God’s final Word – Chapter 18, verses 1 through 24

God’s final Word – The fall of commercial Babylon

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. God-rejecting rebels

    Throughout history, the petty kingdom and empires built by proud, arrogant and God-rejecting rebels have come and gone. The spirit of humanism first expressed at Babel has permeated human history ever since. People still seek a utopia brought about by human’s efforts and scientific progress and have no use for God and replace Him as-self styled gods devoted to their own sovereignty. Is that humanism permeating our world today?

    The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.” The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. (Psalms 2:2‭-‬4 NIV)

    God’s destruction of commercial Babylon is the theme of chapter 18. With the destruction of the satanic empire — the last and greatest human empire, the stage is set for the triumphant return of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Judgement pronounced — Revelation 18:1-3

    After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. With a mighty voice he shouted: “ ‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable animal. For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.” (Revelation 18:1‭-‬3 NIV)

    This solemn pronouncement of judgment gives two reasons for Babylon’s impending destruction: pervasive demonic activity and wretched sensuality. If this angel were to come today and see our country, do you believe he would pronounce such a judgment — “fallen, fallen!” Explain.

    One class member suggested that the angel would proclaim “fallen, fallen” due to the ways America has fallen to transgender ideology, abortion push, lawslessness, and other agendas.

    Another class member suggested that he felt that, although the church seems to be muted by the culture, there was the message of the Church. While the Holy Spirit remained, there would be hope.

    When John saw another angel, the Greek translation from the word, ἄλλον (pronounced “allon”) indicates “another of the same kind” referring to the angel of 17:1.

    “He came down with great authority” indicates that be left the presence of God with delegated authority to act on God’s behalf.

    ” … the earth was illuminated by his splendor” — the earth is plunged in darkness from the 5th bowl judgment (16:10) and the brilliant light of a glorious heavenly being who has been in the presence at God has to be an awe-inspiring sight.

    ” … with a mighty voice, he shouted” — no one will be able to ignore him and his words are words of woe for the Antichrist and his followers.

    “a haunt of every unclean and detestable bird” — symbolizes the city’s total destruction and like carrion birds, the demons will hover over the doomed city, waiting for to fall. The depiction of “unclean and detestable” reflects heaven’s view of the demons.

    The unregenerate people of the world will lust for Babylon, passionately desiring to commit acts of spiritual immorality with her.

    Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. (James 5:1‭-‬5 NIV)

  3. Judgement avoided — Revelation 18:4-5

    Then I heard another voice from heaven say: “ ‘Come out of her, my people,’ so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes. (Revelation 18:4‭-‬5 NIV)

    The use of  ἄλλον (pronounced “allon” and meaning “another of the same kind”) suggests that the speaker is an angel like the one in verse 1. The call is far God’s people to disentangle themselves from the world system. It may also be an evangelistic call to God’s elect to come to faith in Jesus and come out of Satan’s kingdom. In either case, it is a call to abandon the system.

    Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

    Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” (2 Corinthians 6:14‭-‬17 NIV)

    You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. (James 4:4 NIV)

    Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. (1 John 2:15 NIV)

    Believers are to flee Babylon (the world system) so that they will not participate in her sins. The command throughout Scripture is for us as believers to be in the world without being of the world. God’s will is not for us to hunker down somewhere and wait for the end to come.

    How many of us are inclined to do this? Why would we do this? Instead, we are to influence the world for Christ without adopting the world’s values or participating in its sins. What impact does Revelation 18:4-5 have on you, if any?

    When the angels says the sins are piled up to heaven and God has remembered her crimes — this may be an allusion to Genesis 11, when the people of Babel built the tower to heaven, brick upon brick as a sign of their rebellion against God. That’s the way sin is, we put sin upon sin until we build a wall of separation between God and us.

    Notice the distinction between believers and unbelievers. Believers are reflected in the following verse.

    “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. (Isaiah 43:25 NIV)

    But for the defiant, unrepentant unbelievers, there will be no forgiveness only judgment. Does this have any impact on you?

  4. Judgement defined — Revelation 18:6-8

    Give back to her as she has given; pay her back double for what she has done. Pour her a double portion from her own cup. Give her as much torment and grief as the glory and luxury she gave herself. In her heart she boasts, ‘I sit enthroned as queen. I am not a widow; I will never mourn.’ Therefore in one day her plagues will overtake her: death, mourning and famine. She will be consumed by fire, for mighty is the Lord God who judges her. (Revelation 18:6‭-‬8 NIV)

    The angel is speaking to God and calling for vengeance, which parallels the prayers of the martyred saints recorded in Revelation 6:9-10. Babylon has been extended enough grace and heard enough warnings. It is time for vengeance. It is important to note that retaliation belongs to God alone.

    Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. (Romans 12:17 NIV)

    Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:19 NIV)

    The angel who asks for double punishment. Double has the sense of fullness or completeness. Double has been her iniquity; double must be her punishment.

    If the stolen animal is found alive in their possession—whether ox or donkey or sheep—they must pay back double. “If anyone gives a neighbor silver or goods for safekeeping and they are stolen from the neighbor’s house, the thief, if caught, must pay back double. In all cases of illegal possession of an ox, a donkey, a sheep, a garment, or any other lost property about which somebody says, ‘This is mine,’ both parties are to bring their cases before the judges. The one whom the judges declare guilty must pay back double to the other. (Exodus 22:4‭, ‬7‭, ‬9 NIV)

    The angel calls on God a third time to exact complete vengeance on Babylon — Revelation 18:7. Look at the three sins requiring judgement:

    • She was proud, she glorified herself.
    • She pursued self-gratification; she led sensuously.
    • She was guilty of self-sufficiently presumptuously overestimating her power For these sins, Babylon will receive torture and grief. Do we experience these sins today within ourselves and/or “our leaders?”

    “(I)n one day, her plagues will overcome her” Revelation 18:8 — the wicked city will be instantly destroyed — complete devastation.

  5. Judgement lamented — Revelation 18:9-19

    “When the kings of the earth who committed adultery with her and shared her luxury see the smoke of her burning, they will weep and mourn over her. Terrified at her torment, they will stand far off and cry: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, you mighty city of Babylon! In one hour your doom has come!’ “The merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her because no one buys their cargoes anymore— cargoes of gold, silver, precious stones and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk and scarlet cloth; every sort of citron wood, and articles of every kind made of ivory, costly wood, bronze, iron and marble; cargoes of cinnamon and spice, of incense, myrrh and frankincense, of wine and olive oil, of fine flour and wheat; cattle and sheep; horses and carriages; and human beings sold as slaves. “They will say, ‘The fruit you longed for is gone from you. All your luxury and splendor have vanished, never to be recovered.’ The merchants who sold these things and gained their wealth from her will stand far off, terrified at her torment. They will weep and mourn and cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, dressed in fine linen, purple and scarlet, and glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls! In one hour such great wealth has been brought to ruin!’ “Every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea, will stand far off. When they see the smoke of her burning, they will exclaim, ‘Was there ever a city like this great city?’ They will throw dust on their heads, and with weeping and mourning cry out: “ ‘Woe! Woe to you, great city, where all who had ships on the sea became rich through her wealth! In one hour she has been brought to ruin!’ (Revelation 18:9‭-‬19 NIV)

    Nothing an clearly reveals the hardness of sinners hearts as their lack of sorrow over their sins. The kings, the merchants and the seafarers relentlessly refuse to repent and mourn over their sins. Instead, they mourn over the loss of their political strength, commercial wealth, and the greatness of Babylon.

