Sunday, March 7, 2010

Revelation 16:17-18

Verse 17 "And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done."

This angel pours out his vial into the air. Knowing that Armageddon follows this, and that we have discussed that the way people die it sounds as if it is truly a biological or chemical weapon or plague, it is of interest that the vial is poured into the air, as that is how these weapons are disseminated.

On the cross Christ said, "It is finished." The part that was finished was the sacrifice to become our kinsman redeemer and to defeat Satan and death. Now a voice from the temple (which is filled with God's smoke) pronounces the end of the entire plan of salvation and the restoration of things to the way they are supposed to be. This would appear to be God, not Christ. The end of it all comes with the vial that the seventh angel pours out.

Verse 18 "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great."

Now we see that the last judgment is an earthquake that is so great that there has never been the like since the beginning of time. This was mentioned before when discussing the passage in Zechariah. This earthquake will affect the entire earth, not just Jerusalem or Israel. Even though it does not say this, a quake of this magnitude simply would do that. This will shake the foundations of the earth and complete whatever has to be done to bring the world back to its antediluvian state. Possibly this will make the continents make the final move back into a pangaea. The vast oceans will be smaller due to evaporation from the intense heat, and the land (through all of the upheaval it has gone through) will need to be rid of the excessively high mountains and low ocean beds that are left from the evaporation of the waters. It will all need to be livable, as the millennium will not see people dying, except for those who refuse to live by the laws and are punished. The world will repopulate and fill quickly with everyone living hundreds of years. The tectonic plates will now need to settle back into their original places and a massive earthquake is just the thing to do that. This would also seem to be a necessity if all the nations are to go to Jerusalem once a year. The land will need to all be connected, as with all technology gone from the massive devastation on earth, there will be no planes, ships, trains, or cars to transport people for quite some time. They will have to walk or ride animals to get there, at least until man can recover from the devastation and start to rebuild. However, there is no indication of how much technology God will allow, and while boats will obviously be allowed for fishing, cars, trains, and planes might not be in God's plan, so walking and riding animals might be the only transportation, period.

Revelation 16:16

Verse 16 "And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon."

The word Armageddon appears only once in the New Testament. It comes from the Hebrew word har Megiddo meaning "Mountain of Megiddo". Megiddo was where many important ancient battles were fought. The town of Megiddo is approximately 25 miles west of the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee. Megiddo is a tel (hill or mound) made of 26 layers of the ruins of ancient cities in a strategic location at the head of a pass through the Carmel Ridge, which overlooks the Valley of Jezreel from the west. The Jezreel Valley is a large fertile plain in the south of the Lower Galilee region of Israel. The word Jezreel means "God sows". The phrase "valley of Jezreel" was sometimes used to refer to the central part of the valley, around the city of Jezreel, while the southwestern portion was known as the "valley of Megiddo", after the ancient city of Megiddo, which was located there. The central Jezreel Valley is roughly 380 square kilometers (or 236 sq. miles) in size.

Today the Jezreel Valley is Israel’s breadbasket, sprouting wheat, cotton, sunflowers and even fish ponds. Among its many attractions are historical and biblical treasures such as Tel Megiddo (Armageddon) national park, as well as numerous other sites and museums. (Info courtesy of Wikipedia)

While it says that everyone is gathered to Armageddon, which is the mountain on which the city of Megiddo is located, the vast armies of the world would not all fit in the city. Therefore it has been deduced that this is referring to the Jezreel Valley (part of which is known as the Valley of Megiddo). It is expected that the battle will be fought in this vast plains area. As the blood is supposed to run the length of Israel according to chapter 14, the armies will probably sprawl throughout the land, but will mostly be stationed in the valley. Added to this is the fact that there will be the major earthquake, which will change the topography according to Scripture, so it is hard to say exactly how these troops will be dispersed throughout the area.

Everyone is brought to Armageddon or the Valley of Megiddo (Jezreel) for God's judgment. While the battle is not described here in Revelation, there is a graphic description of it in Zechariah 14:1-21 "Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the woman ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah kind of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saint with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague. And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD: and the pots in the Lord's house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts."

