Sr. Pastor Darrell G Vaughn
                                                          Faithfulness - A Key Step to Happiness
Jan 25, 2012                         "Understanding your surroundings!" 6 of 6"
Wed PM Worship                      Just may save your SOUL!

Text: Rev 9:13-21   (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, 2, 3, 4 and 5

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

This sermon will conclude the series because Mercy will come to an end for salvation!

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 and the dramatic entry of Satan coming on the scene portraying himself to be God Almighty. We have looked at the one world church under his rule and the confusion of the religious system of Babylon.

 

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."

 

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 makes his triumphant entry.

 

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 what is happening.  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 

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.

 

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

 

Revelation 9:13   And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God,

Revelation 9:14   Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates.

Revelation 9:15   And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Revelation 9:16   And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them..(Two Hundred Million )

Revelation 9:17   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.

Revelation 9:18   By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths.

Revelation 9:19   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.

Revelation 9:20   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:

Revelation 9:21   Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

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

 

God is about to awaken the people all over the world.

Jesus will use the first four trumpets to strip away our financial security and our foolish attraction for gods of wood, metal, stone, pleasure, materialism and self reliance.

A 75k Mercedes  will be of no value without fuel or roads in which to drive. A 500k house will be worthless if it is reduced to a pile of rubble by the first earthquake.

 

Knowledge of an omnipotent and angry God will explode all over the earth during the great tribulation! No one will be able to deny Gods wrath.

Gods silence with the transgression of his law will end and all creation will know that he sits enthroned in Heaven, He is almighty God! He is sovereign over heaven and earth and he will send a clarion call throughout the earth to worship him. The call to worship him as he dictates will separate the goats from the sheep.

 

God understands Earth's spiritual darkness and He has winked at our ignorance for a long time, but overnight, He will remove the darkness that covers the subject of worship by displaying His wrath. After Jesus tears the Earth up with a display of awesome power, He will have everyone's attention.

WW3 and the Rescue of Jesus

World War III

The fifth trumpet marks the appearing of the devil and his angels. God permits the devil and his angels to occupy the nations of Earth and torment people who have not made a decision for God or the devil.

 

For a five month period, God will allow the devil to inflict great suffering upon the remaining people who have not accepted salvation, but have defied the devil's authority.

In this way, God continues to encourage them to repent and be saved. (For awhile, there will be two types of wicked people during the Great Tribulation:

 

The "religious" wicked and the "nonreligious" wicked.

The religious wicked are those who believe the devil is God and submit to his dominion.

The nonreligious wicked are those who refuse to submit to the devil, God, or any authority.) Including God Almighty!

When the five months have expired, God permits the devil to do something unbelievably horrible. Satan will be allowed to kill one-third of mankind. This great slaughter will remove most of the devil's adversaries, i.e., the nonreligious wicked and many of the saints.

With most of his enemies dead (some saints will escape), the devil will have undisputed dominion over the Earth. When this occurs, the devil will then divide Earth into ten sectors and appoint ten "puppet" kings to take care of day to day business.
By doing this, the devil will claim to be king of kings and lord of lords
. Survivors will have no option; either submit to the commandments of the devil or suffer death. How ironic, those who submit to the commands of Jesus may suffer temporary death, but they will live again!

 

God permits Satan to kill the nonreligious wicked at a very precise moment in time. Notice what John says, "The sixth angel blew his trumpet ... and the four angels (bound at the great river Euphrates) who had been kept ready
for this very hour and day and month and year were released to kill a third of mankind. The number of  mounted troops was two hundred million. I heard their
number ... A third of mankind was killed by the three plagues of fire, smoke and sulfur that came out of their mouths. The rest of mankind that were not killed by
these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands ... nor of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts." (Revelation 9:13-21)

 

