The Seven Last Plagues
What is said of those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark?
"If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation." Rev. 14:9, 10.
What is the wrath of God?
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." "And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever." Rev. 15:1, 7.
Will there be any service in the heavenly temple while these plagues are being poured out?
"And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from His power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled." Rev. 15:8.
NOTE: This shows that during the pouring out of these plagues, there will be no intercession for sinners in the temple above; hence the time of salvation will then be passed. This is the reason why it is said by the third angel that those who receive the mark of the beast will have visited on them the wrath of God "without mixture;" that is, without any mixture of mercy. It also presents the fact that the message of the third angel is to be the last special one before the close of probation.
Will probation have been closed for a period when Christ comes?
"He that is unjust, let him be unjust still; and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still; and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly." Rev. 22:11, 12.
NOTE: If all, both good and bad, remain as they are from a certain time to the coming of Christ, still future (a short time called "quickly"), it follows that before He comes, there will be a space of time in which no one's condition can be changed for the better, no matter how earnestly he may desire it. As it was in the days before the flood, so it will be in this case. God did not suffer the door of the ark to remain open till the day of the flood actually came; for then thousands would have flocked into it, to be saved, who had derided Noah's message. Noah was shut into the ark some days before the flood came, even while the sky was clear. The act of shutting him and his companions in, shut all others out, and they could not afterward change their situation. So it will be in the future: probation will close even before the plagues of God begin to fall.
What will be the first plague, and on whom will it fall?
"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." Rev. 16:2.
How many will worship the beast?
"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life." Rev. 13:8.
NOTE: Then the plague will be nearly universal.
What will constitute the second plague?
"And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea." Rev. 16:3.
What will be the third plague?
"And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood." Rev. 16:4.
Why will the Lord give them blood to drink?
"For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy." Rev. 16:6.
NOTE: That is, those who have opposed the commandments of God, and in trying to drive the saints to worship the beast and his image and receive his mark, have caused their death, either actually or intentionally, will be given blood to drink.
What will the fourth plague bring?
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat." Rev. 16:8, 9.
What will be the effect of the fifth?
"And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain." Rev. 16:10.
What promise applies at this time to those who have loved the truth?
"A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." Ps. 91:7-10.
What takes place under the sixth plague?
"And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared." Rev. 16:12.
NOTE: It is not likely that this has reference to the literal river, for that never was a hindrance to the armies of the East. A thousand years before Christ, the kings of Assyria, in their campaigns, crossed it regularly every spring--the very time when its waters were highest. That this refers to the power ruling in the country of the Euphrates, and not to the literal river, is strengthened by the fact that Isaiah, in speaking of the king of Assyria and his armies, plainly calls the "The waters of the river strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks. Isa. 8:7.
When the seventh angel pours out his vial, what is heard?
"And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done." Rev. 16:17.
Whose is this voice?
"The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter His voice from His holy habitation; He shall mightily roar upon His habitation; He shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth." Jer. 25:30.
What then takes place?
"And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." Rev. 16:18 (Haggai 2:21) (Heb. 12:26).
What accompanies the earthquake?
"And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." Rev. 16:21.
What will the people of God do in this time?
"The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Joel 3:16.
To prepare the people for this terrible time, what will the Lord send beforehand?
The third angel's message.
At the expiration of this message, what will take place?
The close of probation, and the seven last plagues.
What will then come upon those who have rejected that message?
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord; and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it." Amos 8:11-12.
When the people shall thus cry for the bread of life, what will the Lord say to them?
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all My counsel, and would none of My reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." Prov. 1:24-26.
How does the Saviour represent the condition of such?
"When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are." Luke 13:25.
Is not the third angel's message, then, an important one for this generation?