Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                          Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Jan 18, 2012                         "Understanding your surroundings!" 4 of ?" To Listen the Audio with this Great Sermon click"  "Here"
Wed PM Worship                          Just may save your SOUL!

Text: Rev 9:1-12   (King James Version) When Saul became Paul

  "Father, I am your servant, willing and desiring to be used to bless your people."

                            The Fields are white and the laborers are few!
C.H. Spurgeon said, "If God does not save a man by truth he certainly will not save them by lies, and if the old gospel is not competent to work a revival, then we will do without the revival;"

                                               Overview of 1 and 2

The Book of Revelations contains several prophecies that integrate into one big story. Some prophecies in Revelation have been underway for centuries and others are about to begin.

The book of Revelation describes the seven trumpets and the seven  bowls as the seven first plagues and the seven last plagues .  14 events

 

So far, we have studied the full cup principle and the first four trumpet judgments. We have learned that when God's patience with the people of Earth reaches its limit, he sends warnings.

We have Learned that Bible history indicates Gods most effective warnings are those that include BOTH destruction and a message.

(IE) If there is just a message as in the days of Noah, very few believe. On the other hand if there is just destruction very few understand. Therefore the Great tribulation contains both Message and destruction!

 

We have learned and looked at the devastation and the Human response of the cataclysmic events up unto this point.

 

Jesus for told his disciples  in John 14:20 "I have told you before it happens, so that when it does happen you will believe."

 Because the bible gives the order of coming events in 14 steps, it is possible to identify and anticipate each phase of the great tribulation. If knowing the order of these horrific are important then knowing the purpose of these are even more important.

 Each person needs to know that god has deliberately and purposefully designed the Great Tribulation to accomplish several strategic objectives.

The Bible indicates that God initiates, God controls and God terminates the Great Tribulation. God has three types of wrath, Redemptive, Destructive, and Annihilation. According to the bible, God will use redemptive and destructive wrath before Jesus appears at the second coming.

 

The seven first judgments (seven trumpets) are redemptive in nature. The idea is simple: God mixes mercy with his judgments so that, if possible, many people will choose salvation and be redeemed. God will use redemptive judgments to open the minds and the ears of billions of people to consider a Gospel of Grace and not of works upon acceptance. He will use the 144 thousand anointed with the Holy spirit power to preach this everlasting Gospel and millions of people will indeed receive Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Unfortunately an even larger number of people will reject the gospel and rebel against the authority of the coming King of Kings and after 1,260 days, God will terminate his offer of salvation and God will implement a second type of wrath called "destructive wrath"

 God will use this type of wrath during the last seven plagues or bowls. Rev 15:1 The third type of Gods wrath is Eternal Annihilation. God has never implemented this type of wrath on the earth before.

 

The first seven plagues are called  "seven Trumpets" because they serve the purpose if warning or awakening the people of Earth to the Glorious arrival of Jesus Christ.  The Last seven plagues are called the seven bowls because they represent seven full cups of Gods vengeance that he will pour out upon his enemies.

 

The Great Tribulation will begin suddenly. It will begin with a Global Earthquake that effectively disrupts the activities of the whole world.

 

The World has never witnessed anything like the coming judgments of God, nor could it sustain more than one visitation of this Holy and Angry God.

 

Now that we have had a brief overview of what God is about to do, I want to bring to your remembrance of the 14 Judgments of God.

God's judgments serve as a catalyst to achieve the human response that God desires!

His show of force will either harden peoples hearts as in Pharaoh or open their minds.  

Trumpets                                                       Bowls

1 Fiery Hail                                                 1 Terrible Sores    

2 Asteroid Impact Sea                                 2 Sea turns to Blood

3 Asteroid Impact Earth                              3 Springs of Water turn to Blood

4 Darkness  Volcano's                                4 Sun Scorches people with Fire

5 Devil Appears                                          5 Satan's kingdom plunged into darkness

6 Devil Conquers World                             6 Armageddon

7 Close of Mercy                                         7 2nd coming and great fiery hailstones 

Some of the seven bowls are similar to the destruction of the seven trumpets. For example, a third of the seas turn to blood during the 2nd trumpet, but all the seas turn to blood during the second bowl. Perhaps God designed the trumpets as harbingers of things to come. In other words, even though the trumpets are sounded with mercy, God uses the trumpets to warn the human race with some physical evidence of what he intends to do during the seven bowls, a time when there is no MERCY!

Remember God spares two thirds of the Earth during the time period of the seven trumpets, but he annihilates the entire world with burning sulfur at the end of the seven bowls.

 

The Fifth trumpet marks the physical appearing of Satan claiming to be God and the Fifth Bowl marks the exposure of the devil for who he really is.