What Satan cannot achieve through deceit, he accomplishes through force. Force is always the last resort of false religion. The sixth trumpet war will decimate all of the nations of the world. This is why I call this period of time World War III.
Satan will send his angels throughout the Earth and they will slaughter hundreds of millions of people who stand in opposition to Satan's control of Earth. This great slaughter will accomplish two things. First, it will force everyone to take a
side. Every living person will be forced to choose whom they will worship - the "lamb-like" beast on Earth claiming to be God, or the Lamb of God who will soon appear in clouds of glory. Second, when the devil gains control of Earth, he will be in a position to force everyone to receive his mark. "He also
forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead." (Revelation 13:16, italics mine)

 

Worship at Last

The Bible predicts the devil will lead a majority of the world to rebel against God's laws. When the devil establishes his kingdom and implements the mark of the beast, he will require the world to worship on a new day of the week. To satisfy all the other religious beliefs" The Jews Saturday Worship, The Moslems Friday worship, the traditional first day of the week Sunday of Christian worship.  In other words, a "new day" of worship will level the playing field for all religions of the world proving the devil shows no favoritism.

 Masquerading himself to be God, the devil will be able to do anything he wants to do!

No wonder Paul calls him a man of lawlessness. (2 Thessalonians 2)

2 Thessalonians 2:1   Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2 Thessalonians 2:2   That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

2 Thessalonians 2:3   Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

2 Thessalonians 2:4   Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

2 Thessalonians 2:5   Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

2 Thessalonians 2:6   And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

2 Thessalonians 2:7   For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:8   And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

2 Thessalonians 2:9   Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

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.

 

Of course, the devil's deepest desire is to have complete control and great adulation.
He wants the same authority as God and he wants to be worshiped as God. The devil is very bold. He even dared to tempt Jesus to worship him. (Matthew 4:9,10) Satan may be incredibly beautiful in appearance, but he will be grossly vile in character. He is sin personified.

The devil is self seeking and self centered in the extreme. The devil wants power, fame, popularity, respect, wealth, glory and honor. He will allow nothing to stand in his way of gaining these. In fact, he wants everything that rightfully belongs to God!

What an example of sin's decadence. Remember, God created Lucifer as a perfect
being. However, sin corrupted Lucifer's heart and he assumed prerogatives belonging only to God. Ultimately, Lucifer will claim before the world that he is God. He will receive the worship that God alone deserves and he will gloat in his deception. Paul says, "He [Satan] opposes and exalts himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, and even sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

The Offer of Salvation Ends This is why I shall continue no further!

When the slaughter of World War III ends, everyone will have made a decision about worship. For the sake of survival, millions will submit to the commandments of the Antichrist even though they know the mark of the beast is a curse.

 Remember, worship is defined as submitting to a requirement commanded
by God. It is hard to believe that people would submit to the mark of the beast rather than put faith in God, but this will be the case. Consider the wisdom behind this coming test of faith:

If our worship of God is not based on faith and love for Jesus, it will be impossible to refuse the mark of the beast. The saints will lose every form of earthly support. It is easy to see how many people who claim to be Christians will give up their religious beliefs because their faith is not grounded in God.

Ever learning and never able to come to the truth!

They will voluntarily receive the mark of the beast and justify their actions because it is the only way to survive. If a person loves his life more than God he does not love God most - he loves self! Jesus said, "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or
daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." (Matthew 10:37-39)

 

Everyone who chooses to receive the mark of the beast will be a coward and considered an enemy of God. (Revelation 21:8)

Revelation 21:8   But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.


When the sixth trumpet war draws to a close, everyone will have made their decision and nothing more can be done to save a single human being.

The door to salvation closes in Heaven and Jesus concludes His intercession on behalf of the people of Earth with this decree: "Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy." (Revelation 22:11)

 

Then, "The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign forever and ever.' ... Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant.

 

And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm." (Revelation 11:15,19)

 

The seventh trumpet marks the end of God's redemptive judgments.