There is a lot of information in the above verses. First it describes what will be going on in Jerusalem. Houses will be rifled, women ravished, neighbors will rise against neighbors and kill each other. What is interesting is how it describes the Lord's return at Armageddon. First Christ will appear and plant His feet on the Mount of Olives and the mountain will split and move apart. This would be the cause of a great earthquake, and just as we might expect, it will be seen in the next few verses in Revelation that this is exactly what will happen. Israel is told to flee to the valley of the mountains. This is for safety reasons. The people who would be the target of any enemies within the city plus the armies on their way, and the earthquake will be the greatest earthquake in the history of the world according to the next few verse, so the city will be devastated and a dangerous place. We know that this is describing the battle at Armageddon, as it says that the Lord will come with all the saints with him. This exact picture of how the Christ returns with the saints at Armageddon will be described in a later chapter in Revelation. So what is described in these verses in Zechariah can be compared to what is being related to us in Revelation.

Something that would seem to be a puzzle if one only reads this passage in Zechariah, and has not understood all that has been happening from Genesis through Revelation, would be the statement that it will be neither day nor night, nor light nor dark, but a day like no other, as in the evening it will be light. With all the information we have now covered, this can be easily and sensibly explained. We know from Genesis that with the vapor canopy being crystalline, it acted as a fiber optic network for the sun's light to wrap around the entire earth. Thus during the antediluvian days, there was no dark night as we know it now. The nighttime would have had a twilight glow throughout the night with the light from the day side traveling through the canopy network. Thus in the evening it will be light. Now at this time at Armaggedon, we know that the sun has gone out and darkness has been covering the earth for a period of time (bowl judgments). We suspect that the vapor canopy has been restored (or the world would not survive the sun getting seven times hotter), so when light hits it again, it will act as it did in the antediluvian days, and the light will wrap around the world. This will come out of utter darkness. The source of the light, as speculated before, will no doubt be the appearance of New Jerusalem. It will be a day like no other in that the present world, as it exists today, has never seen this phenomena. Now it appears that the Shekinah glory of God which will be shining out of New Jerusalem will start to shine upon the earth. Since the saints are living there, and they are about to descend at the same time that this different source of light starts to shine upon the earth, it would appear that New Jerusalem is now revealed or is brought from a distance or another dimension to shine upon the earth.

It is mentioned that a river of living waters will flow forth from Jerusalem toward the seas. We will see later in Revelation and in passages in the Old Testament, that these living waters heal the waters that have been contaminated by all that has been going on in the judgments. It is also mentioned that from this point on there will be one king, Christ. This definitively puts the events of this passage as occurring at this point in time in our timeline of events. After briefly mentioning how Jerusalem will be safely inhabited in the millennium, it returns to the events at hand.

The people who come up against Jerusalem will be smitten with a plague. This plague makes one think of the scene in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark when the Nazis open the ark. The flesh will melt or rot away from their bodies, their eyes will disintegrate in their sockets, and their tongues will dissolve in their mouths. Their bodies will literally disintegrate before their eyes. Whether this comes directly from the Lord or He is again using mankind's own evils against themselves with the chemical and bacterial warfare or some sort of bomb that we have created today isn't clear. Whichever though, the Lord is the instigator. This would explain why the blood runs so high in the valley. People are literally coming apart and blood will be gushing. It will not be a pretty sight. It also appears that the Lord will have them turn on each other. This may be how the plague begins, with the various military leaders of each group turning on each other and releasing their mass weapons of destruction.

In the meanwhile, in Jerusalem the Jews who did not flee will be fighting. In the process they will be gathering the wealth of gold, silver, and apparel. I am guessing that much of the gold and silver will be donated to the temple. As for the clothing, after hiding out in the wilderness for three and a half years, and not having been able to stop and even pack a bag, the Jews will need new clothing to wear.

There is also information and a warning given having to do with the millennium. Here again we see that the temple worship and Messianic Judaism will be established as the religion of the world. We also see, as mentioned earlier, that a river will flow out of Jerusalem, (specifically it will flow from the Temple Mount). A warning is given that everyone has to come to Jerusalem once a year to observe the Feast of the Tabernacles. If they do not, the consequences are no rain and even more. Egypt in particular is specifically mentioned in this warning (there may be a reason for this which we will go into later, concerning Babylon) and told that beyond the loss of rain, if they ignore that warning and still refuse to come, they will be struck with a plague. God really does not seem to like Egypt. It is possible this warning is given to them in particular because they will be guilty of this sin. The other nations are warned that this will happen to them too, though, if they do the same thing. There will be heathen, according to God, even during the days when Christ will be reigning here on earth. It mentions that even the pots in Jerusalem will be holy and those who sacrifice can use them. So here we have more confirmation that sacrifices will again be instituted, not for sins, but for memorials and remembrances.

