The plagues and the redemption. Part 2.

The plagues that will fall in the end times will be impossible for me to describe. It is hidden from us what will happen. We only know that there will be terrible plagues that will afflict the wicked. Could this be what that John was told not to write, but to seal? “And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not”, Revelation 10,4.

The sixth plague of the end times, Revelation 16,2. (The first vial: Grievous sores). “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 worshipped his image”.

The seventh plague of the end times, Revelation 16,3. (The second vial: The sea become blood). “And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood”.

The eighth plague of the end times, Revelation 16,4-7. (The third vial: The rivers and the fountains of water became blood). “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 ninth plague of the end times, Revelation 16,8-9. (The fourth vial: The sun scorch men with fire). “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 great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory”.

The tenth plague of the end times, Revelation 16,10-11. (The fifth vial: The seat of the beast in darkness). “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”.

Under the vials follow the last five plagues, but that is a problem, there are a total of seven vials. We find the same pattern here as under the trumpets, and if we go carefully through the last two vials we will find the following.

The sixth vial, Revelation 16,12-16, tells of the kings of the east: “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. 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. Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed [is] he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”. I do not see how this should be a plague. Here the thought of preaching is derived through the phrase «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«. What comes out of the mouth is preaching, and Satan himself has preached, and he has preached through his agents a false gospel since the time of Adam, and now in the absolute end time this is intensified. It is now that Satan will gather his forces in the place that the Bible calls Armageddon. Satan knows that if he fails to seduce all who faithfully keep all of God’s Ten Commandments, he will lose. Therefore, he makes one last desperate attempt to shake the remnant of God out of the Lord’s hands.

I therefore believe that this vial shows us the end of everything. Just as Pharaoh persecuted Israel when they left Egypt, and sought to annihilate them, so Satan will incite his allies to persecute and kill all who keep God’s Ten Commandments, have the faith of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy. In Egypt, the persecution of Israel was not considered a plague. It can therefore not be considered a plague in the end time either as the antitype must reflect the type in an accurate way. Although there is a lot of focus on Satan and his helpers, the main message in the sixth vial is not about Satan and his helpers. This is meant as an explanation for the evil that is happening. The main characters in these verses are the kings of the east who are none other than Jesus and his angels who come to redeem the faithful little remnant God has had on earth during the last seven plagues. Jesus’ return cannot be considered a plague, can it? And when Jesus has returned to the earth, the seventh vial is emptied and it all ends with the saved being taken to heaven, and the wicked die.

The seventh vial tells us this: “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. 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. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, [every stone] about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great”, Revelation 16,17-21. Nor can this be said to be a nuisance. Or? The question is what lies in the expression It is done.

Just as when God led Israel across the Red Sea and destroyed Pharaoh and all his army, now God will lead end-time Israel over the end-time Red Sea and destroy the end-time Pharaoh and all his army. As Israel shuddered across the Red Sea, Pharaoh and his soldiers drowned as the water receded. In the end times, a huge earthquake will affect the whole earth and the great city will be divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations will fall. Every island will flee away and the mountains will not be found. And great hail will fall out of heaven upon the people … … As we see, it will all end with a catastrophic event. However, those affected by this punishment have themselves chosen not to take refuge in God.

Here, too, we can find a story in the Bible that tells us the same thing. When Noah built the ark, he preached the destruction of the earth. It would start raining and the earth would be flooded. But it had never rained before. All who wanted to be saved from destruction had to seek refuge in the ark that Noah built according to God’s instructions.

Anyone who would could have saved himself or herself from the disaster when the flood flooded the world. Everyone had heard of Noah and his preaching, but only those who preached the message of salvation were saved through the flood because they took refuge in God, and sought refuge in the ark when God asked them to do so seven days before the rain began to fall. Maybe it was because it had never rained before that the people did not take Noah’s warning seriously. The same thing will happen in the end times. All people throughout the world will have heard of the salvation in Jesus Christ, but only those who take refuge in Christ will be saved. All who say no to Christ and to salvation will eventually perish due to the events that occur in connection with Jesus’ return. None of the lost can blame God, because ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God has called on men to make them turn to Him and save their lives. Just see what God says through the prophet Ezekiel. God says: “Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” Ezekiel 33,11.

We have now been through the seven plagues that will fall after the sealing, and what will happen after the tenth plague, and if we look at what happened in Egypt when Israel was taken out of captivity, it fell ten plagues in total. The last thing that happened in Egypt in connection with the Exodus from Egypt was that Pharaoh and his soldiers persecuted Israel until they were caught between sea, mountains and Pharaoh’s soldiers. At this point God intervened in history and delivered his people, judged Pharaoh and his soldiers, and they all perished in the Red Sea. However, this is not considered a plague! Why then should the antitype contain a plague, or plagues, that the type does not have? God is a God of order.

