SHEER THEOLOGICAL NONSENSE
“No Prophecy of the Scripture is of Any Private Interpretation”
(An Eschatological Treatise)
by Doug Krieger
BLINDED BY RELIGIOUS ARROGANCE -
What George Davis and Michael Clark are saying in their piece, HOW ARE THE MIGHTY FALLEN (the tribnet highlights the article) strikes at the core of today’s COMMERCIAL APOSTASY afflicting the Church. Moreover, drunk with the wine of wealth—they (the false prophets and teachers overwhelming the Church) now seek political power which replaces the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
Beneath the crust of today’s “religious commercialism” lies a religious arrogance and pride, coupled with spiritual superiority, that has become the bane of the Church. This is NOT news—for the “Scribes and Pharisees” in Jesus’ time were plagued by this pathology.
They specialized in straining at gnats and swallowing camels (Matthew 23:24), while all the time heaping religious contempt upon the suffering masses. Their specialty, amidst their horrific hypocrisies and superlative distortions of the very Word of God to which they boasted they so rigorously adhered, belied their true condition: “Inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence . . . . Inside you are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness . . . . Inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness (Matthew 23:25b, 27b, 28b).
The depiction given by Jesus of the religious leaders of his day is perhaps one of the most intense diatribes ever recorded in Holy Writ (Matthew 23). Jesus spares utterly no contempt, no derisive expression, in deploring their blindness—using the word “blind” in His description of these insightful “fools” – another word descriptive of their condition (which Jesus uses in connection with the word “blind” – as in “Ye fools and blind!” – Matthew 23:17, 19).
The “Scribes and Pharisees” who sat in Moses’ seat (Matthew 23:2b) had evolved into an elitist cabal of self-righteous religious bigots whose external cups were clean—but whose insides were full of religious filth; whose whitewashed tombs radiated outward beauty, but inside were full of dead men’s bones and corruption; whose outward righteousness simply concealed the travesty of their hypocrisy and rebellious condition.
They wore broad phylacteries—while bashing people over the head with the Law of Moses itself! Theirs was a world of OUTWARD religiosity and hyper-spirituality, full of superficial pomp and complicated circumstance which few, if any—especially themselves—could attain. Alas! They had become “Serpents, offspring of vipers!” incapable of escaping the condemnation of hell itself (Matthew 23:33).
Well did Jesus declare of them:
“Whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers” (Matthew 23:3-4).
Indeed, like a blindfolded dolt who grasps the tale of a rat and declares: “I have within my hand the immensity of an ELEPHANT!” Even so, these “blind leaders of the blind” had extrapolated the Law to include all manner of extraneous duties and responsibilities, while they “neglected the weightier matters of the law; justice and mercy and faith” (Matthew 23:23).
Again—straining at the GNAT, they swallowed the CAMEL! In sum—and to this I refocus upon the title of this article—these short-sighted, pharisaical enforcers of their own religious standards, had TWISTED THE SCRIPTURES to such an extent that their original intent had become the furthest thing from the Almighty’s plan and purpose for His people. They had become, as Paul later explained to Timothy: “Desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm” (I Tim. 1:7). What they were so adamant about is precisely of what they knew the least.
ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (II Tim. 4:3)
Most assuredly, at issue here is NOT the “spiritual meat” of God’s Word that will “nourish” His people—but the ABUSE and HANDLING of His Word which leads to “disputes rather than godly edification which is in faith . . . (for) the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith” (I Tim. 1:4b-5).
Today, the Holy Spirit is after an INWARD TRANSFORMATION of the heart—not an OUTWARD expression of religious compliance having nothing to do with the original intent of SOUND DOCTRINE!
I don’t know if you can follow my rambling here—but remember the guy holding on to the rat’s tail and declaring the discovery of his elephant; even so, they who extract “bits and pieces” of God’s Word and extend their discoveries into doctrinal absurdities for their own purposes are guilty of the very charge to which Paul bespeaks in I Timothy chapter 1 and of which the Apostle Peter derides in II Peter:
“No prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation” (II Peter 1:20).
The word “private” in the Greek connotes “one’s personal interpretation” as in “idios” (from whence the word “idiosyncrasy” is derived). Here, we discover that the prophetic Scriptures are not only isolated one from another—they become the “personal fiefdom” of those who manipulate them for their own idiosyncrasies; and, thereby obscure both their meaning and intent. Is there any wonder that Peter follows up this explanation of the prophetic Scriptures with the following exhortation:
“But there were also FALSE PROPHETS among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber” (I Peter 2:1-3).