Revelation 16:12-15

Verse 12 "And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared."

As the sun has gone nova, and the earth has gotten seven times hotter, the Euphrates River being dried up is not a problem that requires a special miracle. (Probably most of the rivers have dried up under the circumstances.) Again, it appears that God is letting things take their natural course. The drying up of this river allows the kings of the east to have a path to the Valley of Megiddo, which is where the battle of Armageddon is going to take place. As to who these kings of the east are, it could refer to the Babylonian empire league countries of the beast's (some of which are east of Israel) that will march against Jerusalem. It could also include other countries such as Russia, and the Eastern European countries. The fact that they march across the Euphrates in particular would seem to support that idea that it is the Babylonian league, since it flows through Turkey, Syria, and Iraq.

As a word about these kings of the east, for whatever reason it appears that many, many prophecy teachers want to make these kings and their armies the 200 million of the sixth trumpet judgment. The entire reason for this erroneous interpretation has to do with the very flaw that I spoke of earlier. Taking something that is mentioned more than once and assuming it is referring to the same thing both times. The Euphrates River is mentioned in conjunction with both of these events, so without any consideration of anything else they have lumped the two different events together as one. Clearly they have nothing to do with each other. In the first case, the four angels that are bound there are let loose. That is the only significance of the Euphrates in that respect. It is the location of their imprisonment. In this second case, the river is dried up to let human armies march across for the Battle of Armageddon. The first is a devilish supernatural group. The second is human. The first is part of the trumpet judgments of Satan's wrath. The second is a bowl judgment of God's wrath.

Verse 13-14 "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

Three evil spirits are sent forth from the unholy trinity to gather up all the leaders of the world to march against God, Christ, and the temple in Jerusalem, as that is now God and Christ's throne on earth. It is possible that they are different spirits and not the inhabiting spirits. This at least would be the case for Satan, as he is not inhabited by an unclean spirit. He is the unclean spirit. For a spirit to come out of him would imply that he is sending it forth. Depending on who the beast and false prophet are (they may be possessed humans, they may be nephilim - more on that later) the same may be true of the beast and false prophet. These spirits are described as looking like frogs. This is probably a fair description of what they look like. We know that Satan is most likely reptilian (he is the snake, the dragon, and the serpent - all reptilian) and there are stories in the Sumerian, Mayan, Hopi, Australian Aborigine, and other cultures that there exist beings who have the form of reptiles or similar creatures. These spirits apparently will perform miracles to get the leaders of the world to follow them. People seem to be easily deceived when the laws of physics are broken. They tend to believe that anyone who can do that can be trusted to defeat a formidable foe, which is how they see Christ, only as a formidable foe. They do not accept that He is the God of the Universe and someone who cannot be beaten. They do not understand that Satan is merely a creation of God who has no hope of winning. Satan does not accept his status, so why would people who are as rebellious as he is accept it? They will believe his lies, just as people always have down through the ages, that they can be their own gods and rid themselves of God. Consequently they will follow him to Armageddon.

Verse 15 "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame."

This warning has been seen before. As the Second Coming and rapture has already occurred, it would seem as if the placement of this warning here is a little late. In fact, this warning is to those left after that rapture, that Christ will return yet again. We have been programmed to think of Christ's coming as one major event that happens and then everything is over. In fact, it would appear from the Scriptures that Christ's coming is a series of events and appearances. First there is the appearance on Mount Zion with the 144,000. Then from Isaiah we see that he makes His way from Bozrah to Jerusalem. Then there is the reaping from the clouds. Later we will see that He stands on the Mount of Olives to split it so that the remnant of Israel can escape, then He will descend upon Aramgeddon on a white horse with an army of Christians behind him. This warning is to those "left behind" who will make it into the millennium. They are told to be looking for Christ's next appearance. By this time they will have seen Him when He has appeared to rapture the saints and will most likely be studying the New Testament like crazy to know what to expect next. Naturally most of Revelation will be historical from their standpoint by the time they read it, but there will still be the bowl judgments to go. They need to watch for Christ's next appearing, so He gives them a warning just as He has given us lots of warnings. He lets them know that they will not know exactly when His return will be, (sound familiar?) so they had better be ready at any moment. Note that just as we will know the season but not the day nor hour, they will know that it must occursometime within the thirty days, if they have studied Daniel, but they do not know exactly which day or hour, just as we will not know which day or hour the rapture will occur.