 

The first four trumpets will reduce life on earth to total chaos. The religious coalition that forms in response to Gods judgments (Babylon) will make a desperate situation only worse by tormenting people with laws that have severe penalties  for disobedience.

After a period of about two and a half years, the fifth trumpet judgment occurs.

 

Revelation 9:1   And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

Revelation 9:2   And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

Revelation 9:3   And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

Revelation 9:4   And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

Revelation 9:5   And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.

Revelation 9:6   And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.

Revelation 9:7   And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.

Revelation 9:8   And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.

Revelation 9:9   And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.

Revelation 9:10   And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.

Revelation 9:11   And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

Revelation 9:12   One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.

 

Let's pray. Father,

Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.

Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive. AMEN

 

The first four trumpets are curses that are directed at the physical elements of the Earth and the remaining trumpets are curses (or Woes) that are directed toward defiant, rebellious  people.

 

In My opinion, the curse of the fifth trumpet is far worse than the physical destruction caused by the first four trumpets. The fifth trumpet marks the appearing of the antichrist. The antichrist is no ordinary man ladies and gentleman. The Antichrist may look like a man, talk like a man but the individual is inhabited by the Devil himself. That ancient serpent, the devil who deceived Eve in the Garden of Eden will appear in the clouds with all his angels. Clothed in brilliant light and masquerading as God Himself. The devil will appear in all the remaining cities of the Earth, one at a time.

Daniel 11:45  Indicates he will establish a throne in Jerusalem.

And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.

 

Many Orthodox Jews anticipate the arrival of Messiah and many Palestinians anticipate  a deliverer, so what better place could the devil choose to initiate a reign of peace on earth for 1,000 years!

 

The devil will say many blasphemous things  and make outrageous claims in order to deceive the people of Earth.

When Satan appears , he will be more resplendent than anything  human beings have ever seen and he will claim to be the Savior of the World.

 

Think about this.

When he appears, the world will be in a desperate position and cries of suffering will be on every hand around the globe. The father of Lies and misery, the enemy of all humanity, will feign sympathy for the terrible human suffering he sees.

To further make his deception believable, he will perform great signs and wonders, such as healing the sick and feeding the hungry. Thus many people will be duped into believing the devil is the Almighty God.

Matthew 24:24   For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

 

Who is the Devil

According to the Bible the devil once had an exalted name. His name was Lucifer which means Light Bearer.

 

Isaiah 14:12   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!

Isaiah 14:13   For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

Isaiah 14:14   I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

Isaiah 14:15   Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Isaiah 14:16   They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;

Isaiah 14:17   That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?

 

Ezekiel 28:14   Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.

Ezekiel 28:15   Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.

Ezekiel 28:16   By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Ezekiel 28:17   Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.

Ezekiel 28:18   Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.

 

These Scriptures reveals that Lucifer was once an anointed cherub in Heaven.  He became dissatisfied with God's kingdom, Gods Laws and the way God was running the universe.  Because of his hatred of Christ he recruited one third of heavens angels to join him in rebellion against Christ. Thus Lucifer is the original Anti Christ.

 

Jesus Stated in Luke 10:18 to his disciples: I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.

 

Angry and embittered by his fallen state, Lucifer focused his wrath of Christ's special handiwork- Planet Earth.

The devil went to the Garden of Eden and he led Eve to disobey God.

 The devil did not stop there. Cain the first born of Adam  and Eve became a murderer. As time went by, Human beings became so defiled by sin that God was grieved that he had even made man.  So in

Gen 6 God washed the earth clean of sin with a flood of water, sparing just eight souls. Noah and his family.

The flood might have slowed the devil down but Peter tells us the devil is going about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!

 

Many People have asked the age old question: Why did God allow the devil to live? Why didn't God exterminate Satan and his fallen angels right away and spare the universe a great deal of grief?

 

Gods ways are perfect and the answer is both simple and profound.

Consider the following issues

 

1 What Message would God have given to the angels if He immediately annihilated every angel that disagreed with his?

If God had destroyed Lucifer as soon as Lucifer sinned, surviving angels would have concluded that God does not tolerate anyone who has ideas contrary to his.

How could intelligent angels love and trust God if he immediately annihilated his opposition?

Should angels love God because he is fair and reasonable, generous and forgiving, or should angels submit to him because to do otherwise would mean sudden death?

If God had killed Lucifer and his followers right away, the remaining angels would have been forced to conclude that God was an omnipotent bully ruling over the universe.

 

2 God has Infinite wisdom and he foreknew that sin needed time to mature so that all the universe could see the DEADLY and HORRIBLE consequences of SIN.

By Allowing the devil and his angels to live for a few thousand years, the universe would have two governments to study- One in Heaven free of Sin and One in Earth Full of SIN!

The presence of these two governments will ultimately prove that Gods laws and principles of government are best - not because He claims they are best - but because Gods was have been demonstrated to be the best.

