Welcome to God First with Brian C. Thomas, a program committed to encouraging you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible. Now, in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let's join Brian C. Thomas for today's message.
Welcome to the program. We are this week going to resume our series in the book of Revelation, looking at the seven bowl judgments of Revelation chapter 16. So let's get right to the word of God. Heavenly Father, we thank you Lord for this time together. We thank you Lord for your word. It is my prayer, Lord, that all things that are spoken, that it be nothing but sound doctrine, and may you be honored and glorified in all things in your name, Jesus, we pray.
Amen. Revelation chapter 16, we are resuming with verse 10. The word of God tells us, 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. If you recall from the last message in this series, we found that when the bowl judgment is poured out upon the sun, it will bring about a scorching heat.
The Bible says it will scorch the inhabitants of the earth. And so what we find now is there is this darkness and pain that is coming with the fifth bowl. And this darkness is actually going to bring some relief, it seems, from this scorching heat that has been just burning the flesh of those upon the earth. And what we find that is interesting is that this judgment is reserved for the headquarters of Antichrist, and many believe this will be in Babylon. It is very similar to when you look back in the book of Exodus. Remember, we've talked about the parallels between some of the plagues that God poured out upon Pharaoh and the Egyptians as Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go. And so God poured out plagues upon them as judgment for their disobedience to the word of God. And so what we find here is the Egyptian plague number nine in which darkness came upon the land of Egypt. This was from the book of Exodus chapter 10, and I will not read through it all, but just make a note of it.
Exodus chapter 10 verses 21 through 29. Again, this is Egyptian plague number nine, and we see that played out in similar fashion here during the bowl judgments that are coming in the seven year tribulation. And what I find interesting is that, again, this is this plague is reserved for the headquarters of Antichrist. So this darkness is going to come upon the headquarters of Antichrist that many believe will be in Babylon. And again, it's like in Egypt when we saw that the darkness came upon the land of Egypt, but there was sunlight in Goshen where the Hebrews dwell. We serve a mighty, powerful God, a God who controls the light, and he causes it to shine where he may and he calls it to not shine where he may. Our Lord has all power in his hands, and we will see that on full display during this time of tribulation. Now, I want to point out to you that there are two things that indicate this darkness will last for some time on the earth. Number one is the prediction of the prophets.
And then secondly, we see the effects on humans. I want you to turn to the book of Amos Chapter five. And let's look at verse 18. The word that tells us woe to you who desire the day of the Lord.
For what good is the day of the Lord to you? It will be darkness and not light. Now go over to the book of Nahum Chapter one, verse six. Who can stand before his indignation and who can endure the fierceness of his anger?
His fury is poured out like fire and the rocks are thrown down by him. Then move down a couple of verses to verse eight of Nahum Chapter one. But with an overflowing flood, he will make an utter end of its place and darkness will pursue his enemies. Now go over to the book of Zephaniah Chapter one, verse 15. Again, we are looking at these verses that are foretelling of this darkness that is going to come. That day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. And finally, the book of Mark Chapter 13, verse 24. But in those days after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light. Again, all passages that are pointing to this event as God pours out his wrath upon the unbelieving world. And in particular, his focus in this fifth bowl judgment is this darkness and this pain that will come upon the headquarters of Antichrist. So, again, it seems as though that there will be some relief from the heat that was poured out in the prior judgment. But now we see this relief from the heat.
It is becoming a frustrating darkness, as the Bible says, they will gnaw their tongues because of the pain. And it makes me think back to my basketball playing days in which I was out playing one day and I suffered a knee injury in which I blew out my knee. And I recall when that happened, I was lying there on the court and I blacked out from the pain. The pain was so intense that it was just dark. I couldn't see anything.
I could hear the guys around me and they were talking to me and asking me if I was OK and telling me to stay down and take my time. But the pain was so intense that that I was just blacked out in darkness. And when we look at this judgment, it again brings about a darkness that will be so intense that the people will feel it. It's unheard of in human history. But again, we see God's wrath being poured out for those who have rejected his son, Jesus Christ.