    Revelation 18:12-13 is often translated as “slaves and human lives” (bodies and souls of men) which probably references a market for slaves and human trafficking. Today, it is estimated that close to 25 million people worldwide are bought and sold against their will.

    Do you think our culture today is much different than this Tribulation culture? Explain.

  6. Judgement — Revelation 18:20-24

    “Rejoice over her, you heavens! Rejoice, you people of God! Rejoice, apostles and prophets! For God has judged her with the judgment she imposed on you.” Then a mighty angel picked up a boulder the size of a large millstone and threw it into the sea, and said: “With such violence the great city of Babylon will be thrown down, never to be found again. The music of harpists and musicians, pipers and trumpeters, will never be heard in you again. No worker of any trade will ever be found in you again. The sound of a millstone will never be heard in you again. The light of a lamp will never shine in you again. The voice of bridegroom and bride will never be heard in you again. Your merchants were the world’s important people. By your magic spell all the nations were led astray. In her was found the blood of prophets and of God’s holy people, of all who have been slaughtered on the earth.” (Revelation 18:20‭-‬24 NIV)

    There is rejoicing in heaven while there is mourning on earth. The millstone thrown into the sea is symbolic of the stone disappearing into the sea as Babylon will disappear.

    I think it is appropriate that we ask ourselves, at this juncture, this question: “What is it that we are worshipping? What have we built our life and hope and happiness and security around?” Remember these “Babylonians” and are the Babylonians of Genesis.

    And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” ’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16‭-‬21 NIV)

    Maybe the better question is the “Am I rich towards God or am I storing up treasures for myself?”


God’s final Word – Chapter 17, verses 1 through 18

God’s final Word – The destruction of the final world religion

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. Two timeless truths

    Although the following verses do not encapsulate the only timeless truths of the Bible, they cover two timeless truths central to this lesson:

    1. The uncertainty of life

      Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. (James 4:13‭-‬14 NIV)

      As Christians, we must resist the temptation to follow our natural bent. We must both wait on God and seek Him (knowing that it is, in fact, God that draws us to Him). With that in mind, our plans must acknowledge the control of God and our own lack of control.

    2. The fragility of our world

      Reflect on the invisible virus and its subsets which brought the world to its knees (almost destroying our economic and health systems and causing strife within the nations).

      Does the uncertainty of life or the fragility of the world impact the way you live? Explain.

      One class member said that he is pulled in two ways. On one hand, he has faith in Christ and does not lean on the flesh for this faith. However, his unbelieving co-workers, his relatives that don’t believe, and those neighbors that don’t believe all expect us to wear masks, get the shots, and act fearfully regarding COVID. To those people, we need to comply enough to get their ear; however, not so much as to compromise our message.

      Another class member said that she likewise had faith in Christ; however, she had some expressed fear for her grandchildren as they navigated the maze of transgenderism (as promoted in secular schools) and COVID. Therefore, knowing her limitations, she feared for being able to effectively communicate the truth.

      One day the world will completely unravel, setting the stage for the rise of a world dictator we know is the Antichrist. That’s where we are in today’s study.

  2. Babylon

    Throughout history, Babylon has been an important center of false religion.

    Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4 NIV)

    So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:8‭-‬9 NIV)

    However, Babylon became one of the world’s earliest empires with great religious pride becoming a symbol for godless, humanistic religion in general.

  3. The great prostitute by many waters — Revelation 17:1 and 15

    One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits by many waters. (Revelation 17:1 NIV)

    The chronology halts in chapters 17 and 18 as the scene shifts from God’s judgments to the world empire of the Antichrist, the target of the judgments. John connects the judgment of the harlot with the seven last plagues (Revelation 16:1-21).

    The harlot sits in a position of authority. The “waters” she oversees are the “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues.

    Then the angel said to me, “The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. (Revelation 17:15 NIV)

    The harlot will not only influence but will dominate the unredeemed. The harlot’s authority will be universal and the entire world will be committed to the false worship of the Babylonian system. Do you see a glimpse of that now? Explain. Does anyone hear the approaching hoofbeats?

  4. Spiritual adultery — Revelation 17:2-3

    With her the kings of the earth committed adultery, and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries.” Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. (Revelation 17:2‭-‬3 NIV)

    This is symbolic of spiritual adultery with rulers around the world who are enamored with the Babylonian harlot and false religion. “Those who dwell on the earth or inhabitants of the earth” are technical terms for unbelievers. This imagery is derived from Jeremiah 51:7.

    Babylon was a gold cup in the Lord’s hand; she made the whole earth drunk. The nations drank her wine; therefore they have now gone mad. (Jeremiah 51:7 NIV)

    The scene of John’s vision changes when John is carried away to a wilderness. John sees a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, whose description identifies the beast as the Antichrist. That the woman is sitting on him signifies that he was supporting her. The initial unifying and controlling factor of the Antichrist’s kingdom will be religion. Do false religions seduce people today? Explain.

    Scarlet is associated with sin and the Antichrist will blaspheme God by what he claims and what he says. The seven heads represent the seven past, present and future governments while the 10 horns represent the 10 kings, who will rule as subordinates to the Antichrist. Also, see Revelation 17:9-12

  5. A harlot dressed in colors of royalty — Revelation 17:4-5

    The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: babylon the great the mother of prostitutes and of the abominations of the earth. (Revelation 17:4‭-‬5 NIV)

    The woman is clothed with colors of royalty, prosperity, wealth and sinfulness who is both attractive and wealthy. Something to he admired by the world.

    It was customary for prostitutes to identify themselves in the Roman world and the harlot is identified by the name written on her forehead Babylon is a symbol of worldly resistance to God which is described as “great” because of far reaching influence and it is the source of all false, idolatrous and blasphemous worship in the end time. Again, does this remind you of events of today?

    Satan doesn’t care what you believe as long as you don’t believe in Jesus Christ of the Bible. The spirit Babylonianism is pluralism, inclusivism, or tolerance – the idea that there and many gods and many ways to heaven in the and times the religion concoction will be so inclusive that it will offend nobody and attract everyone. The will teach everything except the right thing. Do you see that happening today in our churches?

