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Official Service Sermon > Official Service
Official Service
Title
   Revelation Lectures(69)    
Speaker
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
Bible
   Revelation 15:5 ~ 16:7
Date
   2008-07-18



Revelation 15:5 ~ 16:7

[5] After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened,
[6] and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes.
[7] Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
[8] And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

[1] Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God."
[2] So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
[3] The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.
[4] Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.
[5] And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things;
[6] for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it."
[7] And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here the Apostle Paul is seeing heaven open and angels are coming out from the spiritual space.

These seven angels were coming out from the place of the Throne of God.

"The temple of the tabernacle of testimony" refers to where God is.

The fact that the angels are from this place means that they take orders directly from God and achieve them.

It means, therefore, these things that are about to be fulfilled are in accordance with the Will of God.

In other words, all things are fulfilled under the authority of God the Father in precise justice.

The seven angels are clothed in linen, clean and bright, and girded around their chests with golden sashes.

Linen is the cloth that the saved children of God put on to enter heaven.

Since the saved souls lived in righteousness and sanctified their hearts, they are given clean and bright linen garments.

The light of their linen varies depending on how well they have sanctified their hearts.

The more sanctified the heart, the whiter, cleaner, and brighter the fine-textured linen is given.

On the other hand, a person who keeps an unsanctified heart is like a person who comes to a dinner party without wearing formal attire.

Matthew 22:11-13 says, "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, and he said to him, 'Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?' And the man was speechless. Then the king said to the servants, 'Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'"

It is also true with entering heaven.

If you don't prepare the linen clothing or garment, then you will never be allowed to enter into heaven.

Here, 'clothes' refer to the heart.

When you sanctify your heart and have your heart cleansed, you are given the proper white linen garment.

Of course, it is best to sanctify your heart without any spot, blemish, or blame. But even if you are a bit distanced from it, you should try hard to sanctify your heart by all means to have your heart clean and bright.

If your heart remains dirty and if you don't even try to sanctify your heart, you cannot enter the heavenly feast.

You will be thrown into the outer darkness, and there you will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Therefore, you should always check how much and how well your linen is prepared.

You should make it cleaner and brighter every day.

You must not stain your linen which is supposed to be clean. You must not be in a situation that results in not being able to receive a linen garment at all.

When you obey only the word of God and practice the word, you will be given the most beautiful and the brightest white linen.

The fact that the seven angels are clothed in such clean and bright linen means that they obey only the word of God.

They precisely carry out their job through the justice according to the Word of God.

The scripture says they are also girded around their chests with golden sashes.

Gold refers to something that never changes.

Therefore, being girded with a golden sash around chest is accomplishing their work precisely according to the word of 66 Books of God who never changes.

In other words, all things - blessings, curses, disasters, salvation, and destruction - are precisely accomplished without the slightest error upon the word of God.

God is the God of the love that transcends justice.

At the moment of the Last Judgment, however, He passes down a comprehensive judgment considering all things.

At this moment, a perfect judgment is made according to the law of the justice.

The last seven plagues that conclude the 7 Year Great Tribulation are also carried out according to this justice.

The Four Living Creatures appear in order to show how rigidly strict and precise these plagues are.

Revelation 15:7 says, "Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever."

The 4 Living Creatures stay closest to the Throne of God, and they carry out special orders of God.

Of course, angels, too, receive orders from God and carry them out, but the 4 Living Creatures are under God's direct control.

These 4 Living Creatures take an order from God and convey it to the seven angels.

It is living creature with the appearance of a Lion that takes the order of God and conveys at this moment.

The 4 Living Creatures work as if they were one, but they are also given their own duties.

The lion-like living creature usually carries out orders that are related with judgment.

That's why it is the lion-like living creature that appears from among the 4 Living Creatures.

It is the lion-like living creature that appears and gives the bowls full of the wrath of God to the angels.

The fact that the bows are full of the wrath of God means that the time is almost up for all things.

It means that it's now time to conclude the Human Cultivation that God has been so patiently enduring.

Well, the actual period of human cultivation is concluded by the Rapture, before the 7 Year Great Tribulation begins.

But, the God of love and mercy gives another opportunity even during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, and then concludes human cultivation.

But now, even the time for this last opportunity is about to come to an end.

The last chance of salvation that God gives during the 7 Year Great Tribulation is like a grace period.

The 6,000 year-long human cultivation is actually over with the Rapture.

And the period of Millennium Kingdom is added so that the total length of the human cultivation becomes 7,000 years.

It is comparable to God creating the whole universe in 6 days, and then He concluded His work of creation and rested on the 7th day.

The 7 Year Great Tribulation is in the middle between the 6,000 year long human cultivation and the Millennium Kingdom.