 

The seventh trumpet also marks the beginning of God's destructive judgments (the seven bowls).
Notice, the
same phenomena that marks the beginning of the seven trumpets also marks the end of the seven trumpets. (Revelation 8:5)

 

Revelation 8:5   And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

 

 However, the phenomena at the end of the seven trumpets will be greater in intensity and more destructive than at the beginning of the Great Tribulation. In addition to these physical phenomena, God will do something at the close of salvation that is amazing. He will enable everyone on Earth to see the ark of "His covenant" in Heaven's temple! God shows the Ark of the Covenant to the human race because He wants everyone to see the lawful basis for His wrath. He is about to destroy every wicked person with one or more of the seven last plagues. God wants the wicked to see that His wrath is legally justified. This is a marvelous thing about God. In God's realm, faith always precedes evidence. Paul wrote, ''When perfection comes, the imperfect disappears." (1 Corinthians 13:10) In other words, whenever God commands something that requires faith, He eventually displaces that faith with the evidence or reason faith was necessary.

 

Faith always makes sense when viewed in reverse. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, until Heaven and Earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished." (Matthew 5:18)


This is why salvation comes only through faith! God says, ''You just have to trust Me until I can show you the reasons."

 

Only the Faithfull Will Survive Standing firm for truth and worshiping God as He commands regardless of the cost will be the all encompassing test for the
human race. Hundreds of millions of people will die for their faith. Relatively speaking, only a few saints will survive to see Jesus appear in clouds of glory. John is very clear - the devil's forces will kill a large number of God's people.

 

Mercifully, when the seventh trumpet sounds, God ends the martyrdom of the saints. (Daniel 12:1)

If you are still here Can we, like Job, say, "Though He slay me, yet will 1 hope in Him"? (Job 13:15) A real testing time is just before us. The coming test will reveal our true condition. Will we stand firm even though everyone else may
join the ranks of the enemy? I pray God will give us the faith, resolve and strength to stand firm. Isaiah said it well when he spoke to King Ahaz, "If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." (Isaiah 7:9)

 

The Seven Bowls

The seven bowls will begin shortly after God reveals the Ark of the Covenant in the sky and last for about 75 days. The seven bowls will be progressively destructive and end with Jesus appearing in clouds of glory. Jesus will kill the wicked by a command that comes out of His mouth. Only the saints who remain will survive that awesome day. The seven last plagues will be a horrible payback for the wicked. The seven last plagues contain God's wrath without mercy - God's wrath full strength. God will repay the wicked at the same level of cruelty they demonstrated towards God's people during the Great Tribulation. Compare the seven trumpets with the seven bowls:

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 

 

Remember, these seven plagues do not affect God's people. "A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes the punishment of the wicked." (Psalm 91:7,8)

 

Three points need to be made:

1. Some of the seven bowls are somewhat similar to the destruction caused by the seven trumpets. For example, a third of the seas turn to blood during the second trumpet, but all of the seas turn to blood during the second bowl.

 

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 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.

 

2. Notice this turn of events. 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. When Jesus pours out the fifth plague upon the throne of the devil, the world will see that this creature, who claims to be God, is not really God - for God would not destroy His own throne! (See Revelation 16:10,11.)

 

Revelation 16:10   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,

Revelation 16:11   And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

 

 The light of truth will shine brightly, and the deception of sin will be removed. The religious and political leaders of the world will realize they have been worshiping the ancient enemy of God. This realization starts a domino-like collapse of Babylon. John says, "The beast [Babylon] and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute [the image or the one world church/state]. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire." (Revelation 17:16)

 

3. In a final attempt to control a collapsing kingdom, Satan will rally the world one last time and send powerful demons to encourage the ten kings he chose to rule over Earth. These demons will lead the kings of the Earth to do two things. First, they will agree that a universal death decree is needed to destroy the saints. Second, they will unite to wage war on Jesus when He appears in the clouds. Notice what John says of these demons, "They are the spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty .... Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." (Revelation 16:14, 16)

 

Armageddon - The Final Battle

World War III occurs during the sixth trumpet. The battle of Armageddon occurs during the sixth bowl. (Remember, there are similarities between the trumpets and bowls.)

A large amount of misinformation has been shared about Armageddon.