And in particular with this judgment, the headquarters of Antichrist. And I think about the times in which and I think we all can relate to waking up during the night. And you you need to go to the bathroom and it's dark in the house and you're you're trying to to make your way without turning on the lights because you don't want to wake up your spouse or someone else in the house. And and what happens is you you accidentally stomp your toe on the bedpost and you feel that intense, excruciating pain and you grab your foot and you're squeezing it and you you don't want to holler out because you don't want to wake up everyone in the house. And so you're gritting your teeth with that intense pain that you're enduring. But again, as bad as that is, it does not cause you to gnaw your tongue as what we are going to see during this bold judgment or maybe for those who are the handyman.
And and I've experienced when I'm out hammering something and I, I miss the head of the nail and accidentally hit my thumb and that excruciating pain that causes you to grit your teeth. But again, it does not compare to what we're going to see here with a darkness that is so intense. Again, the people will gnaw their tongues in pain and then look at how the people respond in verse 11 of Revelation 16. It says there they blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores and did not repent of their deeds. So it appears that during this time the people will still be suffering from the sores of prior judgments from God. And once again, the people will curse the God of heaven and refuse to repent. It blows your mind that the idea that people know they will know that this judgment is coming from God. And instead of turning to him and calling out for mercy for the one who has control over these things, instead they will curse God. They will refuse to repent.
And folks, this is the ultimate hardness of heart that is on display here. Because when we look at life, people on the earth, they do not reject our Lord because of philosophical doubts or or unanswered questions. It is instead it is due to hardness of heart and a love for sin. That is why we look around in our society and we see people who are are protesting right now for what they deem as the the right to take the life of a baby in its mother's womb because of their love for seeing because they want to not obey the word of God, which says that physical sexual intimacy is to come only between a man and a woman within marriage, which is the way God designed it.
Instead, they want to be able to do these acts with whoever, wherever, whenever they want and do not face the the the outcome, which in in some cases ends up being a pregnancy. And so therefore, we've seen the slaughter of millions of unborn children throughout our nation and throughout the world because of the hardness of heart and the love for sin. But God is going to judge it during the seven year tribulation for those who do not repent. Then in verse 12 of Revelation 16, as we go a little further, 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.
So when we look at the six bowl judgment, this is actually a two part judgment. Here we see the first part in that the Euphrates River is dried in preparation for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. The Euphrates is one of the most prominent rivers in the Bible. It is a natural barrier between east and west.
It is approximately 1800 miles long and so large that it forms a natural barrier against armies. The Euphrates was the eastern border of the Roman Empire, and it originates in Turkey and flows into Syria and Iraq. We see early reference of this river in the book of Genesis, chapter 15, verse 18. On the same day, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying to your descendants, I have given this land from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates. Now, I want you to take note that the literal rendering of kings from the east that we see here in Revelation, chapter 16, verse 12, the literal rendering of that is kings from the sun rising. And many believe this is a reference to the oriental nations.
Now, when you look at the nation of China with the population of more than one and a half billion, it is one of the nations in the world, one of the few, really there's only two nations that has the population to field an army of 200 million. And the Bible tells us in Revelation, chapter 9, verse 16, that we've looked at in previous weeks that there will be an army of 200 million men that will come to this battle on the great day of God Almighty. So this river is going to be dried so that troops can cross it. It is like damming a river today.
And or if you divert a river, the river becomes dried. And so this is going to take place as God again pours out his wrath, his judgment during this time of seven year tribulation. So we're going to pause for a brief announcement, but please don't go away. We're going to come back on the other side and continue to look at these bold judgments again in which God is judging the unbelieving world for rejection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Don't go away. You are tuned into the God First program. You are listening to Brian C. Thomas on God First. For more of Brian's teachings, please visit Godfirst.org to browse our extensive library of material. There you will find devotionals, blogs, articles and audio messages available as MP3 downloads on various topics such as salvation, Bible prophecy, marriage and the significance of Lesson Israel.
Just to name a few. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter and visit our Web store. So please visit us at Godfirst.org. Now, let's return to the conclusion of today's message. As we continue to make our way through the seven bold judgments, we come to chapter 16, verse 13 of the Book of Revelation. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. So now we see the second part of this sixth bold judgment. And what we find here is that these will be demonic spirits that will bring rebellious armies of the world to the valley of Megiddo to oppose our Lord. And what we find here in this verse is that we see the unholy trinity at work because the scripture tells us that it is coming out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet. So this is out of the mouth of Satan, out of the mouth of antichrist and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
And what we've talked about in prior weeks is that Satan has always, since his rebellion, tried to take the place of God. That's what he desires. And he cannot do so.