  6. The harlot, drunk on the blood of the saints — Revelation 17:6

    I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of God’s holy people, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished. (Revelation 17:6 NIV)

    The two descriptions refer to the same group and describe God’s people throughout history. The important point is that false region is a murderer. The vision is so appalling that John wondered greatly — expressing that he was confused, astonished, and frightened by such a ghastly vision of a magnificent figure of the woman with such deadly intent.

  7. An angelic explanation — Revelation 17:7-14, 18

    Then the angel said to me: “Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and yet will come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because it once was, now is not, and yet will come. “This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits. They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while. The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction. “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will wage war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will triumph over them because he is Lord of Lords and King of kings—and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17:7‭-‬14 NIV)

    The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” (Revelation 17:18 NIV)

    The angel is about to explain to John, in response to his wonder. John did not understand the connections between the two figures — the woman and the beast. Verse 18 identifies the woman as the great city — so, apparently a rebuilt city of Babylon will be closely identified with the Antichrist’s world empire, which will be the center of his kingdom. As Henry M. Morris states in The Revelation Record on page 348:

    Babylon is very near the geographical center of all the earth’s land masses. It is within navigable distances to the Persian Gulf and is at the crossroads of the three great continents of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Thus, there is no more ideal location anywhere for a world trade center, a world banking center, a world educational center, or especially, a world capital!

    In Revelation 17:8-14, John gives a lengthy description of the beast. Scripture portrays him as an

    • Intellectual genius

      “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully. (Daniel 7:8 NIV)

    • Outstanding orator

      I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. (Daniel 7:20 NIV)

    • A military leader

      “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. (Daniel 7:23 NIV)

    • Shrewd, calculating, manipulative politician

      He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power. (Daniel 8:25 NIV)


    • The ultimate religious charlatan

      He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4 NIV)

    The “one who was, and is not, and is about to come again” refers to the Antichrist’s faked death and resurrection which the false prophet uses as a “miracle” to deceive the world into worshipping the Antichrist (Revelation 13:14). After the staged “resurrection,” the Antichrist will be indwelt by a powerful demon out of the abyss.

    The seven mountains are identified as the seven kings — five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come. Five world empires have fallen by the time of this vision — Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The one that existed at the time was Rome. The other one that has not come is the Antichrist’s final world empire. As Henry M. Morris states in The Revelation Record on page 337:

    Though none of these empires every actually ruled the whole globe, each was the greatest kingdom of its time. Particularly in reference to the land and the people of Israel, and these kingdoms’ opposition to the proclamation of God’s Word and the accomplishment of His purposes in the world.

    These, of course, have not been the only kingdoms that have been at enmity with God and His purposes. And this category could also replace such kingdoms as Syria, Edom, Moab, Midian, and many others. But none of these were empires of great size and influence. On the other hand, there were other great and powerful empires in the ancient world: China, India, and the Incas, for example. But these had only peripheral contact with the Word of God and the chosen people. There were only six kingdoms that met both criteria up to the time of Christ and the apostles.

    Furthermore, all six of these were not only legitimate heirs of political Babel, but also of religious Babel as well: Babylonia, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, Greece, and Rome were all strongholds of the world religion of evolutionary pantheism and idolatrous polytheism. Thus, they appropriately are represented as six heads on the great beast that supports the harlot.

    How can the beast be an eighth king and also one of the seven? The Antichrist will be one of the kings before his supposed demise and resurrection and an eighth king afterwards during the second phase of his rule.

    The ten horns are the ten kings who will be part of the Antichrist’s future empire who will rule for a brief period of time (one hour).

    The agenda of the ten kings, like Satan and the Antichrist, will be to wage war against the Lamb at the battle of Armageddon, who will overcome them.

    With Christ when He returns, will be the faithful, the believers!

  8. The harlot destroyed — Revelation 17:16-17

    The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to hand over to the beast their royal authority, until God’s words are fulfilled. (Revelation 17:16‭-‬17 NIV)

    Having used the false religious system to help him gain control of the world, the Antichrist will now discard it.


God’s final Word – Chapter 16, verses 1 through 21

God’s final Word – The Seven Plagues

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. Judgement of sinners

    The Bible is a book of hope and also book of judgment. Because God loves righteousness and faith, He must hate sin and unbelief. He cannot love truth unless he hates lies. He cannot love goodness unless He hates wickedness. He cannot reward unless He punishes What is your position on these statements?

    Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36 NIV)

    God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might (2 Thessalonians 1:6‭-‬9 NIV)

    If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:26‭-‬31 NIV)

    What do you think of these verses?

    The world we live in right now is not the world that God originally created or intended. Mankind’s rebellion against God brought the disorder we see today and many of us believe this rebellion is bringing even more chaos today than ever before on many levels. But, the world will not be this way forever. One day, Jesus Christ is coming back to reclaim those who belong to Him and to recreate the world into one that is free of sin and sickness. However, God must first deal with the evil world of the Tribulation.

    God’s future judgment will not come in one sadden, catastrophic event at the end of time to annihilate all of life. Instead, it will consist of many judgments throughout the Tribulation which grow progressively more severe. Why do you think this pattern of judgments are set up this way?

  2. The execution of the judgements — Revelation 16:1

    Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.” (Revelation 16:1 NIV)

    This loud voice is certainly that of God se no one ele is in the temple (15:8) The fact that God told all seven angels to pour out their bowls indicates that these judgments will take place in quick succession. These bowl judgments are over the whole earth.

    1. The first bowl – Skin boils or ulcers — Revelation 16:2

      The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. (Revelation 16:‬2 NIV)

      These judgments are for unbelievers. Those who come to faith in Jesus during the Tribulation will be spared there judgments although many will be martyred because of their faith. One commentator suggests the sores may be directly related to the mark of the beast. The ulcers or boils will break out on the face or hand where the mark of the beast has been placed-loathsome, ugly, agonizing and incurable that bring pain and misery.

    2. The second bowl – Destruction of sea life — Revelation 16:3

      The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. (Revelation 16:3 NIV)

      With the second bowl judgement, the entire oceanic ecosystem will die. Every species in the sea will become extinct. The sea will become blood; the smell will be overwhelming and the oceans will buzz with flies feasting on bloated, rotting fish. As the oceans cover 70% of the earth’s surface, the effects of this judgment will be worldwide.

      In this toxic ocean nothing can survive, and soon all the billions of fishes and marine mammals and marine reptiles and the innumerable varieties of marine invertebrates will perish, thus still further poisoninng the oceans and contaminating the sea shores of the world. The oceans will have effectively completed their age-long function in earth’s physical economy, and will die. (Henry Morris, The Revelation Record, 298)

    3. The third bowl – Pollution of the fresh water — Revelation 16:4-7

      The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.” (Revelation 16:‬4‭-‬7 NIV)

      The earth’s entire fresh water supply will become undrinkable. Can you imagine what it will be like to have no fresh water?