The word, Armageddon, comes from two Greek words, "har megiddon" and they are transliterated in English as one word: Armageddon. The two words mean "the mountain of God," or "the exalted place of God."

There is no mountain in the Middle East called Meggido; however, there is a small plain or valley called Meggido that is not far from Jerusalem. (Joshua 17:11)

Long ago, King Josiah's foolish actions led to his death on the Plain of Meggido. He engaged Pharaoh Neco in a battle that should not have been fought. (2 Chronicles 35) The plain of Megiddo is not very large, but many scholars are convinced this is where Earth's last battle will be fought.

 

The battle of Armageddon parallels the contest between Elijah and the 450 prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18) A showdown is coming between the Lamb of God and the lamblike beast, who is the devil. This great showdown will occur "on the mountain of God," hence the two words, "har megiddon. " The world's leaders will see, just as the leaders of Israel did in
Elijah's day, which God is Almighty God.

 

Here is the scenario: After God unmasks the devil in the fifth bowl, the devil's empire will begin to disintegrate. The religious and political leaders of Babylon will recognize they have been duped into worshiping the devil. Then, the cloud will appear in the sky - the sign of Christ's return. "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn." (Matthew 24:30, ) When the kings of Earth see the sign in the sky they will tremble. The devil preys on their anxiety and will invite them to join him in a two pronged attack. He insists they can kill the remaining saints at an appointed hour and then attack Jesus as He draws near to Earth. (Once again, truth is stranger than fiction.) To convince the kings of Earth this is their last chance to save themselves from destruction, the devil sends three powerful demons to help persuade them. "They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty." (Revelation 16:14) When the kings of Earth see
the miracle working powers of these three demons, the leaders will be compelled to trust their power and will agree to join forces with the devil. (What choice do they really have?) They will make plans to destroy the people Jesus is coming to save and ultimately to kill Jesus Himself.

 

If you think that it is farfetched that men would try to kill God, remember the cross. If you think it is farfetched that angels would war against an omnipotent God, consider Lucifer's expulsion from Heaven.
When sin is allowed to reach its vilest maturity, it will seek to destroy God. Sinners would attempt to kill God (if they could) if pushed to worship Him!

 This is why God has to completely eliminate sin from His universe. Sin is a cancer from which there is no recovery - except through the "born again" experience.

 

The battle of Armageddon occurs at the place of God's choosing - the mountain of God. It will be the last battle of Earth's final generation. The wicked will see this as their only chance to destroy God. John describes the scene this way: "The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne saying, 'It is done.' Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed.

God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.

 

From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible." (Revelation 16:17-21)

John also describes the behavior of the wicked: "They called ... to the mountains and the rocks, 'Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?'" (Revelation 6:16,17)

 

Paul says Jesus will destroy the physical body of the devil with a single command: "And then the lawless one [the man of sin] will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming." (2 Thessalonians 2:8,)


What a sight this will be - fire falling from Heaven and consuming the physical body of the devil and his angels!
Zephaniah says,
"Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath. In the fire of his jealousy the whole world will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live in
the Earth."
(Zephaniah 1:18) What a dramatic rescue! What an amazing God! What a Savior is Jesus our Lord! What a Friend the saints have in Jesus.

 

Is it possible that some of Satan's forces perish on the plain of Meggido? Perhaps, since one of Satan's thrones may be located in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45), but remember, Satan will have ten kings fighting against Jesus. These kings will represent all of the nations of the world.

Review

There are several powerful stories in the book of Revelation we have briefly addressed the seven trumpets and the seven bowls.


There is much more. The book of Revelation is about the revelation of Jesus
Christ, I am compelled to close with a review of the gospel of Jesus Christ and an invitation to worship Him. Reviewing the gospel is necessary because it confronts us with an all or nothing proposition. Before the seventh trumpet sounds, all of the inhabitants of Earth will either accept or reject the gospel
of Jesus. Some people avoid difficult decisions by putting them off into the recesses of consciousness. They say, "I will think about this tomorrow." However, postponement is really a decision, too.

