Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 12
TRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON
Revelation 9 & 16
In the last lesson, we were on verse 15 of Revelation Chapter 9. These are events that are going to happen. The Book of Revelation is totally different than any other portion of Scripture. When we taught the Book of Genesis, we just went verse by verse and chapter by chapter. You can do the same thing in the New Testament, but when you get to the Book of Revelation you can’t do that. It would make absolutely no sense to just simply take the Book of Revelation and go verse by verse and chapter by chapter. But you must isolate the events into the beginning, middle, and end of the Tribulation. And why the Lord has seen fit to do this, I don’t know. Except maybe to make us study. I can’t see any other reason for it. He just wants to make sure that it’s so simple that we don’t have to study it. We have been jumping around a lot purposely so we can keep the continuity of the events rather than the chapter and verse. So in Chapter 9 verse 15, we have been following the trumpet judgment, I don’t know how far apart the events are at this point in time, maybe within 6 months, but they will keep getting closer together.
When we get to final seven bowl judgments, there will be, I dare say, every month a new one striking the human race. Now in verse 15 where we left off, these angelic beings that God has confined in the area of the Euphrates River are now released. They were prepared for a specific role. Their role is to slay the third part of men. I was thinking the other day, how many million people lost their lives as a result of World War II. 50 million. That is civilian, and military combined. But that’s just a drop in the bucket compared to what’s going to happen here. Today, we have between 5 and 5 1/2 billion on the earth. Do you remember back in the sealed judgments when we first opened the Tribulation, by the end of the disease and pestilence, 1/4 of the population will be gone. That’s over a billion people in a matter of two or three years. Within a matter of months the human race will lose 1/3 of the worlds population. And people can just go on their way and think nothing of being caught in these events. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night. Anyway, it’s coming. I think the way these people are put to death is in the next verse.
“And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them.”
Those of you who know your math, how many is that? Well, that’s 200,000,000. Remember there is only one power on earth that brags about being able to put 200 million men on the field of battle, and that is China. They have over a billion people. I have to feel that this is what is referred to. I feel that this 200 million men army will be the Chinese along with probably a few of the other Orientals. And they are going to be making their way westward toward the Middle East. Also remember we will be in a period of time when God is again doing the supernatural. And we will see God’s Sovereignty causing the Chinese authorities to send that army westward. As they do, I feel they will be like Sherman’s march to the sea in the Civil War. What did he do? He destroyed everything in their path. I think this Chinese horde is just going to literally murder and mutilate and ravage the countryside as they move to the Middle East. And at this time there is still one great natural barrier. And that is the Euphrates River. The various bridges across that river today couldn’t move that many men across it. So we will see in a future chapter that God will dry up the Euphrates River so that they won’t need bridges, but simply walk across. Now verse 17:
“And thus I saw the horses in the vision, and them that sat on them, having breastplates of fire, and of jacinth, and brimstone: and the heads of the horses were as the heads of lions; and out of their mouths issued fire and smoke and brimstone.”
This is probably ancient language for tanks and all of their fire power. So this is probably the modern warfare of today. Then these 200 million men and the weapons of war will kill many:
“By these three (fire, smoke and brimstone) was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.”
Also remember, take things scripturally, and many times it’s spiritual. But on the other hand, many times it’s logical. What percent of the population of this planet lives in the Orient? A good part of it. I’ve already mentioned that China alone has 1/4 of the population of the world. And India with it’s masses and millions. Japan also has millions. So if this great army is indeed just killing as they go, you can see easily see where a third part of mankind will be killed.
“For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, and had heads, and with them they do hurt.” And again, take this language as modern warfare.
“And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:” And here again, this is unique to the Orient. You have more idol worshippers in the Orient today than any other place on earth. All the areas of the east are still under idolatry.
“Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”
There is an interesting little word buried in this verse that very few people catch. And it’s unfortunate that the King James translator haven’t caught it. And that word is `sorceries.‘ And it is from the Greek word Pharmakeia. Now think for a minute. What is the English word that comes from Pharmakeia? Pharmacy. And the main role of a pharmacy? Drugs. Now read it in that light:
“Neither repented they of their murders, their drugs, their immorality, or thefts.”
What do you have in that verse? The drug culture. You have the typical drug culture. Because wherever you have drugs, as we are seeing in our inner cities, what do you have? Murder. Along with murder comes theft, because they have to rob and steal in order to support their habit. And as soon as people become involved in that kind of a wicked culture then morality means nothing. So their immorality gets more gross by the day. I’m in favor of the so called “War on Drugs,” but it is a losing battle. The world is headed more and more toward that end. The drug culture and demon worship many times go hand in hand. You can hardly separate them. Drugs muddle the mind. Demon worship muddles the mind. So it is an interesting verse and you can see how readily it fits into our society already, but it will be even worse during this time. The world will be completely saturated with drugs and all the evils that go with it.
Now that is the sixth trumpet, and we need to skip over to Chapter 11 and verse 15 to pick up the seventh. Do you see why you can’t take it verse by verse. We have to follow the events and then come back to pick up what we had to skip:
“And the seventh angel sounded: and there were great voices in heaven, saying, `The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.'”