      At this point, John heard voices from heaven. The first came from the “angel of the waters.” God has angels for everything and apparently this angel has responsibility over the earth’s waters.

      This angel attributes righteousness to God for giving evil humanity what they deserve (16:5 6). What they did to others will be done to them. This is the law of retribution, Why does God get to apply this principle and we can’t? Because God alone is holy and only He is able to design a punishment that fits the crime as He promised.

      I will make your oppressors eat their own flesh; they will be drunk on their own blood, as with wine. Then all mankind will know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” (Isaiah 49:26 NIV)

      The second voice John heard came from the tribulation martyrs who are under the altar of heaven (16:7) This voice echoes the sentiments of the angel.

    4. The fourth bowl – Scorching sun — Revelation 16:8-9

      The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. (Revelation 16:8‭-‬9 NIV)

      The sun will become unimaginably fierce and will scorch unbelievers and they respond by blaspheming the name of God. Amazingly, they know that it is God Who has the power over these plagues, yet they love their sins so much and are so deceived by the Antichrist that they do not repent. Up until this point, only the Antichrist has been described as blaspheming (13:1;5-6). Here, the world adopts his evil character and neither grace not wrath will move their wicked hearts to repentance.

      The sun’s intense heat will melt the polar ice caps causing worldwide flooding with the noxious waters of the dead oceans.

    5. The fifth bowl – Worldwide darkness — Revelation 16:10-11

      The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done. (Revelation 16:10‭-‬11 NIV)

      These unbelievers refine to accept their sin as the cause of darkness. They gnawed their tongues in pain and blasphemed God. The first five plagues were God’s final offer and humanity’s final opportunity for repentance. There will be no more. Their hearts and minds are like the generation in the days of Noah.

      The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. (Genesis 6:5 NIV)

      The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, (Romans 1:18 NIV)

      They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. (Romans 1:25 NIV)

    6. The sixth bowl – the Euphrates river dried up — Revelation 16:12-16

      The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are demonic spirits that perform 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. “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. (Revelation 16:12‭-‬16 NIV)

      Now, there is literal road to Armageddon. The demons “like frogs” gather the kings for the great battle against God at Armageddon. Their intent to destroy Israel and the Jews and “for the war of the great day of Ged, the Almighty” and God brings all the armies into one place to experience His judgement.

    7. The seventh bowl – the final destruction — Revelation 16:17-21

      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 mankind 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, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. (Revelation 16:17‭-‬21 NIV)

      The contents are poured into the air dramatically affecting the earth’s atmosphere-like a nuclear holocaust this will be the vest calamity in the world’s history. “It is done” a similar to Jesus’ final words on the cross “It is finished.” God’s judgment of Christ on Calvary provided salvation for repentant sinners; the judgment of the seventh bowl brings complete doom to unrepentant sinners.

      The great earthquake will shake the whole globe renovating and reconfiguring the earth in preparation of the millennial kingdom. The great city split in three parts is Jerusalem. Zechariah 14:4-10 describes these changes in detail. The physical changes will prepare Jerusalem for the central role it will play in the millennial kingdom. The downfall of Babylon will be described at length in chapters 17 and 18.

      The gentle tolling topography of the world as originally created will be restored. No more will there be great inaccessible, uninhabitable mountain ranges or deserts or ice caps. The physical environment of the millennium will be, in large measure, a restoration of the antediluvian [pre-Flood] environment (Henry M. Morris, The Revelation Record, 321).

      Jerusalem may be the highest point on earth in which Jesus will reign.

      On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. (Zechariah 14:4‭-‬10 NIV)

  3. God’s judgement — Revelation 16:15

    Revelation 16:15 provides the third beatitude of Revelation:

    “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” (Revelation 16:15 NIV)

    After some probing, one class member offered the explanation that we are covered only by the atoning blood of Christ. Otherwise, we are naked before God.

    When asked, one class member remembered that the first blessing promised in Revelation was pronounced on the readers of the book.

    Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3 NIV)

    We all confessed blessing from reading and hearing the study of these verses. Remember also that this blessing depends on reading this prophecy aloud (and, therefore, sharing the message). Therefore, this remains as one more call to fulfill the Great Commission.

    Yet another class member remembered that the second blessing came to those who died faithful to Christ.

    Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13 NIV)

    Admittedly, this blessing seemed opposite of the thinking of even us Christians since it centered on the blessedness of the dead. However, considering that the dead are with Christ and observing things from the divine point of view, all agreed that this would be the most blessed point of view.

    So, for the third time out of seven times in Revelation, God offers us blessing.

    Just as with the offering that Christ gave when he announced “It is finished,” God has offered us blessing. However, sinful humanity has slapped away that offer of blessing to the point that God now announces “It is done.”

    God had to punish someone for our sins and Jesus took our punishment. That’s why the hymn writer says:

    When He shall come with trumpet sound,
    Oh, may I then in Him be found;
    In Him, my righteousness, alone,
    Faultless to stand before the throne.


God’s final Word – Chapter 15, verses 1 through 8

God’s final Word – Blessed are the dead in Christ

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. God’s wrath
    1. Sowing and reaping God’s wrath – People sin and suffer the logical consequences of that sin.

      As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it. (Job 4:8 NIV)

      Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7‭-‬8 NIV)

    2. Cataclysmic wrath – God sends a massive, destructive judgment. The flood (Genesis 6-8) of the entire world; smaller region-Sodom and Gomorrah (Genesis 19)
    3. Wrath of abandonment – God “gives them over” to demonstrate God’s judicial abandonment of sinners, removing restraint to the deadly consequences of their sinful behavior/choices.

      Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. (Romans 1:24‭, ‬26‭, ‬and 28 NIV)

    4. Eternal wrath

      God’s wrath that will be poured out in the future on the whole world resulting in the sentencing of all unrepentant sinners to hell forever.

      The great day of the Lord is near— near and coming quickly. The cry on the day of the Lord is bitter; the Mighty Warrior shouts his battle cry. That day will be a day of wrath— a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness— a day of trumpet and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the corner towers. “I will bring such distress on all people that they will grope about like those who are blind, because they have sinned against the Lord. Their blood will be poured out like dust and their entrails like dung. 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 earth will be consumed, for he will make a sudden end of all who live on the earth. (Zephaniah 1:14‭-‬18 NIV)

      and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath. (1 Thessalonians 1:10 NIV)

      For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9 NIV)

      Paradox: God is busy working to save sinners from His own wrath. God’s nature encompasses not only righteousness and holiness but also grace and mercy.