Even though it's excluded from the period of the human cultivation, God shows His final mercy to give one more chance for salvation even in this period.

But now, even this grace period is about to end.

There is no more mercy, but only the bowls full of the wrath that are waiting.

And these seven golden bowls are given to the seven angels.

Revelation 15:8 says, "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished."

"The temple was filled with smoke" means that the time is up, and that the judgment is made at the precise time.

"No one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished" means that the plagues cannot be taken back.

When the 7 Year Great Tribulation ends with the seven plagues, the providence of salvation is finally achieved in full completeness.

Therefore, these final seven plagues cannot be delayed or decreased.

When all the plagues of the 7 Year Great Tribulation are over, there are the Millennium Kingdom and the Great Judgment to follow.

After that, the saved souls enter their given places in heaven.

At this moment, the saves souls are not in their own dwelling places.

Except the souls who are worthy to enter New Jerusalem, all are in the waiting place in the outskirts of Paradise.

Therefore, heaven is yet incomplete.

The beautiful houses are still under construction for the saved souls.

Even though the houses are beautifully being built now, they may disappear in an instant.

Moreover, depending on how well you manage your Christian life, and how much reward you pile up in heaven, the house that is under construction now and the house that you will enter in the future may be different.

If you truly believe this fact, you will never seek or accept the things that are devoid of substance and meaning in this world.

You will try all means to pile up in heaven; you will invest in the house in heaven where you will stay forever.

However, no matter how many times people hear these words, those who don't truly believe will pile up things on this earth.

They know the word in their heads as knowledge, but they take the things of the world that they can see before them.

But, you have seen the evidences that the spiritual realm truly exists and that there are heaven and hell.

I pray in the name of the Lord that you may not have hope for this useless world but run the race of faith only with hope for heaven.

Now, let's take a look into Revelation 16.

Revelation 16:1 says, "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.""

The seven plagues that conclude the 7 Year Great Tribulation finally begin.

"The wrath of God" refers to the judgment of justice against all the evil that human beings have piled up before God.

God has patiently endured and given opportunities even to those who stood against God; who blasphemed against God and took the name of God in vane; and those who contemptuously sought to desolate the Church and the Kingdom of God.

But, no more patience and forgiveness is given at this moment.

There is only strict judgment according to the justice.

The scripture says, "Pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God." It means that the plagues are upon those who sinned and built the barrier of sin before God in the 1st heaven.

Revelation 16:2 says, "So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image."

During the 7 Year Great Tribulation, as a result of pollution and terrible wars, the natural environment will be devastated and huge natural disasters will also take place.

The damage due to environmental pollution in particular is immense.

No matter how hard the allied governments that hold power during the 7 Year Great Tribulation try to solve the problem, it is not something that can be solved by human power.

The environmental disruption and pollution gets more and more serious as the days go by.

Even today, many nations gather together to conduct summits and make efforts to prevent environmental pollution and to restore the environment.

But the situation is getting worse and worse.

No matter how far technology is advanced, it is feeble in the face of the forces of nature.

People try to solve problems with their knowledge and technology, but the problems are getting more and more serious.

And the damage due to the disruption and pollution of the natural environment turns back on human beings.

What was once enjoyed from the nature is ever decreasing, and while the natural environment is increasingly disrupted and polluted, the damage from it becomes irreversible.

It is especially true during the 7 Year Great Tribulation, many wars such as the 3rd world war break out.

And various biochemical weapons and nuclear weapons that were created in the evilness of men are used.

The instantaneous damage from the use of these weapons is huge, but the more terrible damage comes later.

For example, due to the use of biochemical and nuclear weapons, the air is polluted and the contaminants are stored up in human body.

They enter the body through the respiratory system and they pile up in the body through food that is ingested.

They also enter the body through skin contact.

These contaminants that are accumulated in human body cause malignant tumors or various skin diseases to develop.

The flesh becomes rotten with open festering lesions; serious and noxious skin diseases become rampant.

The skin cracks, breaks, and eventually becomes rotten.

People scratch themselves to the point of bleeding because of the itching; then, the skin and flesh fester.

But, it is so itchy that they cannot help but to continue scratching themselves.

A sore oozes, and the skin that is mixed with blood and pus gives out an unbearable foul odor.

It cannot be cured no matter how strong a medicine is; people cry out from its pain and they suffer greatly.

This symptom is more notable from those who received the mark of the beast and worshipped its image.

They reap what they sowed on this earth.

Revelation 16:3 says, "The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died."

The sea is not an exception to the disruption of nature.

Due to environmental pollution and the disruption of the natural order, the sea also pours out terrible plagues.

All kinds of waste water, garbage, and pollutants flow into the sea including the corpses of men and animals

And the sea becomes polluted and putrid.