 

3 God Gives the power of choice to each created being. His subjects do not have to obey him, love him, or respond to his goodness or generosity. Lucifer and his angels exercised their power of choice by choosing to rebel against God.

Adam and Eve were given the power of choice and they chose to disobey God. For 6000 years sin has contaminated the earth. Time has proven that the quality of life suffers greatly in proportion to our rebellion against the laws of God.

It is true sin may offer pleasure and excitement for a short time, but it always extracts a price that is far, far greater than the brief high of a cheap thrill. Sin always takes us farther than we really want to go and sin always costs us more than we really want to pay.

No matter how well satan disguises sin, The wages of sin is always death. Rom 6:23

 

4 God foreknew the consequences of allowing Satan and his angels to live. Yet, at great expense to himself, God provided a plan to save everyone who would live on Earth.

He loved the people of his creation so much that he gave us his only begotten son's life.

Jesus the Christ of God was willing to come and die in mans place so that the penalty for sin would be paid once and for all/ God himself has paid a much greater price for the existence of sin that any human being will ever know.

Please note that a plan of salvation  was not offered to Lucifer and his angels because they willfully committed the unpardonable sin.

 

Matthew 12:31   Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.

Matthew 12:32   And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

 

When these four items are brought together, we now discover why God did not immediately destroy Lucifer and his followers. The conflict between Christ and Lucifer has been in progress on earth for more than 6k years.

Today, Christ and Satan are still striving to win the affections of people. This struggle will come to a dramatic end during this great tribulation.

 

OUT of the Bottomless pit!

Revelation predicts that the devil will enter the real of our human senses and he will appear physically before your very eyes. Rev 9 tells us the devil is an angel king that will come out of the abyss or bottomless pit.

To really appreciate this prediction and the meaning of Johns language, we need to review a little ancient history.

 

People thought the Earth was flat, much like a large plate or basin in Bible time. Since they had limited knowledge about the laws of gravity it seemed logical to the ancients that Earth was made like a basin - otherwise the great seas would drain away.

Because Earth was believed to be flat, the ancients concluded a bottomless pit could be created if a person dug a hole all the way through the basin.

Without a bottom, a person could fall through the bottomless pit and never be seen again, the ancients also believed the fires of hell burned underneath the basin of earth and  and Volcano's were enormous chimneys that proved the presence of underground fires.

 

When we understand Johns view of the physical world at the time he lived, it helps us to understand why God used this type of imagery in the book of revelation.

Whether you call it the abyss or the bottomless pit the idea is the same. In ancient times the bottomless pit represented a poorly defined source of origin of mythological monsters and demons.  The ancients believed surreal creatures lived under the basin of earth and when creatures escaped they came through caves or holes which had no bottom or end to them.

When God revealed last day events to John in AD 95 God used geographical ideas that were familiar to John.

 For example. John saw the devil and his angels ascend from a bottomless pit and John refers to this even in several places in the book of Revelation.

By Putting on Johns sandals and considering the mindset of his day, we can understand Gods use of imagery.

Many people are actually surprised to learn that revelation predicts the physical appearance of Satan on Earth before Jesus returns.

 

So Revelation not only tell us when but also tell us why this is happening.

 

Please note in the verses of Revelation we read that God does not permit the devil to escape from his prison in the abyss(the spirit world) until the sounding if the fifth trumpet.

At an appointed time the bottomless pit will be unlocked and the devil and his angels will be allowed to come out of the spirit realm and now be visible to the people of the earth. God illustrated the appearing of the devil and his angels to John as a great swarm of locusts coming out of the earth.

Think about this: From a distance, several hundred million angels would look like a dense swarm of locust. The swarm that John saw in vision was so great that he says it darkened the Sun!

As the Swarm came closer to him, John saw the locusts actually looked like riders on horses. Leading the swarm was the angel king from the abyss whose name in the Hebrew is abaddon and in the Greek , Apollyon.

 Both mean the same thing "Destroyer"

The imagery and language used in revelation 9 is similar to the language used five hundred years prior in Joel 2:1-11 Where the prophet describes the appearing of the Lord and His angels  as a great swarm of locust prepared for battle.

God permits the devil and his angels to physically appear on earth after a majority if the worlds population has heard and rejected the truth about the worship that God requires.

 

Notice Paul's words in 2 thess 2:10-12

2 Thessalonians 2:10   And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11   And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

2 Thessalonians 2:12   That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

 

The first key point in this verse is defiance. Paul says THE REFUSED! To obey God's truth and be saved.

Why will people reject God's truth

Romans 8:7   Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

Romans 8:8   So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Those that are controlled by sinful nature!

Therefore when a majority of people reject God's final offer of salvation he sends them a powerful deception.

God releases the devil from the abyss and he empowers the devil to rule over t people who refuse to recognize his Sovereign authority.

