rather, he is focused on God and the big picture that God is unfolding. He wants to see and understand how God eliminates sin from His universe so that sin will not occur again! This is the core issue.

 

This is why the testimony of Jesus comes through the gift of prophecy. Prophecy is the means through which Jesus Christ is best revealed and those who have ears to hear are blessed when they hear “the testimony of Jesus.”

 

After the angel tells John to write, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb,” John’s attention is redirected back to Heaven to witness the Second Coming.

 

[See Note at end] The 9th prophecy ends with the total destruction of the prostitute that culminates during the seventh bowl. (Revelation 19:10) After the kings, merchants and sailors have lamented the fall and destruction of Babylon The Great, and the 144,000 have rejoiced at God’s vengeance upon her, John’s gaze is directed back to Heaven at the time of the sixth bowl. Because chronological order is broken, the 10th prophecy begins with verse 11.

 

Revelation 19:11   I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war.

 

Revelation 19:12   His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself.

 

[Do you remember in Revelation 2:17 the words of Jesus? “He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.” Jesus already has His secret name. It is a name, which the Father gave Him, and this name contains His purpose and place in God’s universe. Every saint and this name contain a secret name because every saint is as dear to the Father as is Jesus. Can you comprehend such love?]

 

Revelation 19:13   He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.     

 

Revelation 19:14   The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean.

 

Revelation 19:15   Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty.

 

Revelation 19:16   On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

Revelation 19:17   And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God,

 

Revelation 19:18   so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great.”

 

Revelation 19:19   Then I saw the [composite] beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. [Armageddon]

 

Revelation 19:20   But the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet [Lucifer] who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur.

 

Revelation 19:21   The rest of them were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.

 

Consider this: A fiery lake of burning sulfur is ignited at the Second Coming, which will burn for 1,000 years. The physical bodies which the devil and his angels used will be thrown into this fire and burned up, but the devil and his angels are not harmed – just their bodies. These will be put back into the abyss. 

 

Those that were part of the great prostitute, that is, they were part of its administration, they too, will be thrown into this lake of fire and burned up.

 

The rest of the wicked will be killed by a command that comes from Jesus’ mouth.

 

And the vultures are looking over their next meal, the saints will depart this ruined planet for their heavenly home which Jesus has prepared for them.

 

What a day that will be!

 

If time permits: What did God do?

 

When standards of decency are abandoned, when integrity and honesty are less important than gaining money, when sexual immorality becomes entertainment, when lust displaces love, when laziness overcomes discipline and diligence, when indulgence and entitlement displaces responsibility and accountability, when hatred and violence cannot be contained, when parents fall to teach their children respect for God and authority, when children find no reason to respect the integrity of their parents, what did God do in Noah’s day ?

 

Genesis 6:5   The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.

 

Genesis 6:6   The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.

 

Genesis 6:7   So the Lord said, “I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth—men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and the birds of the air—for I am grieved that I have made them.”

 

Note:   After completing the December 2007 video presentation I discovered an error in my thinking that affects the October 2007 broadcast. This error does not affect the story of my understanding of Revelation in any way. Here’s the problem: For the past 21 years, I thought Prophecy 9 ended in Revelation 18:8 and the remainder of chapter 18 was a commentary on the fall of Babylon.  You any recall that all of chapter 17 is commentary on previously described matter, so it is not unusual for commentary to be found between prophesies. This is particularly true in the book of Daniel. However, after examining this prophecy more closely, I now believe that Rule One forces Revelation’s ninth prophecy to cover Revelation 18:1-19:10. The net effect is that the implosion of the Great Prostitute during the fifth through seven bowls is told from two perspectives. Those who participated in her profits mourn (the wicked kings and merchants on Earth) and those who suffered from her wrath rejoice in Heaven (the 144,000).  As I said, this adjustment has no effect on the Revelation’s story other than making this prophecy clearer in meaning. I hope the reader will understand that this correction represents an ongoing endeavor on my part to carefully conform my methods of interpretation to the four rules that govern interpretation. In case you don’t remember, Rule One states, “Each apocalyptic prophecy has a beginning and an ending point in time. Events in the prophecy happen in the order given.”

 

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