      What impact do these categories of God’s wrath have on you, if any?

      You have probably heard people say, “I don’t believe in a God of anger. I believe in a God of love.” What is your response? (You are worshipping an imaginary god.)

      God is love – no question about it.

      Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8 NIV)

      The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NIV)

      God is also a God of wrath.

      The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. (Nahum 1:3 NIV)

      Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 NIV)

      God’s holy nature demands that there is a payment for sin. You can either pay for your sin yourself for all eternity or you can allow Christ to have paid for your sin when he died on the cross for you. But God’s holy nature demands that His wrath be poured out on someone for sin; otherwise, He would not be holy, righteous and true to His nature.

  2. The end nears — Revelation 15:1

    I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. (Revelation 15:1 NIV)

    This is the shortest chapter in Revelation and it reveals the end is fast approaching – God is about to get rid of evil and make things right. This is the third sign – the final set of angels executing God’s divine judgment.

    These are the last judgments and the final expression of His wrath.

    The judgments are called “plagues” which are translated as “wounds” which are swift, decisive, and destructive.

    These last judgments immediately precede the second coming of Christ and when the final bowl is drained, “the wrath of God is finished” – the final victory of Jesus Christ.

  3. An image of peace — Revelation 15:2

    And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God (Revelation 15:2 NIV)

    John saw this sea of glass image in Revelation 4:6; Moses and Ezekiel did as well.

    Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. (Revelation 4:6 NIV)

    and saw the God of Israel. Under his feet was something like a pavement made of lapis lazuli, as bright blue as the sky. (Exodus 24:10 NIV)

    Spread out above the heads of the living creatures was what looked something like a vault, sparkling like crystal, and awesome. (Ezekiel 1:22 NIV)

    Here, however, the tranquil beauty of the sea is mixed with the fire of God’s judgment. The believers redeemed during the Tribulation are gathered around the throne. They triumph over the beast, his image and the number of his name because they refused to worship and bow down to him. They are holding harps indicating they are rejoicing and singing praise to God.

  4. A song — Revelation 15:3-4

    and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (Revelation 15:3‭-‬4 NIV)

    The redeemed saints sing the song of Moses.

    Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord: “I will sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea. “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a warrior; the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea. The best of Pharaoh’s officers are drowned in the Red Sea. The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone. Your right hand, Lord, was majestic in power. Your right hand, Lord, shattered the enemy. “In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you. You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble. By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up. The surging waters stood up like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea. (Exodus 15:1‭-‬8 NIV)

    This is a song of victory and deliverance as well as song of judgment of God’s enemies. The song of the Lamb was first heard in Revelation 5:9-10; 12-13 as they sing of their eternal Redeemer.

    And they sang a new song, saying: “You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God persons from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth.” In a loud voice they were saying: “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:9‭-‬10‭, ‬12‭-‬13 NIV)

    John Phillips compares and contrasts the two songs:

    The song of Moses was sung at the Red Sea, the song of the Lamb is sung at the crystal sea; the song of Moses was a song of triumph over Egypt, the song of the Lamb is a song of triumph over Babylon; the song of Moses told how God brought His people out, the song of the Lamb tells how God brings His people in; the song of Moses was the first song in Scripture, the song of the Lamg is the last. The song of Moses commemorated the execution of the foe, the expectation of the saints, and the exaltation of the Lord; the song of the Lamb deals with the same three themes. (Exploring Revelation, revised edition [Chicago: Moody, 1987; reprint], 187)

  5. The presence of God — Revelation 15:5-8

    After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. (Revelation 15:5‭-‬8 NIV)

    The temple of the tabernacle of testimony refers to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary where God’s presence dwells, emphasizing that God is the source of the plagues. The seven angels came out of the temple because the time has come for the final judgments to be poured out on the world.

    The Greek word for “bowls” refers to shallow saucers handed to them by one of the four living creatures. The smoke symbolizes God’s glory and power as well as His wrath. The glory cloud will remain in the heavenly temple until the earth is cleansed and prepared for the King and His kingdom. This scene establishes the background for Revelation 16.

    Once the wrath of God was poured ovo sus Christ because of what He did for sinners; in the future, wrath will be poured on sners because of what they did to Jesus Christ.

  6. Condemned or redeemed

    One day every person will be forced to face reality. We each will take our last breath on this earth. Time will be no more. We will each have a spiritual passport clutched in our hand. What will it read? For many, it will be stamped “CONDEMNED” but because of the grace of God through Jesus Christ, others will read “REDEEMED”. What will yours say? The message of this chapter is that you can say “no” to God’s grace so often that you have lost the opportunity for repentance and forgiveness and it’s too late to go to the throne of grace.

    And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. (Revelation 15:8 NIV)

    If you do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ, now is the time. If you wait, it could be too late.


God’s final Word – Chapter 14, verses 12 and 13

God’s final Word – Blessed are the dead in Christ

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

    1. Blessed are the dead in Christ — Revelation 14:12-13

      This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:12‭-‬13 NIV)

      The Greek word Μακάριοι (pronounced “makarioi”) translates to “blessed” which refers to spiritual joy an satisfaction. It describes an inner joy that is the fulfillment of contentment and peace.

      Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalms 32:1‭-‬2 NIV)

      Praise the Lord. Blessed are those who fear the Lord, who find great delight in his commands. (Psalms 112:1 NIV)

      Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29 NIV)

      Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12 NIV)

      Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (Revelation 1:3 NIV)

      Do you consider yourself blessed? Explain.

      One class member pointed to God’s promise to never lose us from his hand. Our salvation does not depend on our grip of God. God holds us in his hand. Therefore, that class member feels himself very blessed. Further, we receive blessing by reading the Word, by praying, and by meeting together.

      Mark Ramsey then read the story How the Church (and the State) Failed Abigail Martinez by Mo Hodge Ministry:

      Recently, at The Celebration of America’s Promise to Parents event, hosted by the Alliance Defending Freedom, Abigail Martinez, a grieving mother, shared a story that every single parent, pastor, and lawmaker in America needs to hear. Abigail’s daughter Yaeli began to struggle with depression when she was in the 8th grade. Without communication with her mother, Yaeli was quickly funneled by personnel at her school towards the LGBTQ group, and then to an outside psychologist. Soon, Yaeli was being led by these adults towards a “social transition,” going by the name “Andrew” and increasingly presenting as a boy. All the while, she was urged to keep the details hidden from her family.  

      Once she caught wind, Abigail protested both the secrecy and the strategy of this counseling, urging the counselors to instead look into underlying issues of Yaeli’s mental health. Instead, she was told that by refusing to call her daughter by her new name and pronouns, she was the problem. If anything happened to Yaeli, the school said, it would be Abigail’s fault.  