I found an interesting note online from an Adam Clarke at Not having the Jewish commentaries and other writings, I lack certain knowledge of temple traditions, but I found this one interesting. "Here is a plain allusion to the office of him who was called the prefect or overseer, of the mountain of the temple. His custom was to go his rounds during the watches of the night; and if he found any of the Levites sleeping on his watch, he had authority to beat him with a stick, and burn his vestments. See Middoth, fol. 34,1, and Tamid. fol. 27,2; 28,1. Such a person being found on his return home naked, it was at once known that he had been found asleep at his post, had been beaten, and his clothes burnt; thus his shame was seen - he was reproached for his infidelity and irreligion." Here it can be seen that having knowledge of Jewish traditions and rules (which the writers of the N.T. would have had) certainly brings more understanding to certain verses. This custom explains why the reader is told to watch and keep his garments, lest he be caught naked and be shamed. It is punishment for not doing what you are supposed to be doing - watching.

Revelation 16:1-11

Chapter 16

Now we are going to see God's wrath being poured out on the earth. The seven vials are poured out with rapidity, one after the other.

Verse 1-2 "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshiped his image."

The first judgment is that anyone who has taken the mark of the beast will find themselves covered with painful, noxious, disgusting sores. While it is very possible that God afflicts people in a miraculous way with this plague, it is also possible that He uses man's own evil against himself. It is fairly certain in everyone's mind at this point that the mark is probably a chip, although it was discussed that there may be some backward places where a tattoo is used. Knowing how the chip will work, and knowing that one of the goals of the Illuminati and probably antichrist is to depopulate the earth, and also knowing how the governments use their own people for experiments with things such as bio-chemical weapons, is it really a stretch to think that they will somehow implant a virus in the chip to be released at their command? This is just a speculative idea, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility. God would merely have to flip the switch Himself, if that were the case, and let man do his own dirty work. God often does just that, so while there is no proof that this is what will happen, it is a theory that is within the realm of possibility. The main object is that this mark will be the criteria by which people will be chosen to receive this plague.

Verse 3-7 "And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments."

The second and third angels pour out their vials which turn all the waters of the earth to blood. Everything in the waters die as a result. Some may speculate that this is not real blood, but it seems from what the angel says that indeed it is blood. Turning water into blood is probably not as scientifically hard a miracle as turning water into wine. The raw materials that make up the chemical composition of blood would probably be in abundance in the waters, so it would just be a matter of reorganizing them into the necessary components that make it blood, not to mention the myriad of creatures that live there that will die in the course of this.

Again we are given proof that angels have specific jobs over the elements of nature. There is an angel of the waters. He announces that the judgment is a righteous one, as they are reaping what they have sown. The world has shed the blood of the saints and prophets, so now they are given blood to drink, for this is their just punishment for their actions. Humans cannot live without water for very long, so this will be a terrifying thing for mankind. Water is already scarce in some places in the world and people are already forecasting that there will be a water shortage for the entire world. They have no idea how right they are.

Verse 8 -11 "And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with the great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."

These two judgments actually go hand in hand. The second is a result of the first. The fourth angel pours out his vial on the sun. Science has been studying the sun and solar flares for years. Hollywood has made multiple disaster movies about what would happen to the earth if the sun were to produce massive solar flares. The latest of these were out this past fall. In Knowing the earth is destroyed by a massive solar flare. In 2012, the neutrinos from the sun heat the earth's crust and melt the icecaps, causing another Noah's flood. (Obviously the last group is not reading their Bibles. Been there, done that. Knowing has the more accurate ending in that respect.) In actuality, science has been recording solar activity that does not bode well for earth. There is a good reason for this. The Scriptures seem to indicate that the sun will most likely go nova and collapse in on itself. Without going into all the science, in a nova a sun will contract slightly, expand massively, and then collapse down and burn out. Usually this takes a long time, but time is irrelevant to God. It appears Scripturally that going nova is exactly what the sun will do. In fact it will get seven times hotter than it presently is. Is. 30:26 "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the Lord bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound." The sun has to nova to create this situation and then does what it must do as a result - go out, plunging the earth into darkness, which conveniently is the next judgment. The fact that this will happen much more quickly that science says it can is not a problem for God.

