Sunday, March 24, 2013

The First Trumpet and First Bowl

The first trumpet – Greenery is burned.

The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. 8:7

   In 8:4 the prayers and the incense were mixed together, then, together with fire from the altar, it was cast to the earth, but in 8:7 the fire is mingled with blood and is cast upon the earth. There followed hail and fire mixed together in (a shower of) blood. Wuest#

  The first angel sounded the warning!  Will anyone pay attention?  Here is something that should cause people to take note.  Thirty-three percent of the trees and all the green grass was burned up.  If this is a statement of prophecy, as it seems to be, it is easy to see that by including trees John would, of course, have included fruit trees and also crop bearing grasses and perhaps edible root plants.
   Maybe this refers to the thinning of the Ozone layer, the burning of carbon based fuels and the deforestation of 33 percent of the world's forests.

The First Bowl – Loathsome sores

So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.16:2 

   The effects of the first trumpet and the first bowl of wrath appear to be different, but they are not contradictory. The similarity between the two is that both, seemingly, affected the flora and fauna of the earth.

   Wuest# translates this part of 16:2 like this, there came a foul and pernicious suppurated sore.  Suppurated means pus forming.

   One of the best ways to stay healthy is by choosing an array of foods to boost your immune system. Eating healthy, antioxidant-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables, ... is an important part of maintaining good immune system health to help ward off infection and illness.  from Guide 

 Because the formation of pus usually indicates a bacterial infection, people with conditions that weaken the immune system have a higher risk of infection and subsequent pus formation. Better Medicine from HealthGrades

Therefore, it is easy to see that if the biosphere, including vegetarian health foods of the earth, are destroyed a foul and loathsome sore, because of an unhealthy diet, would befall mankind.

It is interesting to note that this affects only those who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image.

f)      The Seven Angels

   Mentioned earlier, was the fact that before we were finished with the seven trumpets and the seven bowls of wrath, we would encounter seven other angels.  Here we meet the first of those seven.

The Angel predicting Gloom

Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, “he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.” Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’ ” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them.” 14:9-13 

   The warning of eternal punishment is given to all who will receive the mark of the beast and to those who worship him.  This punishment will be given in response to God's anger and the wine of His anger is poured out undiluted.   They have no rest refers to the fact that the torment never abates.  There is no need for anyone to adopt this form of suffering for himself or herself.   God's grace, His calls and temporal chastening should have been enough to cause any soul to repent.  

  There, also, is no basis for misunderstanding God's message.  It is not involved (people make it involved).  God says, Repent and worship me.   14:9+11 make the reason for the torment clear.  It is because people worship the beast and his image and receive the mark of his name or, as written in The Living Bible, for they have worshipped the creature and his statue, and have been tattooed with the code of his name. If tattooed is an acceptable word to use to convey the proper meaning than this coding is certainly much more physical than that represented by learning Satan's will and doing it, as was mentioned earlier.

   The punishment is not meted out at this point in the Apocalypse; this is just a warning. The sentencing comes after the battle of Armageddon, at the judgment seat of Christ. We cringe at the idea of eternal punishment for humans.  Maybe this is not what the Bible means, but how we feel about it will not change its meaning.  Perhaps, if we could see the awfulness of humanity's sin, as Jehovah does, we would understand why such a penalty would be fitting.

   Here is the patience of the saints.  We will deal with this phrase in 13:10.

 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.  This statement would have no meaning if it were placed after the Rapture of The Church, which is recorded in 11:19.  Christians will still be on earth after the carnal church has been dealt the death blow; in other words, the rapture can not happen before the great tribulation.


# An Expanded Translation, K.W. Wuest.

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