      From that moment on, the system boxed her out at every turn. When Yaeli was 16, the school psychologist urged the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services to intervene, arguing that because her mom was “unsupportive” of her social transition, Yaeli would be better off living elsewhere. Yaeli was moved to a group home, where she started taking cross-sex hormones. Abigail was only allowed to see her daughter for one hour each week, supervised, and strictly warned not to bring up anything relating to her daughter’s transition, including their Christian faith. If she did, her visitation rights would be revoked.  

       “If we keep [Yaeli] out of your home,” Abigail remembered being told, “she [will] have more chance to survive. She’s not going to try to commit suicide.”  

      Instead, all the while, Yaeli’s mental health continued to decline. The testosterone caused her constant pain, for which a doctor prescribed CBD oil. “She was taking the [cross-sex] hormones; she was not happy,” her mother said. “She changed her name, [but] was not happy, she adopted a dog because that was going to make her happy. None of it, everything that they’ve done, didn’t work.”  

      At age 19, having moved out of the group home and pursued her new identity for about three years, Yaeli took her own life. As Abigail later told The Daily Signal, “I don’t want any parent to go through this, because this pain never goes away. … You breathe and you can feel the pain.”  

      It’s hard to imagine a tragedy like this could happen. It’s hard to believe that a parent could lose custody to the state, simply for holding to a child’s biological sex. What’s not hard to imagine is that Yaeli Martinez will not be the last victim of these bad ideas, indoctrinated by state power. 

      Local governments like Los Angeles County aggressively promote the doctrine of “gender-affirming care,” even if it means tearing a family apart. On a state level, one California senator has proposed a bill empowering courts to remove children, not just from California residents, but from anyone who travels to the state and whose children claim their parents do not support them in their gender identity or sexual orientation choices. A similar case recently unfolded in Ohio, where a county prosecutor charged a couple with “abuse and neglect” for seeking counseling instead of transition for their daughter. And in Michigan, it is very likely that a ballot initiative will be taken to the voters this November utilizing the language of “reproductive freedom” to usurp parental rights in similar ways. 

      Through these laws, the state perpetuates grave evil. In the case of Yaeli Martinez, the silence of her church was even more tragic. When at the state-assigned group home, Yaeli repeatedly asked her mother when a pastor or youth leader might come visit. She had felt close to these leaders and was eager to see them. “[They] know I’m here, right?” Abigail remembered her daughter asking.  

      As Abigail said, “I asked them. I gave them the address.” But they never visited. Not Abigail. Not Yaeli. No public support from the pulpit. No private support either. Abigail Martinez has walked this path all alone.  

      In this, Abigail was the victim of a church culture designed around making people feel good and dodging difficult issues. Shame on them. Yaeli Martinez will not be the last teenager in crisis. 

      (The reading ended, but the article continues)

      All agreed that it was wrong for the schools to take the actions taken. All also admitted that the Church cannot afford to have “feel good” portions within it.

      How do you consider yourself blessed based Revelation 1:3?

      The whole class related how they felt blessed by the reading of this prophecy.

      There are 7 beatitudes in Revelation and this is the second one, which pronounces blessing on the dead in Christ specifically during the Tribulation.

      Even in Jesus’ sermon on the beatitudes, the last three apply to the Tribulation saints.

      Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:1‭-‬12 NIV)

      1. Focus on the blessing of the saints — Revelation 14:12

        This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. (Revelation 14:12‭ NIV)

        John calls attention to the imminent fulfillment of all God’s promises to the faithful saints through the ages but there is a particular promise to the martyrs of this last half of the Tribulation because there will never be a period of such intense and universal persecution like this.

        1. Patient endurance: this reveals that believers’ death are blessed because death ushers us into the glories of heaven. True saving faith is internal and cannot be lost or destroyed. Also known as the doctrine of eternal security or “once saved, always saved.”
          1. God’s promise established this:

            For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV)

            Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them. (John 3:36 NIV)

            “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24 NIV)

          2. God’s purpose assures this:

            For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40 NIV)

          3. God’s power guarantees this:

            My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:27‭-‬29 NIV)

          4. This is wholly God’s grace:

            For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8‭-‬9 NIV)

          Based on God’s promise, purpose, power, and grace, do you believe you will be blessed when you die? Explain.

        2. How is this patient endurance evident?
          1. The saints obey the commandments of God:

            To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. (John 8:31 NIV)

            Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” (John 14:21 NIV)

            You are my friends if you do what I command. (John 15:14 NIV)

            In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, (1 John 5:3 NIV)

          2. The saints remain faithful to Jesus: The Tribulation saints will remain loyal to Jesus, even under the tyrannical reign of the Antichrist.

            In our culture today, how can we remain faithful to Jesus and obey the commandments of God? Explain.

            One class member reiterated his comments on staying in the Word, staying in touch with other believers for praise and confessing sins (keeping on the narrow path), and staying in prayer.

      2. Recording the voice from heaven — Revelation 14:13

        Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:13 NIV)

        This is the 6th time that John heard a voice from heaven and he will hear it 3 more times. The voice commanded John write. He is commanded 12 times to write, in addition to the seven commands in the letters to the seven churches, as he was under a divine mandate to record the visions he saw.

        Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his faithful servants. (Psalms 116:15 NIV)

        Those who died in the Lord and those from now on. All those in the past and the future. However, this is a specific promise and assurance to the Tribulation saints.

        The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life. (Revelation 22:17 NIV)

        The Holy Spirit is quoted directly here and in Revelation 22:17. His is an emphatic “yes” in the Greek and they are blessed because they rest from their labors – during the Tribulation, their lives will be a hard, difficult, and dangerous struggle for survival. They will be excluded from society, unable to buy or sell and will live as fugitives.

        They are also blessed because their deeds follow them. Deeds refer to their service to the Lord.

        God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. (Hebrews 6:10 NIV)

        If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. (1 Corinthians 3:12‭-‬14 NIV)

        What are some deeds that may follow Christ followers in death today? Do you ever consider this in your life today?

        A class member mentioned the prime deed that will follow us: witnessing. The souls who get added as the result of our obedience to the Great Commission will be deeds that will follow us. Another class member suggested that just witnessing might follow us. After our death or being taken away, that person who heard the witness might consider it again and be saved. One class member pointed to the writings of Paul, John, and the other apostles as deeds that have remained long after their departure to heaven.

        One of the most challenging incentives to faithfulness in labor and seed-sowing is the possibility that some of our own labor may bear fruit to help win souls after our death and even during the Tribulation.

        The truth is the choices we make during this life will irreversibly chart the course of our eternal destiny. Do you believe this and, if so, how does it impact your daily life?


God’s final Word – Chapter 14, verses 1 through 5

God’s final Word – Triumphant Saints

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. Triumphant living

    Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1‭-‬5 NIV)

    The Bible speaks of the Christian life in triumphant terms.