 

Three important elements are revealed when God releases satan and his angels fron the bottomless pit.

First Satan will come with a cloud of angels ( like a swarm of locusts) these demons will be clothed with brilliant light. Remember the devil himself will be a magnificent being of dazzling light.

2 Corinthians 11:14   And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

 

Although Satan will do his utmost to imitate the second coming, God limits the devils deception.

 

When Jesus comes after the Church he don't actually touch the earth. He simply calls us to him in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:15   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

1 Thessalonians 4:17   Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Satan will come down our of the sky and he will walk upon the earth in various places. This is why Jesus warned in

 

Matthew 24:23   Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Matthew 24:24   For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Matthew 24:25   Behold, I have told you before.

Matthew 24:26   Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

 

Second God does not allow Satan to physically appear on Earth until a majority of the world has rejected the Gospel. I believe that will occur in about a two and a half year period. During this period of time, the 144k will proclaim the truth about worshipping God so that everyone on Earth can make an informed decision.

The result will be simple. People will either submit to God's law or rebel against it.

When God sees that the majority of Earths population intends to rebel against his gospel, he allows the devil to appear.

God has a very wise purpose for doing this.

THE physical appearing of the devil will force the remaining people of Earth into two groups:

People who worship God out of Choice and People who worship the devil out of force.

In a final effort to bring rebellious people to their senses, God will empower the 144k to proclaim a special message throughout the whole earth.

This message is so inflammatory that most if not all the 144k will be martyrs for preaching it.

This is the message!

Revelation 14:9   And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

Revelation 14:10   The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

 

Since the majority of the world will think the devil is God, Speaking against God like this will be utterly derogatory and blasphemous and the results will be the 144k will be horrible persecuted for their testimony!

 

The Third reason God allows the devil to show up physically is that God wants the world to get a close up view of the demon they are following. This issue of worship will be  completely resolved after the devil arrives.

 

The devil will demand worship and through his lieutenants he will clearly explain what men and women must do.

God will  continue to do lo less through his servants the 144k, The saints will submit to God and the wicked will submit to the laws of the devil.

Every person will exercise his or her power if choice and God will seal every decision.

 

According to Rev 9:3-6 After Satan and his cohort  appears they will have five months to torment the wicked. This may seem a little strange at first, but god does not let the devil hurt his saints with the sting of the scorpions tail. The devil will inflict this torture on the non religious wicked in order to subdue them. The devil will not hurt those that believe he is God either. Instead he will hurt people who have not made a decision to join his forces or with Gods saints.

Just what the torment is and how it is inflicted is not clear from scripture. However we do know the torment will hurt like a scorpions sting. And brother that is awful. 

Remember God will do everything possible during the tribulation to save as many sinners as possible.

 

An Angel of light that works miracles

When Satan appears, his radiant countenance  will dazzle the people of earth. Millions will believe his claims that he really is God because of his appearance alone.

Revelations says the wicked will be awe struck when they actually see the devil.

Revelation 17:8   The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, "be astonished" whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 

Satans first work after appearing In Flesh as a brilliant God-Man will be only to convince the world that he is divine and that he is actually who he claims to be. Paul warns Don't let anyone deceive you in this way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of sin is revealed, 2 thes 2:3,4,9,10

 

To convince people that he is God, satan will use one miracle above all others - he will actually call down fire from heaven at will! This proof if divinity will secure his deception because the 144k will not have this specific miracle working power.

Rev

Revelation 13:13   And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

Revelation 13:14   And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

 

What is the Image of the Beast?

Who does the beast represent?

The beast from the sea of revelation 13 represents Babylon. The seven Heads represent the seven religions of the world and the ten horns represent ten kings who will play a strategic role near the end of the world.

The image of Babylon will be a consolidation of the worlds diverse religions and nations into one global church/state.

 When the majority if the Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Moslems, Hindus and all others believe that Satan is actually God, they will be willing to do whatever he now demands.

Can a human give too much or ever do too  much for God?

The Devil will demand that all religions must be dissolved into one religion.

 

Think about this for a minute, If God were on Earth Physically to establish His Kingdom, How many different churches would he allow?

This new Church or religion will have a very special benefit. All who join it will receive permission to buy and sell. Only The members will have access to the necessities of life. Which the devils forces will be in full control. The mark they will receive will reflect they belong to "ONE TRUE CHURCH"

The saints on the other hand will be cut off from all necessities but it is just as well with them because they would rather die than to submit to the demands of the devil.

 

THE WICKED WILL VOLUNTEER TO RECEIVE THE MARK OF THE BEAST, JUSTIFYING THAT IT IS A SMALL PRICE TO PAY FOR SURVIVAL.

 

Meanwhile the saints will be fed and cared for by angels sent from God!

 

Next.

 

Worship the Beast or DIE!