Now put that all together in one thought. What is Christ going to reign over? The Kingdoms of this world are going to become the Kingdom of Christ. And again, it comes right back to what we showed in our last lesson. As you come out of the Tribulation it is the paying off of the curse; it’s going to deliver the world from the curse. The earth is going to revert back as it was in the Garden of Eden. And in comes the Kingdom. The thing that is amazing is the reference in Matthew Chapter 4. We know Satan is powerful and cunning, but on the other hand you wonder how he can be so ignorant as to think he can still overcome The Christ. But he will never give up until his doom is sealed. Let’s look at it in Matthew. This is the temptation of Jesus, after 40 days of fasting. You all know the account:
“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the (what?) kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them:”
We are not talking about something out there that is ethereal or invisible. We are talking about the Kingdoms of this world. Now from this point in history, when Satan is dealing here with Jesus during the time of His earthly ministry, what great kingdoms have already come and gone? Some of the great Pharaohs of Egypt. And then the Babylonian Empire. And then the great Medes’ and Persians’ Empire. The great and glorious Empire of Greece. And now we are at the very epitome of Rome. And all of these great empires flourished. And Satan says, “Look back at the centuries of time and look ahead. All these Kingdoms are mine. I’ll give them to you on one condition.” And what was that condition? If Jesus would fall down and worship him. Now isn’t that something? Evidently, Satan at that point in time did not understand or comprehend that Christ was going to have those Kingdoms. They are going to be His, and He is going to one day just obliterate them from view, and they will blow away like the dust of the summer threshing floor as Daniel says. And He will set up His own Kingdom. A glorious Kingdom. Can you imagine what this world would be like if it was totally ruled and reigned over by Satan, as it will one day be ruled by Christ! Satan is still held in check by God’s checks and balances. Satan can only do so much. But never lose sight that he is the god of this world. He is in control, but is still under the Sovereign God. But when Christ sets up His Kingdom, His power is going to be absolute and total and it will be glorious. Back to Revelation Chapter 11. Since we are fast approaching the return of Christ to set up His Kingdom, here is the language again.
“…The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
I feel that this thousand years of Christ, which is delineated in Revelation as a thousand years, will just simply be the introduction to the eternal. In other words, when the thousand years of Kingdom rule has run it’s course on the planet as we now know it back in the Garden of Eden situation, it too will be destroyed. It will be burned up by fire at the end of the millennium reign.
And then as I have mentioned before in Chapter 21 and 22 we have a new heaven and a new earth. But that new earth will again be the abode of those who have believed unto eternal life. I think it will be just an extension of the Kingdom economy. It will be an earth of tremendous production and activity. We won’t be just sitting around getting bored or strumming on a harp. To me that wouldn’t be heaven. Or just sitting around shouting `Alleluia,’ although that will be part and parcel. I feel we will be intensely busy. Remember, God didn’t create us to be idle. Did He? Why no! So when His Kingdom comes and He rules and reigns, yes it will be limited to the thousand years. But like I said, it will be interrupted for a little while, when the Great White Throne Judgment for the lost is conducted and then we will go into the eternal, I think based on that same pattern. Now verse 16:
“And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,” We have made reference to these 24 elders before in earlier lessons.
“Saying, `We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.'” And here it comes again.
“And the nations were angry (in their rebellion), and thy wrath is come (it’s no longer love, mercy, and Grace), and the time of the dead (I think that’s the spiritual dead), that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” In other words, God is going to deal with rebellious mankind. Now verse 19. These 24 elders are declaring that God is over all and will destroy those who have rebelled against Him. And it’s coming close to the end of this seven-year period.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or the ark of His Covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
Come back with me to the Book of Exodus Chapter 25. Remember here, Moses has just brought the Children of Israel out of Egypt and they are gathered around Mount Sinai. And now God is going to give them instructions for building their little place of worship, the tabernacle. Here the Lord is speaking to Moses.
“And let them (the Children of Israel) make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after (or according to) the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”
A pattern is always from an original. So where is the original? It has to be in heaven. Now come back to the Book of Hebrews Chapter 9. The blueprint that God gave to Moses and Aaron was simply a pattern or a blue print patterned after the original which is in heaven. And it’s the one in heaven we are going to see opened up in these closing days of the Tribulation in Revelation Chapter 11:19. But for now, Hebrews Chapter 9:
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (or creation); This tabernacle not built with human hands is in heaven. So now back to Revelation 11:19 and this is what we see. Reading the verse again.
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament (or Covenant): and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
As God continues His wrath upon mankind, that’s the end of the seven trumpets. We have had all seven of them unfold after the mid-point of the Tribulation. Now we are probably within a year of the very end of the Tribulation. We need to come all the way over to Chapter 15 where we are introduced to the final seven judgments, called the vials in the King James Version, or the bowl judgments. Now the reason they are referred to as bowl judgments is this. Picture a soup bowl rather shallow, as compared to a Coke bottle. Now if you were going to pour out the contents of that soup bowl, what would be the time element compared to pouring out the contents of a narrow-necked Coke bottle? It’s instantaneous! So these bowl judgments are not going to be dribbled out. But literally, the whole planet will receive this whole bowl judgment as one quick strike.