    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37 NIV)

    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 the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4‭-‬5 NIV)

    But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV)

    But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. (2 Corinthians 2:14 NIV)

    However, believers’ triumphs and victories in this life are incomplete and marred by setbacks and defeats. The world, the flesh and the devil take their toll on our best efforts. Regardless, today, would you describe yourself as living in triumphant terms? Explain.

    One class member said that he lived triumphant because Christ conquered all. Another class member quoted Romans 8:37 saying “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”

    Chapter 14 is a bright contrast to the darkness of chapter 13. Chapter 14 describes the Lamb, angels, redeemed saints, genuine worship and those sealed by God. In chapter 13, there is falsehood, wickedness, corruption and blasphemy. In chapter 14, there is truth, righteousness, purity and praise.

    This passage yields important practical principles for triumphant Christian living today.

    Please note that the events in chapter 14 are not in chronological order. Jesus does not return until chapter 19 and He sets up His kingdom in chapter 20. John saw a preview of what is to come, like a trailer for a movie coming out soon. By the way, this is what we are doing in studying Revelation – allowing God to remind us of the victory that is still to come.

    These 144,000 faithful followers of Jesus fulfill these prophecies:

    Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above. For out of Jerusalem will come a remnant, and out of Mount Zion a band of survivors. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. (Isaiah 37:31‭-‬32 NIV)

    “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will gather the lame; I will assemble the exiles and those I have brought to grief. I will make the lame my remnant, those driven away a strong nation. The Lord will rule over them in Mount Zion from that day and forever. (Micah 4:6‭-‬7 NIV)

    During the Tribulation, they will confront unbelievers, call them to Christ through repentance and faith and proclaim catastrophes of the coming judgments. How do you compare yourself to these believers? Explain.

    A class member noted that she makes a point to not compare herself to others. Furthermore, it would be hard to determine just how one would react to the extreme circumstances of the tribulation. 

  2. The marking of both sides — Revelation 14:1

    Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1 NIV)

    This is a monumental moment in redemptive history.

    “I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.” I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, “You are my son; today I have become your father. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.” (Psalms 2:6‭-‬9 NIV)

    The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory. (Isaiah 24:23 NIV)

    Unbelievers will receive the mark of the beast (13:16-17) and the 144,000 (12,000 Jewish believers from each of the twelve tribes of Israel) will have the mark of God placed on their foreheads (7:3) for their protection. They will preach the gospel and they will not be harmed regardless of Satan and the unbelievers’ desire to kill them.

    Despite all Satan’s efforts, all 144,000 will survive and meet Jesus on Mount Zion at the second coming. They will enter the millennial kingdom as living men.

    Only the redeemed people will enter the kingdom. When Satan is released at the end of 1,000 years, he will lead a rebellion against Christ. How can this happen?

    One class member pointed to the children born to those who accept Christ during the Tribulation (but are not martyred).

    Children will be born to the redeemed and some will not believe. In fact, there will be enough unregenerate people by the end of the Millennium for Satan to lead a worldwide rebellion.

    When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Revelation 20:7‭-‬10 NIV)

    Scripture speaks of salvation during the Millennium – a salvation the 144,000 will no doubt proclaim. Do you find it amazing that people will rebel against Jesus at the end of the Millennium?

    One class member noted that, due to the depravity of the current generation, nothing surprises him.

    Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60:3 NIV)

    This is what the Lord Almighty says: “In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, ‘Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.’ ” (Zechariah 8:23 NIV)

  3. The voice of God — Revelation 14:2-3

    And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. (Revelation 14:2‭-‬3 NIV)

    and I saw the glory of the God of Israel coming from the east. His voice was like the roar of rushing waters, and the land was radiant with his glory. (Ezekiel 43:2 NIV)

    His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. (Revelation 1:15 NIV)

    Ezekiel 43:2 likens the voice of God to the sound of many waters and Revelation 1:15 describes the voice of the Lord Jesus in the same manner. This mighty voice had a musical quality-harps in the Old Testament are frequently associated with joyous praise.

    Heaven will resound with joyous praise when Jesus returns in triumph to establish His earthly kingdom.

    What is the new song? The song of redemption. All heaven will overflow with praise because God’s redemptive work culminating in the return of Christ is accomplished.

    Why is the song restricted to the 144,000? Scripture doesn’t say but Henry Morris offers a possible explanation in The Revelation Record, p.260.

    The song was a new song, never before heard in earth or heaven. The theme of the song is not revealed but whatever it is, it is uniquely appropriate to the unique experiences of this unique body of 144,000 dedicated Christian witnesses. They had been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, protected by the name of the Father sealed on their foreheads, and completely dedicated to His service and testimony. Many have been Christ’s faithful witnesses and martyrs through the centuries, but never a group like this. The song which they singno one else could ever really “learn” (the Greek word means “experimentally understand”). The heavenly assembly could sing the words and the tune, but only the 144,000 could truly understand its meaning, for it was their new song.

    The Scriptures tell of nine “new songs,” and each one speaks of a glorious theme specifically designed for the singer of the song. The first six are in the book of Psalms (Psalm 33:3; 40:3; 96:1; 98:1;144:9;149:1) and one is in Isaiah 42:10. One of the new songs was sung by the redeemed host at the throne of the Lamb when He received the earth’s title (Revelation 5:9). The last new song is here on this occasion. One other song is mentioned in Revelation, but it is not a “new song,” being identified rather as “the song of Moses, and of the Lamb” (see on Revelation 15:3).

    Although the words of the song of the 144,000 are not recorded, it surely dwells in part at least on the great truth that they had been “redeemed from the earth.” Although in one sense all saved people have been redeemed from the earth, these would know the meaning of such a theme in a more profound way than others. They had been saved after the rapture, at that time in history when man’s greatest persecutions and God’s greatest judgements were on the earth. It was at such a time that they, like Noah (Genesis 6:8), had “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and had been separated from “all that dwell upon the earth” (Revelaton 13:8). Not only had they been redeemed spiritually but, precursively as it were, they had been redeemed from the very curse on the earth (Genesis 3:17), being protected from pain and death by the guarding seal. Further, they had apparently even been set free from the very presence of sin in their lives in order to accomplish the unique and demanding ministry ordained for them by the Lamb.

  4. The darkness of the Tribulation — Revelation 14:4

    These are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they remained virgins. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among mankind and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. (Revelation 14:4 NIV)

    In the midst of the darkness of the Tribulation period, with all divine restraint removed and sin is released like a flood, the 144,000 will shine forth like beacons of purity. The sexual purity reference means that they will stand apart from the sin of the culture. (14:4a)

    They will be completely loyal to the Lamb no matter what the cost. (14:4b) Do you follow Jesus wherever He goes? Are you willing to obey Him regardless of the cost? Explain. In other parts of the world today, many are paying a steep price for following Jesus. The 144,000 may legitimately be viewed as the first fruits of redeemed Israel in the Tribulation period. (14:4c)

  5. God’s Truth — Revelation 14:5

    No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:5 NIV)

    They will speak God’s truth without compromise.