He doesn't have the power to do so. So instead, he tries to mimic God. He plays copycat with God. And we know that God exists in three persons, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, the Holy Trinity. Well, see, we find here that the unholy trinity will be at work again, Satan, antichrist and false prophet as Satan tries to mimic our almighty God. Verse 14 of Revelation 16.
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. One thing we must acknowledge is that we are in a spiritual battle, folks. The Bible tells us that we wrestle not against flesh, but against spiritual principalities.
That is what the battle is about. And when we look at things that are taking place in our society, as we see these mass shootings that are taking place and people will start to talk about mental illness. Now, I am not dismissing mental illness as being a real thing because I do believe that it is a real thing. But I think we often make the mistake of categorizing what is really demonic influence. And in some cases, demonic possession that is just happening throughout our world.
We instead make the mistake of categorizing it as mental illness. We see that taking place and we must acknowledge it for what it is, that it is evil. These are demon forces that are throughout the world already influencing people to do wicked and evil things. And we are going to see that come to full fruition during the seven year tribulation, as it tells us that these are spirits of demons performing signs which go out to the kings of the earth into the whole world to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. So what will happen is that these frog like spirits, these unclean spirits will trick the kings of the earth into coming to the battle on the great day of God Almighty. They will trick them. And this will take place in the very last days of the tribulation. Now, I think it is likely that the kings from the east are coming to oppose Antichrist. But these lying spirits are going to bring them across the Euphrates and I believe convinced them to take sides with Antichrist.
And again, I can't stress enough that these unclean lying spirits are already seducing leaders in our world today. When we look at our nation, the United States of America, and you have people who are in leadership now, leaders are supposed to be people who are there for the purpose of maintaining peace. When you see uprising, when you see people fighting and when you see violence and things happening where there's this, again, this uprising and tensions flaring, leaders should be peacemakers. But what we find here and we've seen it play out in our nations that leaders instead see looting of businesses that have absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand. And rather than condemning it, rather than sending in forces to try to bring it to a stop.
Instead, they say, stand back and they wink at it because they are encouraging this behavior. We have leaders who are saying we must defund the police as crime soars throughout these major cities and even in what we would call minor cities, the smaller populated areas. I mean, we see it everywhere that this violence, murder rates are going up and thefts and road rage.
We see people right now just being so worked up. And what is happening is they're being influenced by demonic spirits and then the leaders who should be, again, the peacemakers to want to bring stability and order, law and order to these events that are taking place. Instead, they say we need to defund the police. The Bible says that the spirit of antichrist is the spirit of lawlessness, and we see it playing out throughout our nation. We see it playing out throughout the world. And there's this encouragement of lawlessness.
You saw Maxine Waters a couple of years ago and she was telling people to for those. If you see someone who was a supporter of Donald Trump to get in their face, confront them. And then we found where other high ranking members of our governments and they set up bail funds for people who were out again, looting and destroying properties of people who had nothing to do with the issue at hand.
They had nothing to do with what some were deeming as as police brutality. And we saw that narrative being played out. And we find people who are in, again, leadership positions that are encouraging people to go out and commit these acts of violence. Lying and seducing spirits are already at work in our society today, and they're going to continue as we see these spirits increase during the seven year tribulation as they come out of the mouth of the the the the antichrist and in the false prophet and Satan during this time. Verse 15 of Revelation 16. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garment, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. What we find here is another warning from our Lord that he is soon returning.
We see that throughout the scriptures. Our God, his great love and compassion, he warns the people that he is coming again. And folks, this is just another display of God's grace, because he doesn't have to tell us that he's coming.
He could he could just say, no, people just need to do right. And when I come, I come. But he know he gives warnings through his grace, through his mercy. And Christ is challenging the saints living in the close of the tribulation to be faithful until the end. Remember, the church is gone during this time.
The church has been taken away in the rapture prior to the tribulation. But after the rapture, there will be many who will see what is happening and they will think back to a sermon that they heard from the pastor, a message that their grandmother or their grandfather or their their parents that were telling them about this event in which the Christians will be taken away. And so they will come to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. But I want to encourage you do not play the game and say, well, I'll just wait until that time comes and then get ready, because the Bible also says that God is going to turn some over to a strong delusion. And those are the people who will not be able to decipher truth anymore. They are going to believe the lie of the Antichrist and be eternally committed to the Lake of Fire. So don't play that game. We don't know who's that, who those people will be. It may be very well be the ones who constantly and repeatedly heard the gospel throughout their lives and willfully chose to ignore it and enjoy their sin. And God is going to say, OK, you don't have any more chances.
