"And the seventh angel poured out
his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven,
from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and
thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not
since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations
fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup
of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled
away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a
great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men
blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was
We review where the vials of the wrath of
God were poured out and the consequent effect:
1. The first vial was poured out upon
the earth and the unregenerate and ignorant that worship the beast and his image
manifest the depraved nature of man.
2. The second vial was poured out upon
the sea and the sea of humanity all died under the condemnatory wrathful
judgment of God and died in trespasses and sins.
3. The third vial was poured out upon
the rivers and fountains of waters and there was a fountain flowing out from
Adam and all died as a result of Adam's transgression.
4. The fourth vial was poured out upon
the sun and the law brought condemnation upon all men.
5. The fifth vial was poured out upon
the seat of the beast and revealed the total complete spiritual darkness of the
kingdoms of men.
6. The sixth vial was poured out upon
the great River Euphrates and revealed that sin was a violation or trespass
against God's boundary for his people. We also saw that our great King Jesus
come to defend and destroy the enemy that had violated that boundary and through
his death to deliver his people to a righteous state before God.
The seventh vial is poured out upon the
air. The air is used to represent spiritual things in the scripture. For
instance, Satan is portrayed as "the prince of the power of the air, the
spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience." Also, "the
wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not
tell whence it cometh or where it goeth, so is every one that is born of the
When the sixth vial was poured out we see Jesus
redeeming his people from their sins and in the process destroying all their
enemies that would oppose their redemption (sin, death, hell, grave, Satan).
This is a completed work and the question is asked in Rom. 8:33 "Who shall
lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34
Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen
again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for
us." Since all enemies have been destroyed and the lawful wrathful judgment
of God has been satisfied, there is no longer any enemy that can hinder the
eternal salvation of any of the elect. Thus the great voice out of the temple
of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
However, there is still warfare for God's
people. This warfare was illustrated when the seventh vial was poured out.
"And there were voices, and thunders, and
lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were
upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." Just as there was
when God established the law covenant with the children of Israel and there were
voices, thunders, lightnings, and a great earthquake, we see the same sign
signifying the bringing in of a new covenant of worship.
An earthquake changes the scenery. It rearranges
geological features. It changes the weather and the environment. Therefore,
with the coming of the new covenant of worship there was quite a rearrangement
of what constituted acceptable worship. The Lord stated this to the Samaritan
woman in John 4:19 "The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a
prophet. 20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. 21 Jesus saith unto
her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain,
nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22 Ye worship ye know not what:
we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour
cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit
and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. 24 God is a
Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
the great city was divided into three parts." The great city is referring
to great Babylon or as she is called in the 17th chapter, "Mystery
Babylon the great, the mother of harlots and abomination of the earth." We
will prove the identity of Babylon when we study chapter 17. Jerusalem under
Judaism answers the description of Mystery Babylon. There were three false
spiritual entities in Jerusalem at that time. These three were the Pharisees,
the Sadducees, and the Herodians. The Pharisees were characterized with the
spirit of self-righteousness or legalism. The Sadducees were characterized with
the spirit of compromise and they would compromise with just about anything but
the truth and legalism. The Herodians had the spirit of politics. Needless to
say, these three spiritual entities are still rampant in the world today.
"And the cities of the nations fell."
Acts 17:24 "God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is
Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25
Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he
giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one
blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath
determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and
find him, though he be not far from every one of us: 28 For in him we
live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said,
For we are also his offspring. 29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring
of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or
stone, graven by art and man's device. 30 And the times of this ignorance
God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31
Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in
righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance
unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."
There was a time when God "winked at" the
idolatrous worship of men in the Gentile nations. This is, however, no longer
an acceptable form of worship. God has called on his people in every nation to
repent of this idolatrous worship and to worship him in Spirit and in truth.
Thus, the cities of the nations have fallen as far as their idolatrous worship
being winked at anymore.
"And great Babylon came in remembrance before
God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath."
This subject will be dealt with in Chapter 17, so we will postpone our look at
this until we get to Chapter 17.
"And every island fled away, and the mountains
were not found." Islands are isolated landmasses and have isolated
civilizations. Mountains were often associated with false or idolatrous
worship. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 religious denominations in
the United States alone. Each of them could be considered an isolated island of
worship with their own creeds, beliefs, and practices. There is, however, only
one acceptable form of worship and that is in Spirit and in truth. According to
the word of God, God will accept only worship that is in Spirit and in truth.
All other attempts at worship are considered vain worship. As we have already
noted, God does not accept the mountains of idolatrous worship that he had
previously winked at. Thus, the mountains are not found and the islands are
fled away as far as acceptable worship is concerned.
"And there fell upon men a great hail out of
heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because
of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." The
plague of hail in the Old Testament destroyed the work of the Egyptians. Just
as Cain had sought to bring the works of his own hands as an offering unto God
to receive praise of God and was rejected, so the religious beliefs and
exercises of men, designed to court or gain favor or praise from God are also
rejected. For this, men blaspheme God. If you doubt this, simply try this
experiment: quote the verse of scripture that says, "Jacob have I loved, but
Esau have I hated" and see the reaction of those who rely on their works
systems of salvation. If they say that they cannot believe that God would love
one and hate the other, then they are blaspheming God.