In sum, the “Gospel of the Grace of God” has been turned into a “system of outward works” having absolutely nothing to do with “the Lord who bought them!” Instead, these FALSE PROPHETS/TEACHERS “blaspheme . . . the way of truth” and for “covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words.” I hate to beat a dead horse (or donkey)—but if you carefully read II Peter 2, you will discover these FALSE TEACHERS inevitably covet “yours not you.”
“They have a heart trained in covetous practices . . . they have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who LOVED THE WAGES of unrighteousness (and we’re talking about MAMMON here—money!) . . . but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (II Peter 2:14b-17).
“The Way of Balaam” is nothing more than a “prophet gone false” for he has “sold his soul to the devil” for filthy lucre—having been bought by the wealthy to perform whatever services deemed appropriate (in this case Balaam was “hired” to prophesy against Israel and to do so under the idiosyncrasies of Balak, King of Moab (Numbers 22-24) (Note: “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more” 22:18). This strange and contorted couple (Balaam and Balak) conspired to curse Israel—instead all the gold and silver could not keep Balaam from blessing Israel and foiled the “Way of Balaam.”
Notwithstanding Balaam’s claims that “he could not be bought” – “The Way of Balaam” would be forever denounced in Holy Write, especially in the context of prophetical Scriptures: WOE TO THEM! FOR THEY HAVE GONE THE WAY OF CAIN, HAVE RUN GREEDILY IN THE ERROR OF BALAAM FOR PROFIT . . . .” (Jude 10).
FROM TETZEL TO TBN
Tragically, history past and present is littered with the WAY OF BALAAM. Johann Tetzel’s hyping indulgences and abusing the doctrines of justification, grace and salvation—are scarce different from today’s plethora of Televangelists like those witnessed on TBN and throughout the USA who, FOR PROFIT, “make merchandise” or “gain” (“exploit you” NKJV – II Peter 2:3).
Further, their “deceptive words” (Greek: “well-turned words” - tois logois) are designed to EXTRACT the same “silver and gold” of Balaam – for, they follow in the WAY OF BALAAM. Their sweet sounding pontifications and pronouncements—their “false prophecies” are cleverly devised and TWISTED. Wholly do they justify their ill-gotten gain through DECEPTIVE WORDS. These are they whose PROPHETIC IDIOSYNCRASIES “originate” from their own resources—not that of the Holy Spirit: “No prophecy of Scripture is of one’s own origin . . . for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (II Peter. 1:20-21). “One’s own origin” – this is the “private interpretation” to which Peter speaks!
THE TAIL OF REVELATION 18:4
I have, with this backdrop—and although it may appear disconnected (it certainly is not)—purposefully chosen to center upon yet another idiosyncrasy of late which has insinuated itself upon the prophetical landscape; to wit: The preposterous notion that Revelation 18:4 (“Come out of her (i.e., Babylon), my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”) commands the people of God (Christians during AND prior to the future Great Tribulation—the latter half of Daniel’s 70th Week) initiate their own extrication from the physical Babylon of the Last Days—and that failure to do so will result in these recalcitrant believers to become “partakers” (i.e., engulfed) in the very “sins and plagues” of the Babylon to which they have endeared themselves!
Numerous consternations and perplexities have transcribed their concerns to those of us here at Pergamos Ministries for fear that they too were in conflict with the Spirit’s wishes to depart these United States—and, thence, free themselves from Babylon’s contaminants and complicities. All they who knowingly resist have been consigned to Babylon’s destructions!
This BROAD BRUSH STROKE of condemnation has been heaped upon the Body of Christ by the aforementioned whose “own origin” (i.e., “private interpretation”) suspiciously belies their altruistic intentions for pristine spirituality. Have they rid themselves of Babylon’s “sins and plagues?” Have they themselves escaped beyond the BOUNDARIES OF BABYLON to some physical paradise aloof from the pernicious and ubiquitous influences/rule and reign of the KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD? Preposterous! How deluded can these false prophets be? Having succumbed to their own fears—they now project their distortions of God’s Word upon the greater body of believers throughout the world! They have taken the RAT’S TAIL and described an ELEPHANT’S ANATOMY. Blindfolded by their isolated reflections and handling of the Word of God—they have cleverly “tweaked” the Word of God to their own idiosyncrasies. With “well-turned” and “deceptive words” they have “exploited you” or “made merchandise” (i.e., “for covetousness”) of God’s people!
What is it that we do not understanding about Revelation 18:4? This is what we do not understand nor can we ever fathom the depth of this end-times’ discrepancy . . . .
REVELATION 18:4 DOES NOT INVOLVE GOD’S PEOPLE—IT IS THE JUDGMENT OF LATTER DAY BABYLON!
Isolating this passage is a classical example of distorting the Word of God for the same egregious purposes aforementioned in the WAY OF BALAAM! Its immediate displeasure is with Babylon, that Great City, juxtaposed to the Holy City, New Jerusalem—from whence MY PEOPLE are destined.