He's going to give them over to a strong delusion. So don't play that game, because even if you were to live to the or even if the this time comes and you could make that decision, there's no guarantee that you will live to that point. We can all die at any moment.
Don't play that game. Always be ready and give your heart to our Lord Jesus Christ. So when the people who are living during this time of tribulation, when they see the Euphrates dry up, they should recall this passage as a red flag that signifies the soon coming of Jesus Christ.
Again, God is showing his grace and it should provide hope for the tribulation saints during this time period. Verse 16 of Revelation, chapter 16, and they gather them together to the place called in Hebrew Armageddon. The Battle of Armageddon is often the expression used for the battle on the great day of God almighty Armageddon means the Valley of Megiddo. This valley is located near the center of Israel, and there is historical accounts that upon first seeing this valley, Napoleon Bonaparte stated, quote, This is the ideal battleground for all the armies of the world, end quote.
And I'm sure Bonaparte did not know that what he was speaking was prophetic as what is going to occur in the last days of the tribulation timeframe, when the world comes together to battle against our Lord almighty. And we've seen through the scriptures that this valley was the battleground for many biblical wars. We find that Barak defeated the Canaanites there in the Book of Judges, chapter four, verse 15. We find that Gideon defeated the Midianites in Judges, chapter seven. Saul and Josiah died there.
We find those accounts in First Samuel, chapter 31 and Second Kings, chapter 23. These lying frog like spirits are going to draw the forces to this valley, and they are going to come in what is going to be the battle of the ages of coming to battle against our great Lord. But, you know, in actuality, folks, we're going to see this in the weeks to come. It's really not going to be a battle. You know, we call it the battle of all ages because of what is taking place in that they are going against our Lord. But it's going to be the Bible says our Lord is going to speak a word. And when he speaks a word, the battle will then come to an end. It's going to be all over. And I have a friend of mine who sort of he says he kind of got a little bothered when he found out about this, because he said he he was looking forward to mixing it up with Antichrist.
You know, he said he he wanted to get some some uppercuts and some jabs in on him. But he finds that the scripture says that we when we return with our Lord, we be in our fine white linen. We're going to come to battle in fine white linen and we won't have to worry about it getting dirty, getting bloody because there will be no fight. Our Lord is going to speak a word. And when he speaks a word, he is going to bring an end to this battle. And that is why that we as believers in Jesus Christ, we need not worry about the things that are taking place in our world today. I know when we look around and we see the wickedness and we see the things that are taking place, it can be disheartening.
It can be discouraging. But, folks, we know the end of the story. And that is why I teach on the Book of Revelation. And that is why I encourage other church leaders and preachers and pastors to also to teach on the Book of Revelation, because we know the end of the story and in the end we win.
And so we need not fret. We need not worry about the things that are taking place in the world, because these things must come to pass, but be encouraged, be strengthened by our almighty Lord. As we close today, let us have a word of prayer as encouragement for the things that are coming upon the earth. Heavenly Father, we come to you today just thanking you, Lord, for your word. We come to you, Lord, just asking, Lord, that you would be with those who have died, the families of those who have family members who died in these mass shootings that we've seen in our world lately, Lord. And just all the turmoil that we see happening, Lord, we just pray, Father, that you would strengthen them and encourage them. And let them know, Lord, that you are the way, the truth and the life.
And if they would keep their hands in your hands, that they will have a peace that surpasses all understanding. And so, Lord, we just thank you for this time. And we just look forward to this day, Lord Jesus, when you are going to come back and you will bring an end to all evil. And we just declare it, Lord. And may it be again for your honor and for your glory.
We look forward to that time when we will gather with you and come as you come to proclaim your earthly kingdom. We thank you for it, Lord. We give you the honor. We give you the glory. We give you the praise. So as we leave here today, Lord, we remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and to the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever.
Amen. You've been listening to the Bible teacher, Brian C. Thomas, founder and president of God First. Brian and God first reserve all copyright protection under applicable law. Our copyright policy is available at our Web site, God first dot org. Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God.
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