We see in the last two bowls the last persecution of God’s faithful remnant, those who keep all of God’s Ten Commandments, have the faith of Jesus and the spirit of prophecy. We see the final judgment on Babylon, which is the antitype of Pharaoh’s punishment at the Red Sea, and the beginning on the restoration of the earth so that after the thousand years it can receive the new Jerusalem.

Christ has come and delivered his people. This is the same as the exodus from Egypt. Shortly after Moses led Israel out of Egypt and to the Red Sea, they were captured by Pharaoh and his soldiers, and we all know how it went. The same pattern that the type gives us is followed during the antitype in the end times. Now the enemy is not behind God’s people as they were at the Red Sea, but they are everywhere. What happens under the seventh vial will be similar to what happened to Pharaoh and his soldiers. (See also the seven trumpets and the seven bowls under English; seven letters, seven seals, seven trumpets and seven vials.)

The first three plagues:

The third plague of the end times, Revelation 8,12-13. (The fourth trumpet: The celestial bodies are affected). And 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 was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And 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!” The fourth trumpet is considered a plague. Here the celestial bodies are affected, and have their parallel in the ninth plague in Egypt.

(The third trumpet: The rivers and the fountains of water sources are affected). Revelation 8,10-11. “And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star 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 the third part of the waters became wormwood, and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter”. How are we to read the third trumpet? Is the third trumpet given as an explanation of who is behind the misery in the world? We can read about a fallen star elsewhere in the Bible. If we go to Isaiah 14,12 we read. “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! [how] art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!” Who is this star? It is Satan, and that puts it all in a larger perspective. Perhaps it is so that we should read the third trumpet as a description of Satan’s attempt to destroy God’s word through change and paganism with which he influences people through the fallen church. The third trumpet then does not become a nuisance in the true sense of the word, but an explanation or elaboration.

The second plague of the end times, Revelation 8,8-9. (The second trumpet: Life in the sea affected). “And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed”.

The first plague in the end times, Revelation 8,7. (The first trumpet: The earth’s vegetation are affected). “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 trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up”.

The structure of Revelation is such that we find four parts that tell something about history, that are divided into seven parts, 1) we find seven letters to seven churches, 2) we find seven seals, 3) we find seven trumpets and 4) we find seven vials. The number seven is the number of perfection, or the number of God, and refers to a perfect judgment in the end times. If we look at the seven trumpets and the seven vials, we see that five trumpets and five vials are plagues in the true sense of the word, while two trumpets give us what we can call explanations or elaborations, and two vials tell of the final dissolution of history.

Pharaoh persecutes Israel and the people of Israel cross the Red Sea.

The type, Pharaoh persecutes Israel, and Israel cross the Red Sea.

Exodus 14,9 (The Persecution). “But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses [and] chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-hahiroth, before Baal-zephon” … // … Exodus 14,22 (Across the Red Sea). “And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry [ground]: and the waters [were] a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left”.

This was something that happened after all the plagues had fallen, and we should keep that in mind as we try to analyse the verses in Revelation that deal with the trumpets and the vials. When Pharaoh understood what had happened after the tenth plague, he issued a death decree on God’s people, pursued them with all his army and all his chariots, and he reached them by the Red Sea. Suddenly, God’s people felt trapped. They were captured, and they had no opportunity to escape from the superior forces. In front of them the Red Sea, but they had nothing they could use to help them get over to the other side, and on the right and the left side there were high and insurmountable rock formations, and behind them Pharaoh and his army were ready to kill Gods people.

The antitype, gathering at Armageddon and the earth severely shaken.

Revelation 16,12 (The sixth vial: Gathering at Armageddon). “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” …// … Revelation 16,17 (The seventh vial: The earth severely shaken). “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 is explained in Revelation 16,16 as a gathering at Armageddon. The devil will gather all people on earth against God’s faithful remnant in the end times. And as we saw, it was when Israel was trapped by the Red Sea that the Lord miraculously delivered His people. God opened a way for His people, He redeemed them, and their persecutors perished in the waters as they tried to follow them. Here we once again have typology, and it is in the nature of typology that the antitype must contain the same events as the type.

