Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Seven Bowls (Revelation 16, John 3:16-19, John 8:12)

"Jesus is the light"
We are His candles
© Karen Kyle Ericson, all rights reserved.

Thanks so much to all who prayed for our elections in the USA.  Republicans are the majority in the House and Senate now.  I am also pleased to note we have people in office who have experienced war.  I am grateful because the decision to be in a war is a terrible, important, responsibility.  We need leaders who understand the horrors and will stand by our soldiers.  My governor, "Chris Christie," said it so well, "Governors need to keep their heads down and focus on the job.  Avoid the drama and do what needs to be done for our people."  It would be wise for the president to do the same.

The next President will be elected in about 18 months.  Again, prayers are appreciated.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thanks!  I pray You will guide all of our leaders today and always.  Help us with wisdom to know how to fix so many problems.  Grant us peace and strength to be Your servants in love and compassion.  I pray You will stop the terrorists and protect those in Turkey, Israel, and all in harms way.  Please bless Arabia, Ukraine, and all in Europe.  Help us all shine the light in this present darkness. At the end of the day Father, we are all made in Your image.
In Jesus' Name, Amen.   

16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil."
(John 3:16-19 NKJV)
I confess this is definitely not my favorite passage in Revelation.  But you know what?  It's not supposed to be.  By this time, God has sent people to minister to others.  He's provided His Word, given us a Savior, and Church.  He allowed us to be a part of the body of Christ.  He even gave each of us a conscience to know right from wrong along with gifts and talents.  When all else has failed and people still won't trust God...  

Chapter 16
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”

First Bowl:  Loathsome Sores
2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.
Pastor Chuck Smith noted that as the ozone layer around the earth wears out, there will be no way to block the rays of the sun.  The ultraviolet rays will destroy sight and skin.

Second Bowl:  The Sea Turns to Blood
3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
In the days of Moses the Nile River turned to blood.  This describes  the affects of the death of all sea life. It's a much larger scale.

Third Bowl:  The Waters Turn to Blood
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
At this point all the water will become blood, symbolic of the blood of martyrs.  I am touched that God cares so much for us.  That out of all the billions of people who have lived and died in the world- He knows them by name and has never forgotten their sacrifice.

Fourth Bowl:  Men Are Scorched
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
This sounds really bad like a massive explosion on the sun's surface (solar flares).  It's interesting, I went to get my eyes checked this year.  The eye doctor told me because I have blue eyes I must wear sunglasses outside.  He said that the Ultra Violet rays from the sun are doing a lot of damage to our eyes.  The earth's ozone layer is taking a hit.  

Fifth Bowl:  Darkness and Pain
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
God did not forget the beast, "satan."  Even though he had the option to seek forgiveness with God, His pride and desire be god kept him from logic and wisdom.  As humans we can be guilty of this as well.  Some believe they don't need God.  They got it all under control until their child is sick or a divorce happens, their job fails.  

Sixth Bowl:  Euphrates Dried Up
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
15 “ Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
The Euphrates is being dried up now.  Turkey is trying to stop the terrorism by blocking water to Syria and Iraq.  Evidently some Russian scientists have also been experimenting with this idea.  Armageddon is where the last battle on this earth will be fought.  I get choked up thinking about it.  I know we will go to a much better place.  No one knows the time of His coming.

Seventh Bowl:  The Earth Utterly Shaken
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
Sounds like people lived through all this.  Babylon was a haven of evil.  Rome was the place where Christians were burned as lights at night when Nero was a Caesar.  The world has seen much horror and grief.  God has not forgotten anyone or anything.  The hailstone weighing as much as a talent would be around 200 pounds.  That would hurt.  
(Revelation 16:1-21 NKJV)

And of course life will be much better for those who accept His sacrifice (Jesus) before all this happens... it's not too late.  It's believed that the book of Revelation was written sometime between AD 68 and AD 96.  It's uncanny how this chapter seems to describe issues we are dealing with today, like solar flares and even the ozone layer.  But we still must remember- "No one knows the time of His coming, except Jesus."

This song is from Casting Crowns, "Jesus, Friend of Sinners (link)"

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