    They will do no wrong; they will tell no lies. A deceitful tongue will not be found in their mouths. They will eat and lie down and no one will make them afraid.” (Zephaniah 3:13 NIV)

    “Blameless” is better understood as sanctified who are called to holiness. Does the description of the 144,000 convict you as a follower of Jesus? (sexually chaste; follow the Lamb without hesitation; they have no lies on their lips; they are set apart for holiness in an unholy world)

    Take some time to do a self-examination. Is my lifestyle an unspoken testimony of God’s grace?

    1. Do keep myself pure and above reproach?
    2. Do I practice immediate obedience to the statements of Scripture? Or, do delay, rationalize and pick and choose what to obey?
    3. Do consider my speech against the standard of absolute truth? Or, do tell half-truths or deception?
    4. Do cultivate a blameless lifestyle that remains the same in private and in public?

    These 144,000 will spearhead the greatest revival the world will ever know. Their lives and ministry provide a pattern for us to follow. Will you be part of the effort to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with the culture that surrounds you?


God’s final Word – Chapter 13, verses 11 through 18

God’s final Word – The False Prophet

The following comes through the notes of Mark Ramsey and the responses of the class.

  1. The False Prophet — Revelation 13:11

    Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. (Revelation 13:11 NASB1995)

    The major weapons in Satan’s arsenal are deception and manipulation.

    You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44 NASB)

    No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:14‭-‬15 NASB)

    in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. (2 Corinthians 4:4 NASB)

    Do you believe you have ever been deceived or manipulated by the devil or his minions? If so, what was the result? How did you recognize it and recover?

    One class member admitted that she had been deceived by a preacher on television (who she named, but the name was too faint for me to hear); however, when the preaching did not align with the Bible, that class member abandoned the preacher.

    Another class member shared that he been deceived by a business partner.

    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15 NASB)

    But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will also be false teachers among you, who will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction upon themselves. (2 Peter 2:1 NASB)

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1 NASB)

    False prophets have plagued God’s people from the beginning of history. But they will proliferate even more as the return of Christ to establish His kingdom approaches. The devil will intensify his efforts.

    for false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. (Mark 13:22 NASB)

    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1 NASB1995)

    Knowing this, what is your response?

    One class member pointed to how we have had to deal with Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Therefore, we should be able to handle the lies Satan will create to cover for the Antichrist (however, luckily, we won’t be there).

    The false prophet in the Tribulation will be the final false prophet and he will be Satan’s last and most powerful lying deceiver. The false prophet, who will counterfeit the Holy Spirit, will form the satanic false trinity with the Antichrist and Satan. He will be the high priest and religious leader of the Antichrist, who will lead the people into the satanic religion of worshipping Antichrist. The false prophet will deify Antichrist and convince unbelievers that he is the only hope for the world’s salvation.

    Do you think the world is “ripe” for such a situation? Explain.

    One class member pointed to political commentators who worked against President Trump and now are denouncing Governor DeSantis. That class member did not defend the sometimes gruff words of President Trump, but supported the righteous end-acts of both President Trump and Governor DeSantis.

    Another class member pointed out that we are not to put our trust in Earthly princes (but in God — something everyone agreed to).

  2. Another of the same kind — Revelation 13:11

    Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. (Revelation 13:11 NASB)

    The Greek term ἄλλο (pronounced “allo” and meaning “another of the same kind”) indicates that this beast like the first beast, will be a person.

    This beast will come out of the earth. He will be indwelt by a demon out of the abyss. Coming out of the earth suggests that he will be less overpowering and terrifying than the Antichrist.

    Two horns vs. ten horns indicates he is less powerful and as harmless as a lamb. He is a subtle deceiver.

    He is a child of hell because he spoke as a dragon. He will be the dragon’s mouthpiece. He will speak deceiving words of praise about the Antichrist, luring the world to worship him.

  3. Demonic power and authority — Revelation 13:12-14

    He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who *had the wound of the sword and has come to life. (Revelation 13:12‭-‬14 NASB)

    The false prophet will exercise the same kind of demonic power and authority as the Antichrist as both are empowered by Satan. “In the Antichrist’s presence” implies that the Antichrist will delegate authority to him. He will lead the worldwide cult of Antichrist worship.

    The efforts to promote worship of the Antichrist will receive a boost when he apparently is healed from a fatal wound and the false prophet performs great signs of his own.

    that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:9‭-‬10)

    Although the inhabitants (unbelievers) will be deceived, God’s elect will not be deceived.

    For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (Mark 13:22 NIV)

    There will be a blasphemous image set up most likely on the temple grounds in Jerusalem and will be connected with the abomination of desolation.

  4. The image gets breath — Revelation 13:15-18

    And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 13:15‭-‬18 NASB)

    This image may be a humanoid image of the Antichrist, some type of artificial intelligence that sounds and acts like the real person, that will deceive people into worshipping it and the beast it represents. Those who do not worship the image will be killed. Many of those martyred saints mentioned in chapters 6 and 7 will be killed at this time. Not all believers will be killed.

    All unbelievers will be given a mark. The mark will signify that the person bearing the mark is a follower of the Antichrist.

    Without the mark, no one will be able to buy and sell. The Antichrist will maintain strict economic control over the world. We already know microchips are being utilized in the world for financial records as well as medical records and proof of vaccines.

    Imagine that you live in this time in which a professing Christian is outlawed and punished by death. The soldiers of the government are patrolling the neighborhood and arresting those suspected of being Christians. You are confronted and asked, “are you a Christian?” You have a choice to make. Either deny Christ and live or confess Him and die. Can you imagine such a scenario and your response?

    Intensify the scene. Your spouse, children, or grandchildren are with you. “Reject Christ or they die!”

    This is going on in the world today.

    The mark will be the name of the beast or the number of his name.

    Most people will follow the safe course by worshipping the beast. Revelation 14:9-11 warns of their fate.

    A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives its mark on their forehead or on their hand, they, too, will drink the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. They will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment will rise for ever and ever. There will be no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and its image, or for anyone who receives the mark of its name.” (Revelation 14:9‭-‬11 NIV)

    These passages stand as a warning to the unbelieving world and a challenge to believers to lead watchful, godly lives and to share the message of hope of Jesus in an increasingly hopeless world before it is too late. It is possible to say “no” to God once too often. We are called to rescue the souls of those who are walking aimlessly or arrogantly to disaster and death by faithfully proclaiming the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Will you choose to follow Jesus by denying yourself, taking up the cross and following Him in your daily life?