Revelation 16

Revelation 16: Armageddon

                John sees Seven angels with Seven vials of; “…the wrath of God…” (Revelation 16:1) Each Angel opens the vials, one at a time and many plagues are poured out against the wicked that are left on the earth.

“…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 worshipped his image.” (Revelation 16:2)

“…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.” (Revelation 16:3)

“…the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood …For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink…” (Revelation 16:4;6)

“…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 great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.” (Revelation 16:8)

“…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.” (Revelation 16:10)

“…the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up…And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast…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.” (Revelation 16:12-14)

“…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.” (Revelation 16:17)

Revelation 8

Revelation 8: Destruction in the Last Days

                John describes what he sees when the angel opens the seven seals of the book; “…there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.” (Revelation 8:1-2) and another angel came and stood by the altar, having a gold censer [container of burning incense] and the angel offered prayers on the alter, which made their way up to God. Then angel then took the censer and cast it onto the ground burning, and there were; “…voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and a earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.” (Revelation 8:5)

The Seven Angels Sound their Trumpets

                The First Angel sounded; “…and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of the trees was burnt up, and all green grass burnt up.” (Revelation :7)

The Second Angel sounded; “…as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; and a third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures where were in the sea… died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.” (Revelation 8:8-9)

The Third Angel sounded; “…and there fell a great start from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called wormwood… and many men died in the waters, because they were made bitter.” (Revelation 8:10-11)

The Fourth Angel sounded; “…and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them were darkened…” (Revelation 8:12)

“…I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound.” (Revelation 8:13)

The worst hasn’t even arrived from all the trumpets, yet everything is already in chaos, and the angels lament seeing mankind ruin themselves.

Ezekiel 1-2

Ezekiel 1-2

Chapter 1: Vision of Four Creatures

In the fifth year of Jehoiachin’s captivity, by the river Chebar, Ezekiel has a vision that comes from a whirlwind from the north. In the vision he saw four living creatures with four wings (each touching the wing of another) and four faces (man, lion, ox, eagle), and of the four wheels they appeared to be wheels within wheels. Above them is the firmament, where Ezekiel sees one with the appearance of a man sitting on a throne. The vision comes from a whirlwind from the north.

Parts of this vision are familiar:

  • The creatures with touching wings (verse 11) are similar to the golden cherubim in the inner sanctuary of tabernacle and temple (Exodus 25:18-20; 1 Kings 6:23-28).
  • The creatures are like the seraphim that surround God’s throne in Isaiah’s vision, with outstretched wings and others covering their body (Isaiah 6:2).

Chapter 2: The Sealed Book

God addresses Ezekiel as the son of man. He says the children of Israel have transgressed. Ezekiel is commanded to take the word of the Lord to Israel. God tells Ezekiel “…be not afraid of them…” (Ezekiel 2:6) A scroll is shown to Ezekiel; “…when I looked,behold an hand was sent unto me; and lo, a roll of a book was therein; and he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe.” (Ezekiel 2:9-10)

 

This same scroll is supposed to be the book of the Seven Seals that was spoken of in Revelations 5:1. Lamentations, mourning and woe would occur with this book.

Proverbs 5-6

Proverbs 5-6

Scripture Thought (What I Learned):

Both Proverbs 5 and 6 have a very clear message that is directed towards men, but can easily be applied to women. That message is pretty simple; 1: Don’t fornicate or commit adultery; 2: Be careful who you marry or who you trust in general. People can deceive and have lying lips that appear to be sweet as ‘honey’ but once you partake the ‘sweet honey’ turns ‘bitter’; 3: Once you are married is important to stay married and ensure that both partners feel a strong connection on all levels that includes a very healthy sexual intimacy.

I believe that all too often (especially in the LDS Church) that sex is talked about as something evil and perverted. Which is true if done outside of marriage, but in marriage it should be something that both husband and wife can have sexual fulfillment that will keep them from lust and sin. Eternal Marriage goes one step beyond traditional marriage in the sense that being married to someone who you can trust with your physical and spiritual life. Husband and wife should be a check and balance system to ensure that both return to our Heavenly Father and dwell in the Celestial Kingdom. God knew that man was weak, so he gave man the woman to keep man in check and ensure that we will return to live with him. Mankind in general is weak, and men and women sin. But if man and woman are bound together in Holy Matrimony they become ONE, just like God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are ONE, one in purpose.

Chapter 5: Don’t Divorce

In this proverb we learn a lot about the importance of marriage to the right person. We also learn about the evils of the world and the ways that man can be tricked into evil ways.

“…the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil:” (Proverbs 5:3)

Essentially this is a warning to men who may get caught in the trap of lusting after a woman who may appear to have “lips of honey” and someone who is a “smooth” talker. She may appear to be sweet, but… “…her end is bitter… sharp as a twoedged sword… her steps take hold on hell… her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them.” (Proverbs 5:4-6)

The counsel given in this proverb is very clear: “Remove thy way far from her…” (Proverbs 5:8)

But the proverb continues to tell us who we should marry “Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth. Let her be as the loving hind and pleasant roe; let her breasts satisfy thee at all times; and be thou ravished always with her love.” (Proverbs 5:18-19)

Something very important to remember and take away from this Proverb… sex is not evil. Sex outside of marriage is evil. Those who are married should enjoy sexual intimacy between one another and if a healthy sexual relationship is balanced with all other activities of being married, spending time together, working through problems together, having children etc… then the marriage will be successful and filled with love. God does not want us engaging in sexual relations before marriage and wants to make sure that once we are married, WE STAY married. God does not like divorce.