Suppose you are a young man who asked your sweetheart to marry you. Any answer other than "yes" is actually a "no," isn't it?

 

The danger with postponement is that it hides our rejection until we are trapped by our own inaction. In the case of the gospel, we must listen and respond to the
Holy Spirit promptly or the Spirit may turn away from us. We must be "born again" today and this transformation cannot be accomplished on our own. Only through the ministry of the Holy Spirit can we overcome the rebellion of our carnal nature.


Therefore, it is important to remember that there is a limit to the Holy Spirit's promptings. He will not wrestle with rebellion forever. (Hebrews 3:7-15; 10:26)

If the Holy Spirit has impressed you that this message is important, you need to re listen it carefully for two reasons.

First, your understanding will increase the second time you listen to this message. Details will become clearer and more meaningful.

 

Second, now that you understand the general picture of Revelation, you need to find an interested friend and discuss this message. You may want to obtain some additional study materials. The better we understand God's Word, the stronger our faith will be. Jesus is coming soon. Until the seventh trumpet sounds, the door of mercy is open. Walk through it! "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life." (Revelation 22: 1 7)

The Proclamation of the Gospel

The gospel of Jesus Christ will reach every person before Jesus comes. John said, "Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the Earth to every nation, tribe, language and people." (Revelation 14:6) Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

What gospel will be preached into all the world before the end of salvation comes? In three sentences, the eternal gospel of Jesus Christ is this: All people have sinned
and come short of the glory of God (everyone has violated God's  Commandments at some point in time); therefore, God's law condemns us to death (the wages of sin is death). The good news is that Jesus took our place on the cross and paid the price for our sins. If we obediently submit to God's commandments  and put our faith in Jesus for salvation, we will be saved.

 

 Look at salvation from God's perspective. Many people honestly live  up to all they know to be right and Jesus understands this. In His great mercy, He accepts everyone who is sincere in heart even though they may not know or understand the great truths of the gospel. Jesus does not hold a person responsible for truth he
does not know or cannot know. On the contrary, James tells us that sin is held against us when we know better and then refuse to do it!
"Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins." (James 4:17) The Lord loves the people of Earth with a love beyond human understanding. He
died for everyone of us. People who live up to all they know to be right glorify God and He is pleased with them. Peter says,
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil." (1 Peter 3:12) Because the devil is
extremely intelligent, Satan has cleverly obscured God's truth from most of the world, but Jesus will soon remove the veil of ignorance that covers the gospel.

 

People who are sincere in heart will rejoice to learn more, and they will embrace the gospel as it reveals more about the will of our Creator and Savior. Thus,

a remnant from all religious systems will be gathered into one body under the leadership of King Jesus. Jesus said, "I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. 1 must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd." (John 10:16)

So, the net effect of the gospel in the last days will be to save and unify all people who hear and respond to the voice of Jesus. Jesus will accomplish this ingathering of His sheep during the 1,260 day time period allotted for the seven trumpets by separating His sheep from the goats over the issue of worship. (Matthew 25:31-46) People will either receive the gospel and through faith, obey the commandments of Jesus or they will reject the gospel and eventually choose the mark of the beast. The controversy over worship will remove all middle ground. A rapid sequence of events, coupled with rigorous laws requiring that people disobey the law of God will push every one into a decision.

 

What Must 1 Do to be Saved?

As we might expect, Satan has a counterfeit gospel.

 

The devil has led many people to believe that salvation comes either through perfect obedience to God (as in human performance) or by intellectual assent to what is true. Satan's deceptions are very subtle. He has led many evil people to think they are righteous when they are far from it! Nevertheless, the Bible is clear, the righteousness necessary for salvation is not found on Earth! "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: 'The righteous will live by faith' .... This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." (Romans 1:17; 3:22-24) Satan ever leads people astray and away from God.