It has been shown that at the Second Coming, (which occurred in chapter 14) all of Israel will turn to the Lord and He will heal them spiritually. He will bind the breach (the separation of Israel (or Ephraim) and Judah making them one nation again. Ezek. 37:15-19 "The word of the Lord came again unto me saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand. And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand." So the passage in Isaiah speaking of the moon being as bright as the sun, and the sun seven times greater (and hotter), will occur at the time when the Lord binds the breach between the two nations of Israel, which we know by comparing Scriptures happens at the time of the Second Coming. Since this judgment falls right after that, it can be assumed these two passages (Isaiah and Revelation) are speaking of the same event, therefore pretty much confirming that the sun will go nova.

As to the scenario that the sun goes nova, we can now see the importance of what was discussed in Genesis. It was theorized that Satan is probably the angel of the sun. Satan is going to lose his kingdom at this time, and it will shortly be seen that he is going to be chained in darkness for 1000 years. Therefore he will be unable to do the job of tending the sun. It makes perfect sense that this (the nova) should happen if he is indeed the angel of the sun. Again it can be postulated that some of the things that are happening are not God forcibly doing things, but merely allowing things to take their natural course as punishment. Satan knows his time is up. He has tried to destroy the earth with everything he has thrown at it, but still he has not succeeded. It would make perfect sense that he would even destroy his own glory (so to speak) in a last ditch effort to take the earth out (as happened in Knowing). God would not have to precipitate this judgment, but merely give his permissive will to the action. In fact it says that power (permission) is given to "him" to "scorch men with fire". The "him" that the power is given to is the person who is in charge of the sun. The sun itself is not a "him" except in the form of the angel in charge of it. It would appear that the "him" is actually Satan, who is given permission (or the power) to blow himself up. He has to have permission to do this as he still answers to God. In the meanwhile, what has been occurring throughout these judgments is the restoration of the earth to its antediluvian state. The vapor canopy is probably in place by this time, thereby offering some protection from this solar phenomena. It will be very bad, but it will not destroy the planet as God has plans for mankind yet. The sun will be dead though. The next question to be answered is, how will the earth survive without the sun? That is easily answered. We are told in Isaiah 60:19-20 "The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. Thy sun shall no more go down; neither shall thy moon withdraw itself: for the LORD shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended."  Later on in Revelation we will see that the nations of the world will walk in the light of New Jerusalem. There is only one way for this to be an actuality. The city of New Jerusalem, as odd as this sounds at the moment, will probably be a satellite in orbit around the earth. New Jerusalem is not a spiritual place that resides solely in another dimension (although it may reside there at the moment). It will be a physical place that will reside in this universe. It will be our home. Christ will be bringing it in tow with Him when He returns. God's Shekinah glory will shine out of it giving light on the earth, and presumably heating the earth also. As it is a physical place in this realm, and as it is huge, (1500 miles squared) it cannot easily sit upon the face of the earth, as it would stick out a ridiculous way from the surface. The only alternative is that it is a satellite city. This is not a problem for its inhabitants (us) as we will have the same type of bodies that Christ now has, and travel through space for us to go back and forth from here to there will not be an issue. This will be covered later in the chapters that speak about New Jerusalem.

While New Jerusalem may offer light during the millennium, for a while the earth, which is now formerly the kingdom of the beast, is allowed to be plunged into complete darkness. If one thinks of the sun as the ultimate throne of Satan, this is the seat upon which the plague of darkness is poured out. The sun goes out leaving the earth (his kingdom) in total blackness, which will no doubt chill the earth. Having been so superheated, it should allow the earth to maintain life for a while before things start getting too cold. Then God will no doubt allow New Jerusalem to show forth its light and allow Armageddon to take place.