Chapter 6: Seven things the Lord Hates

This proverb lists seven things that the Lord hates (in my version of the Bible, which is the King James Version it tells me that there are ‘6’ things the Lord hates, I like to classify them as 7.

  1. 1.       “A proud look…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  2. 2.       “…a lying tongue…” (Proverbs 6:17)
  3. 3.       “…hands that shed innocent blood.” (Proverbs 6:17)
  4. 4.       “An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations…” (Proverbs 6:18)
  5. 5.       “…feet that be swift in running to mischief.” (Proverbs 6:18)
  6. 6.       “A false witness that speaketh lies…” (Proverbs 6:19)
  7. 7.       “…he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Proverbs 6:19)

God does not like sin, period. The laws don’t change, we either choose to follow them or we don’t. “For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:” (Proverbs 6:23)

Essentially the law is light, we can choose how much light we want in our lives by adjusting the amount we follow the commandments (our lantern), if we chose to not follow the commandments it is like not putting any oil (or batteries) in our lamp. If we chose to follow the commandments and fill our lantern with fresh oil or batteries then we can have more of the light. If we go against this WE WILL be left in the dark. We also have to understand that criticism and even chastisement is part of life and it occurs for our own learning.

This proverbs ends by re-addressing what we learned from Proverbs 5; that is “…whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” (Proverbs 6:32)

Committing adultery, or fornication (sex outside of the bonds of marriage) will be wounded and dishourned and will carry that sin for life (Proverbs 6:33)

We must remember that “…jealousy is the rage of a man…” (Proverbs 6:34)

 

2 Kings 7-8

2 Kings 7-8

Chapter 7: Israel Takes Spoil

After the great besiegement of Samaria the King of Israel was angered toward God. However God made a promise through Elisha that the economic situation in Samaria would be cured within 24 hours and that the price of food would plummet. One of the officers of the king was doubtful and asked how such a thing could be done, implying that it in fact could not happen. So Elisha told him that he would see the great miracle but not partake or participate in the greatness of it.

During this time a group of lepers were sitting at the gates of the city pondering over the situation… if they thought, food does come… they would surely be the last to receive it. So they decided instead of sitting and waiting to die of hunger that they would go and surrender to the Syrians who had been surrounding the city for months. When the lepers arrived at the outskirts of the town, to their surprise they found a Syrian camp, full stocked with materials and food… but no men. So the Lepers take advantage of the situation and they eat and drink. But not only that, they also find gold and clothing, which they carry out of the camp to go and hide. But after some time they realize that something bad would befall them if they did not use these supplies to help out the rest of the city. So they decide to go and speak to the household of the king. With this information the King decides to send people to the camp to see what is going on. He thinks however that it is a trick to get the people to come to them and then get captured alive. But the men he sends come back with a different report. After following the trail of the Syrians the servants of the king realize that the Syrians left in haste and threw out all their provisions alongside the road as they fled.

So the people go and plunder the tents of the Syrians, therefore validating the prophecy made by Elisha that the problems (economic) would be solved within 24 hours. The officer who had doubted the words of Elisha was charged with opening the gate at the city, where the excited and desperate people fled the city to get provisions… trampling the man to death. So we see that the man learned of the miracle, but never had the chance to participate in the miracle.

Chapter 8: Elisha Prophesies a Seven Year Famine

The woman, to whom Elisha restored life back into her son is around the area Elisha is and he tells her to go and stay wherever she can, because the Lord has called for a famine and it will stay for seven years. She goes to the king and asks for a repeal of her land that was taken away. The interesting part is that the woman came to make this request at the same time Gehazi was telling the king about all the great miracles of Elisha. Jehoram tells her that she can have all her land and everything that came from it back. This was very different from his father Ahab, who was a land grabbing control freak.

Elisha then went down to Damascus, where Ben-Hadad the king of Syria was sick. So he sends a messenger (Hazael, who is a high official to the king) to Elisha asking him if he would be cured of his sickness.

Elisha tells Hazael to tell the king, that he shall recover.  But in reality he will die (but after he is cured from the illness). Elisha just stares and him and cries, so Hazael asks Elisha why he is crying. Elisha explains he will cause evil will befall Israel, that the strongholds will be burned, young men will kill with the sword and that he will dash the children and kill pregnant women.

Hazael then departed from Elisha and came to his master (the King of Syria). The king of Syria asked him if he would recover and Hazael told him that he would. But, the next day, Hazael puts a thick cloth (dipped in water) and puts it over the king’s face, suffocating him and causing him to die.

Jehoram, the song of Jehoshaphat began to reign as king over all Judah. (this is a continued story from 1 kings 22:50 and is not to be confused with the Jehoram of 2 Kings 3 who is called “Joram” in these next passages. Jehoram walked in the ways of all the kings of Israel that is in wickedness and evil. The evil was so great that the Lord could destroy Judah, but for the sake of his ancestor, David and the promise that God made to him, the Lord did not destroy Judah. Edom revolted against this king and caused many problems. So Ahaziah reigns over Judah (the son of Jehoram) began to reign and he too walked in the ways of Ahab. They caused war against Hazael the king of Syria.