The type is the events in Egypt, and the antitype is end-time events of the same kind. In Egypt, the children of Israel were to be killed – all as one – because they left Egypt. In a way, Pharaoh issued a decree of death. This is the type. The same thing will happen in the end times, and towards the end of the end time, a decree of death will be issued against God’s people, similar to what Pharaoh gave. This is the antitype. God’s faithful remnant will be blamed for all the calamities that befall the whole earth except those who are faithful to God and keep all of God’s Ten Commandments, or as it says in Revelation 12,17. “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” … // … and in Revelation 14,12. “Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus”. The testimony of Jesus Christ is explained in Revelation 19,10 as the spirit of prophecy.

God’s people, will now, like Israel on the Red Sea, feel trapped, not between sea and mountains, but trapped between the evil forces that surround them on all sides, and that intend to kill them. They have, like Israel, nowhere to escape, for wherever they turn, the enemy stands there and is ready to pursue them and kill them, and God’s faithful remnant will feel as powerless as Israel did on the Red Sea. They will simply think they are lost. Nevertheless, when it looks darkest, then God will again intervene in history and deliver his people in an even more miraculous way. Jesus returns to earth and redeems his faithful people, and then all the wicked perish. This is what the seventh bowl describes. Voices, lightning, thunder and earthquakes are all signs of the presence of the Almighty.

Armageddon, a physical war against God’s people?

We know from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy that the same thing that happened to Israel when they left Egypt will happen again when we get to the point on the timeline that corresponds to Israel’s exit from Egypt. After the tenth plague, a death sentence will be issued on God’s people, because the people of the world believe those who do not worship the image of the first beast are to blame for all the plagues that have affected the earth, as long as the last seven plagues do not affect God’s faithful rest in the end time. The sixth vial that describes Armageddon then actually describes the antitype of what happened in Egypt when Pharaoh persecuted God’s people to exterminate them. In connection with the exodus from Egypt, this was not considered a plague, but something that followed after all ten plagues had fallen.

It is said of Armageddon (Revelation 16,16) that this is the place where the last great battle between Christ and Satan takes place. What matters is where Armageddon is, or perhaps what Armageddon is. Armageddon has been explained in many ways, and the most common explanation is that it is a physical location in today’s Israel where the last great war is to be fought. But if so, is there a place in present-day Israel called Armageddon, and is this place large enough to accommodate two physical armies, one of which is 200 million soldiers? (See Revelation 9,16.)

He’ in verse 16 refers directly back to the dragon in verse 13. Another interesting word in this verse is the place. The Greek word for the place is to´pos. This word is translated with place, district, area, country; opportunity and chance. Those who choose to translate with a geographical location believe that it most likely refers to the Megiddo Valley, or the Jezreel Valley, or the Esdraelon Plain as called, which stretches from the Carmel Heights and Mount Carmel in the west and to the Jordan Valley in the east. This was Israel’s largest battlefield from ancient times, and the place where the British and Turks met in a great battle during the First World War. This is the literal translation, but since this is a prophecy, we should understand words in a figurative sense. Then it seems more logical to translate with opportunity or chance, and then in the form of opportunity or chance to set up a mind-set. We then have a situation where the wicked eventually set up a mind-set that is to blame God’s faithful people for all the misery that afflicts the wicked through these plagues, because they see that the plagues do not affect God’s faithful remnant, and therefore they will try to kill them. It is good that the Bible itself gives us comfort: “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, [which is] my refuge, [even] the most High, thy habitation”, Psalm 91,7-9.

Up through the time Armageddon has been explained in many ways, but we must all accept that the battle between Christ and Satan is a battle that takes place on the spiritual plane, and that this must always be the backdrop for the understanding of the Bible. The question is. Who will receive your worship?

As far as we know, there is no geographical place that has been named, or is called, Armageddon. We must therefore find out what the meaning of the word is. First, it is important to understand that the word Armageddon is composed of two Hebrew words, ‘harmeaning mount, and ‘mo´ed’ (mageddón) used in the Old Testament to describe a church or congregation. The symbolism here then becomes mount, which is the place where God has revealed himself throughout history, and church or congregation, which describes God’s people.

In Isaiah 14,13, Har-mo`ed has been translated into the mount of the congregation, and this refers to Solomon’s temple which in Solomon’s time was north of ancient Jerusalem. It has always been Satan’s desire and goal ever since he was cast out of heaven to take God’s place, and we can then read it so that the three unclean spirits, led by Satan, gather the people of the world on the mount of the congregation, figuratively speaking, precisely for the purpose of plundering God’s place. Secondly, we must look at the second part of Armageddon – Mageddon, for which there are two different explanations.

The first explanation is that Mageddon derives from the place Meggido, which we find in 1 Kings 9,15: “And this [is] the reason of the levy which king Solomon raised; for to build the house of the LORD, and his own house, and Millo, and the wall of Jerusalem, and Hazor, and Megiddo, and Gezer” … // … and in Zechariah 12,11. “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo”.