What is amazing is that still with all of this, intense heat, total darkness, and in spite of the horrible pain they are suffering, people will continue to rebel against God, blaspheming His name and refusing to repent. It is also amazing that there are even people still alive, and yet God says that there will still be people around managing to survive all of this.

Revelation 15:5-8

Verse 5-8 "And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled."

John sees opened the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony that is in heaven. What is this temple of the tabernacle of the testimony? We know that the tabernacle on earth was a pattern of the heavenly tabernacle. Hebrews 8: 5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount." And what is the testimony? To understand what John sees here, we need to examine what the Old Testament says about the tabernacle and testimony.

In Exodus God gave all of the instructions regarding the building of the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant. Ex. 25:9 "According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it." God gave Moses instructions on how to build a tabernacle, the tent-like building or moveable temporary temple, which served as the housing for all of the instruments of worship. Everything was patterned after the tabernacle in heaven, which is where God's throne (the heavenly mercy seat), the candlesticks (which we saw in Rev. 1), and etc. exist.

Within the tabernacle there was an ark. Ex. 25:10-15 "And they shall make an ark of shittim wood: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof. And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, within and without shalt thou overlay it, and shalt make upon it a crown of gold round about. And thou shalt cast four rings of gold for it, and put them in the four corners thereof; and two rings shall be in the one side of it, and two rings in the other side of it. And thou shalt make staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. And thou shalt put the staves into the rings by the sides of the ark, that the ark may be borne with them. The staves shall be in the rings of the ark: they shall not be taken from it." Ex. 25:17, 21a "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark;" The ark held the commandments, the rod of Aaron, and a jar of manna. On it is the mercy seat of God in the tabernacle. This mercy seat was where the blood of the sacrifices was sprinkled in atonement for the sins of Israel once a year on Yom Kippur.

There are several purposes for this ark. The first is that it is where God meets with mankind. Ex. 25:22 "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." Num 7:89 "And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him." The second is that it is the receptacle of the testimony, Ex. 25:16, 21b "And thou shalt put into the ark the testimony which I shall give thee. .......and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee." Ex. 40:20 "And he took and put the testimony into the ark, and set the staves on the ark, and put the mercy seat above upon the ark."

Now we have to look to see what the testimony is. Ex. 31:18 "And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon Mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God." Ex. 32:15 "And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written." Ex. 34:29 "And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses' hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him." We can see from these verses that the testimony is none other than the Ten Commandments or Laws of God which He wrote with His own finger.

Although not mentioned in this verse in Revelation, we know from Exodus that the testimony was put in what was called the ark. Although everyone thinks of the name of this object as the ark of the covenant, it is also called the ark of the testimony. Ex. 30:26 "And thou shalt anoint the tabernacle of the congregation therewith, and the ark of the testimony," Ex. 40:5 "And thou shalt set the altar of gold for the incense before the ark of the testimony, and put the hanging of the door to the tabernacle." Ex. 40:21 "And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail [sic] of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the LORD commanded Moses." Ex. 31:7 "The tabernacle of the congregation, and the ark of the testimony, and the mercy seat that is thereupon, and all the furniture of the tabernacle." Num 7:89 "And when Moses was gone into the tabernacle of the congregation to speak with him, then he heard the voice of one speaking unto him from off the mercy seat that was upon the ark of testimony, from between the two cherubims: and he spake unto him."

From the previous two verses it can be seen that the tabernacle is also known as the tabernacle of the congregation. Also in Ex. 30:36 "And thou shalt beat some of it [perfume] very small, and put of it before the testimony in the tabernacle of the congregation, where I will meet with thee: it shall be unto you most holy." Ex. 27:21 "In the tabernacle of the congregation without the vail, which is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall order it from evening to morning before the LORD: it shall be a statute for ever unto their generations on the behalf of the children of Israel." Lev 24:3 "Without the vail of the testimony, in the tabernacle of the congregation, shall Aaron order it from the evening unto the morning before the LORD continually: it shall be a statute for ever in your generations." Num 17:4"And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you."