The Pharisees thought they were righteous in God's sight even though they were not a part of the kingdom of God. Jesus said, " ... on the outside you [Pharisees] appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness ... For 1 tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 23:28; 5:20,)

 

 The Pharisees were known for their love of self righteousness. They could not
see their own sins but they could see sin in a sinless Jesus. (John 9:16) Isn't it ironic that religion can lead a person to condemn God and justify self! This is ever the human dilemma. Religion tends to blind people to their true condition in God's sight. Given enough time, all religions eventually distort the truth about God - history proves this is the way of mankind.

 

Yes, God is pleased when we love to do what is right, but contrary to what the Pharisees believed, right doing does not save us! So, how are we saved? We are saved through faith in Jesus. True worship stems from a Spirit given desire to please God. (John 4:23,24) True worship includes doing all that we understand God wants us to do, not to be saved, but to please God! The worship of Jesus Christ is the way to salvation and this is why God's final test of mankind centers on worship!
(John 10:7; 14:6) People who worship God with all their heart, mind and soul are willing to go, to be and to do all that God requires - no holds barred.

 

 Jesus has designed the events of the Great Tribulation so that only those who love and trust Him completely will be able to worship Him on His holy day. "The just will live by faith." True worshipers worship God in Spirit and in Truth. All who worship God are given the righteousness necessary for salvation and the amazing aspect of this is that salvation is free! (Ephesians 2:8,9)

 

Jesus said, " ... every good tree bears good fruit, a good tree cannot bear bad fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit." (Matthew
7:17,18) A counterfeit gospel causes sinners to think they are righteous. The carnal heart will say one thing in public, but do evil in secret. Jesus said, "Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God." (john 3:20,21) So, we must test ourselves from time to time to see if we are in Christ! Paul wrote, "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of
course, you fail the test?" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

 

Trust and Obey

James Sammis and Daniel Towner wrote the old gospel hymn, "Trust and Obey." The words are printed below because they summarize the essence of the gospel of Jesus very well:

"When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His Word,

What a glory He sheds on our way!
While we do His good will,

He abides with us still,

And with all who will trust and obey.
Trust and obey,

For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey."

 

It never ceases to amaze me that so many Christians scoff at the suggestion that the Lord will return soon. They see no reason for this warning message. They say, "All things continue as usual- why all the fuss?" Unfortunately, these people
have become content in their spiritual poverty. They have put blinders on and inserted earplugs because they are comfortable and do not want to hear about God's plan. Many Christians follow after religious programming, i.e., the entertainment gospel presented by talented singers and gifted speakers with
clever ideas. They do not want to hear about the cross we must all bear before and during the time of God's wrath.

 Before we can wear a crown, we have to carry the cross. I personally believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. I do not believe that God will allow his saints, His sheep of his fold to go through the coming events. However remember Jesus said not everyone that saith to me Lord, Lord shall enter into his kingdom.

 

It is time for Christians to wake up and understand that Revelation will be fulfilled soon!

People who truly understand Revelation's story are not focused on gloom or doom. This may seem strange, but it is true. Instead, they are focused on the greatest and most awesome event in Earth's history: The revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation and His physical appearing!

 

 We need to know that a testing time, a purifying time is coming, and it precedes the Second Coming. We need to know about the rise of Babylon and the
appearing of Satan claiming to be God. We need to know about World War III and Armageddon. And yes, we need to fill our hearts and minds with God's Word because our faith in God will be fully tested in days to come. We have every reason to be positive about our relationship with Jesus for it is this relationship that fills our hearts with peace and joy. "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is
it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God." (1 John 5:4,5) Believers in Christ have a wonderful opportunity to become overcomers for Christ.

We carry God's promises within our hearts and listen to His voice because we "have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to us." Believers walk by faith, not by sight.

 

Seek the Lord daily and personally for wisdom about your own situations and circumstances. He has promised to direct us. If we patiently seek answers from Him, God will show us what He wants. (Proverbs 3:5-6) So, learn to live by faith now. Worship the Creator! Provide a whole day each week to study God's Word. Put your confidence in God and watch what He will do through you and for you. The ultimate test of having a relationship with Jesus is being able to hear His voice. Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." (John 10:27)