The second explanation is that Mageddon, is derived from the Hebrew word mo´ed which throughout the Old Testament is used to describe when the congregation, or the church, should hold a fixed feast or gathering. The first option places Armageddon as a geographical location – Mageddon, and the second option suggests a connection with the great conflict between Jesus and Satan. As this conflict is the backdrop for most of the Bible, and the fact that the symbolism in the use of the word points to mountains, which is the place where God has revealed himself through all time, I think we should consider the second option as the right explanation.

As mentioned above, Har-mo`ed has been translated to the mount of the congregation in Isaiah 14,13, and it refers to the temple of Solomon which in Solomon’s time was north of ancient Jerusalem, and for the sake of order, the throne of God is in north! Joel 3,7 calls the place the valley of Jehoshaphat: “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and [for] my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land”, (all nations here are the Gentiles). We can then read it so that the three unclean spirits gather the people of the world on the mount of the congregation, to take God’s place. There may seem to be a contradiction here, but the explanation is that the Bible here describes a typology. The valley of Jehoshaphat was the place where God intervened and fought for his people. Jerusalem is a picture of God’s people. What the Bible tells us here is that God will intervene and fight for his people again.

In Revelation 16:12 we have an expression we should take a closer look at: The kings of the east. Who are the kings of the East, and what role do they play in this battle? As usual, there are many different interpretations of what these kings from the east are, and not least who they are. And once again, the kingdoms of the East, China, Russia, Turkey, or a coalition of these are mentioned. This has changed throughout history, because those who choose interpretations that are not based on biblical principles choose the nations that get the most attention in the news picture. This just has to go wrong. You can not use the current news of today, because what fit yesterday does not fit today, and tomorrow there is another alternative. This is an inconsistent interpretation, and both confuses and destroys more than it helps with understanding.

As we see from the text below the sixth vial, a distinction is made between the kings of the east and the three unclean spirits. The way might be prepared to the kings from the east, while the unclean spirits come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. However, we have some texts in the Bible that give us clear clues as to who or what we are talking about. In Mark 1,2-3 we read about John the Baptist who was to prepare the way for Jesus Christ: “As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight” … and in Malachi 3,1. “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” … and in Isaiah 40,3. “

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God”.

The kings of the east are a picture of Jesus’ return when He comes with His angels. Jesus comes from the east, which is implicit in Matthew 24,27: “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. This is an interpretation that is fixed and that is completely independent of current realms that come and go.

Based on this, we now have a backdrop, and then it is easier to catch the thread. Northwest of the valley of Jehoshaphat, the valley of Jezreel, or the valley of Megiddo as it is also called, lies a mountain called Mount Carmel. It was here on Mount Carmel that Elijah put the people to the election. (See 1 Kings 18.) The agenda at that time on Mount Carmel was the same as it is today. Whom will you serve, the Lord God or Baal?

The Valley of Jehoshaphat, the Valley of Megiddo, and Armageddon describe the same, it is the same place, and we can call it the Valley of Election. This is an interpretation that will be just as valid in the very last end time as yesterday, precisely because we will all be put on the last and ultimate choice, we must all choose who we will follow and worship, God or Satan. This is exactly the same choice God’s people got from Elijah on Mount Carmel, and this is what the battle between Jesus and Satan in short is about. Now in the end times, it is the third Elijah, or the Seventh-day Adventists, who put the people to this election, and the question remains the same: Whom will you serve, the Lord God, or Ba’al through human commandments?

This battle for worship is fought in a place that the Bible calls Armageddon. This battlefield is not a geographical location that we can find on the world map, but it is inside your and my head, in your and my mind. This battle will intensify even after the door of mercy has been closed and the remnant of God has been sealed, for the afflictions of the wicked are not yet over, nor are the trials of God’s people over. This battle has been going on for a long time already and will intensify as we approach the end time, and the battle will only get worse and worse for God’s faithful remnant until we see the Saviour come on the clouds of heaven to redeem his faithful remnant.

God’s end-time remnant will be delivered at some point from their end-time Egypt, and it will happen shortly after the last plague has fallen on the peoples of the world. When the kings of the east come, this will be the last act in the history of the world as we know it. Jesus returns to earth to free the faithful people from him in a miraculous way.

When Israel crossed the Red Sea and saw that God had destroyed their enemy forever, they sang a song to praise God for what he had done for them. God had fulfilled his promise and had redeemed them from the oppressor. In Revelation 14,3 we read that the faithful remnant of God in the last times, those who have been sealed with the seal of the living God, also sing a song to the glory of God because they have experienced and survived something that no other people have experienced. before them, and therefore they “…sing as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.