The tabernacle is also known by another name. Ex. 38:21 "This is the sum of the tabernacle, even of the tabernacle of testimony, as it was counted, according to the commandment of Moses, for the service of the Levites, by the hand of Ithamar, son to Aaron the priest." Num 1:50 "But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and over all the vessels thereof, and over all things that belong to it: they shall bear the tabernacle, and all the vessels thereof; and they shall minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle." Num 1:53 "But the Levites shall pitch round about the tabernacle of testimony, that there be no wrath upon the congregation of the children of Israel : and the Levites shall keep the charge of the tabernacle of testimony." Num 9:15 "And on the day that the tabernacle was reared up the cloud covered the tabernacle, namely, the tent of the testimony: and at even there was upon the tabernacle as it were the appearance of fire, until the morning." Num 10:11 "And it came to pass on the twentieth day of the second month, in the second year, that the cloud was taken up from off the tabernacle of the testimony." From these verses we can see that the tabernacle of the congregation and the tabernacle of the testimony are interchangeable names.

So the tabernacle of the testimony was the earthly sanctuary that Moses made from the pattern God showed him on the mountain of the heavenly sanctuary. It was the tabernacle where the commandments rested in the ark, therefore known as the tabernacle of the testimony. In the tabernacle was a section called the Holy of Holies, wherein the ark rested. But that was not the entire tabernacle. The tabernacle proper (for lack of a better word) had two rooms, the Holy of Holies (housing the ark) and the Holy Place (which had the candlesticks, table of shewbread, and altar of incense). There was also a courtyard surrounding it. Later when the structure became permanent in Jerusalem, the entire structure with several courtyards all became known as the temple. So the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony would be the heavenly temple counterpart to the earthly one on the Temple Mount. The veil that separated the holy place from the holy of holies would not need to exist in heaven, as everyone in heaven is already in the presence of God. The testimony itself would lie under the mercy seat in the Holy of Holies in heaven as it did on earth.

What is of importance is that the Ten Commandments reside in a temple in heaven. In fact they reside in God's throne room. The Ten Commandments are everlasting, not done away with as some Christians may like to believe. While the commandments cannot save us and never did, they were only there to show us our sin, they are still binding upon us. In John 14:15 Christ said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." and verse 21 "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest myself to him." and John 15:10 "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love."

The seven angels coming from the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony would seem to indicate that God is going to judge the world on the basis of its breaking of the Ten Commandments. They are still His holy law and still are valid for righteous judgments. God's Laws have not been done away with by the death and resurrection of Jesus. It had been surmised earlier that those on the sea of glass were those who had not only believed in Christ, but had been aware of the need to observe God's Laws (which include keeping the Sabbath, which was the sign of the covenant with Israel and was a perpetual covenant, and therefore not to be done away with). In Is. 24:5-6 it is speaking of God's judgment on the earth. "The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left." The world is going to be destroyed why? Because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the covenant. Christianity says that we are not under law, we are under grace. Not so. The law still applies. It never was meant to save us, it was the standard which we were supposed to apply to our lives. Christ's sacrifice made it possible for us to do that, whereas before man did not have the means to keep the law. Christ said he came not to destroy the law but to fulfill it (Matt. 5:17), and God said He would write it on our hearts. (Jer. 31:33) Christianity has changed some of the ordinances - specifically the Sabbath and the holy days, which we have entirely replaced with Christian veneers over pagan holy days.

Having spent much time on the tabernacle, we now need to see what these seven angels are doing. They are carrying seven plagues. These angels are dressed in white (heaven's color) with golden sashes. One of the four beasts before the throne of God gives the angels seven golden vials which are full of the wrath of God. These vials are by definition broad shallow cups or bowls. If one tries to empty a tall glass, one has to turn it over and the contents fall under the glass. If one wants to empty a broad shallow dish, one only has to give a toss of the hand and the contents fly out all over the place. This is how the plagues are going to be poured out on the earth. With rapidity and all over the earth.

Now the temple is filled with smoke from God's glory. God is finally getting his revenge (vengeance is mine saith the Lord) for all that the world has done. No man can enter the temple while God is in this state. Usually when speaking of God's glory, one thinks of the Shekinah glory that shines as a light. It is not God's light that is shining, it is the smoke of His anger, and nobody wants to go near Him while He is pouring out His wrath. Nobody is going to be able to enter into the presence of God until all of His anger is assuaged and all the plagues are finished.