The red tide occurs, and the sea becomes dark red like the blood of a dead man.

And countless living things in the sea also die.

This vicious cycle repeats and the sea becomes the sea of the dead just as the scripture says 'every living thing in the sea died.'

Since the sea become putrid, it's not easy for a single creature to survive, and it gives out a foul smell.

We desperately need the sea to maintain an ecosystem and to purify the contamination of the natural environment.

It's because the sea has been self-purifying.

However, as the sea becomes polluted death overtakes it affecting everything in nature.

The sea is no longer a source of food since there are no longer any living resources that it once supplied; even if there were a little, it would be polluted and difficult to eat.

Likewise, as the disruption and the pollution of the nature becomes worse, it finally reaches a crisis situation.

Revelation 16:4 says, "Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood."

This verse doesn't only refer to the pollution of merely the rivers and the springs of waters.

Since even the water from a deep mountain is polluted, it means that the entire natural environment is polluted.

At this point, it's impossible to find a clean place left in the whole earth.

Since all waters are polluted, there is shortage of drinking water.

Even if people filter and purify water, its quantity is limited.

The shortage of water becomes worse, and in the end, those who don't get clean water cannot overcome thirst and drink polluted water.

And it affects them right away.

All kinds of skin diseases and internal diseases occur.

Due to polluted water, all kinds of diseases along with new infectious diseases are rampant.

The polluted water contains contaminants from the biochemical and nuclear weapons. Anyone who drinks it suffers terribly.

They don't die right away though; they have to suffer from terrible pain.

Like this, "pouring out the bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters" means not only that the waters are polluted, but also that all of nature is disrupted to the very core.

It has reached the irreparable point; the root of the natural order is disrupted.

By the way, the reason the people suffer like this is because they will receive in the justice a return for what they have sown and done.

Revelation 16:5-6 says, "And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.""

It is the fulfillment of what the Lord said in Matthew 16:27, which reads, "For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS."

Each individual will receive according to what they have done after the Great White Throne Judgment, but the people also receive retribution precisely according to the law of justice as the 7 Year Great Tribulation is about to conclude.

The judgment of God is righteous.

There is no partiality or misjudgments.

It is the heart of God the Father who desires to give human beings another chance to be forgiven and turn back.

But, as a result of their evil, people don't grasp the chance and they reap the fruit of their deeds.

Especially, most of those who are left on the earth at the end of the 7 Year Great Tribulation are those who stood and are standing against God.

They ally themselves with the government of the beast, stand against God, and persecute and kill God-believing people.

They make the saints and prophets to shed blood.

That's why they are receiving the retribution.

No one can say, "I'm innocent," or make an excuse.

From the creation of the universe till now, those who have stood against God, and those who have persecuted and killed the men of God and the prophets will receive their retribution forever.

Revelation 16:7 says, "And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.""

The altar is repeating what the angel of the waters saying.

The fact that the altar is saying this is to confirm that the judgment of God is true and righteous

People come to the altar, and they pray before God, sing praises to God, worship God, and they give what they value.

And the altar is watching all of these things.

Of course the altar is not alive, but the altar has surely watched in silence the hearts of people and their deeds.

Therefore, the altar is the truthful witness for the justice of God who causes the people to reap what they have sown before God, and who repays according to what they have done.

In the next lecture, we will take a look what plague takes place when the fourth bowl is poured out.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ.

From the creation of the universe till now, countless people have built up the altar.

They've built the altar before God with all their heart, mind, will, and strength.

This worship service that you are now offering is also to build the altar before God.

By the way, when you build the altar before God, you must present a living and holy sacrifice.

Romans 12:1 says, "Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship."

To present a living and holy sacrifice, most of all, you must worship in spirit and truth.

To give a worship service in spirit is to make bread out of the 66 books of the Bible in the fullness and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and to give a worship service from the depth of your hearts along with the Holy Spirit in you.

Just as you burn the burnt offerings and give its incense up to God, you must worship Him in the fullness and inspiration of the fiery Holy Spirit.

To give a worship service in truth is to worship God with all the heart, mind, will, and strength in the love for God, giving joy and thanks, prayers, praises, and sacrifices.

But the living and holy sacrifice that God desires is not that you worship Him in spirit and truth only when you are in your church.

You must give God your whole life as the living and holy sacrifice.

The most fundamental basic for this is to rejoice always, to pray without ceasing, and to give thanks in all situations.

It is when this word is completely cultivated in your heart that your life itself can become the living and holy sacrifice before God.

I hope that your life itself can become the living and holy sacrifice that can reach the Throne of God as beautiful incense.

May your life become the life of spiritual worship that God truly desires and become pleased with, in the name of the Lord, Jesus Christ, I pray!

[Amen]

 
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