The JUDGMENT OF BABYLON—its RELIGIOUS (Revelation 17); COMMERCIAL (Revelation 18); and GOVERNMENTAL AUTHORITY (Revelation 19—i.e., Political) aspects are revealed in the context of “the Wrath of God” (Revelation 16:1—“Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth”)—AND, have nothing to do with the people of God who have already been spared and sealed and even RAPTURED from such divine retributive wrath!
To understand the CONTEXT of Revelation 18:4 it is mandatory NOT to isolate this portion of Scripture from the entire chronological sequence of events leading up to Babylon’s final demise and destruction. What you witness in Revelation 18:4 is the “full elucidation” of the contents of the SEVENTH PLAGUE/BOWL which commences its outpouring in Revelation 16:17-21; to wit:
“17Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 18And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
To attempt to contemplate that the Almighty would violate His people by exposing them to His divine wrath in the “end of days” militates against every prophetical insight given in Holy Writ. Not only is this Rev. 18:4 at the TERMINUS of the Seventh Bowl—it occurs long since the Church has been removed from this accursed realm of future Antichrist/Beast and their False Prophet, Image, False Worship and Great City—Babylon!
Revelation 18:4 is not a divine edict of imminent consequence upon believers who have failed in removing themselves from the physicality of Babylon the Great—to the contrary; it is the Almighty’s AFFIRMATION that they have ALREADY been spared “her sins” and “her plagues.” The people of God are already in the ark, the lifeboats—while Babylon, that Titanic religious apostasy, exploitive commercial hegemony, and zenith of Gentile World Power is destroyed!
At stake here is divine vengeance—even the DAY OF VENGENCE—of our God upon the “earth dwellers” and upon those, in particular, who have taken the Mark of the Beast, participated in his worship and who themselves reflected the Beast’s Image and committed ultimate sacrilege in the worship of that very Image they became! Just as the people of Nazi Germany beheld—under the inspiration of the false prophet of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels—and ultimately reflected that which they beheld: Adolf Hitler—they became DAS VOLK: The Image of the Beast (if you would)!
Indeed, Revelation 16:19 makes it abundantly clear for those awaiting “His wrath” and, who yet, have hardened their hearts—for “Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail” – in sum: “And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath” (Revelation 16:19b).
Finally, Revelation 16:15 is removed from its “parenthetical status.” Why? Because assuredly Babylon and those who have hardened their hearts (NOT “the blood of the saints with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus . . . whose names are written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world”) (Revelation 17:6b, 8b) will be caught asleep—not alert to her pending doom:
“Behold, I am coming as a thief (to whom: “the earth dwellers” – those who have “hardened their hearts”). Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Revelation 16:15). His wrath will be meted out upon all those that have gathered at Armageddon—to them HE COMES AS A THIEF! But, upon all those who await His appearing: HE IS OUR BLESSED HOPE! WE HAVE “MET THE LORD IN THE AIR” PRIOR TO HIS WRATH!
Again—the preservation of God’s children—the Hebrews—amidst the plagues of Egypt—and their ultimate deliverance from Egypt is symbolism upon which John draws throughout the pouring out of the bowls of God’s wrath.
THE CHRONOLOGY OF THE WRATH OF GOD IN THE REVELATION
First of all—and let this be abundantly clear—our main distraction is NOT personal aggravation, but false teaching, coupled with “spiritually deceptive allegations” foisted against God’s people who ALLEGEDLY have not escaped Babylon’s environs at the SEVENTH BOWL. This is nothing less than a “chronological refutation of the Grace of God” and an abridgement of the EVERLASTING GOSPEL proclaimed in Revelation 14:6.
We are not here to contend for Premillenialism (i.e., the future Kingdom of God and of Christ is yet to come after the “tribulation of those days”)—nor, for that matter, the necessity of Post-Tribulationalism (i.e., the final three-and-one-half years of Daniel’s 70th Week—“The Great Tribulation”) and of believers who shall endure to the end. No, what disturbs are they who would surmise (for their own selfish purposes), that believers are DESTINED TO WRATH! That is precisely how serious this contestation has become.
Secondly, the placement of Revelation 18:4 occurs within the context, as we have said, of the Seventh Bowl/Plague that has been poured out wherein Babylon is judged in THREE PARTS:
“Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.” (Rev. 16:19)
Again, as you will note—the division of Great Babylon as TRIPARTITE is, in all likelihood, two-fold: (1) To highlight the “trinitarian evil” of her composition: Religious, Commercial and Civil; and (2) Numerological significance of the number “3” which connotes throughout the Scripture (in this case) counter distinction to the Godhead and/or to the 1/3 of the stars who rebelled against the Most High (Note: The Third, Fourth and Fifth Trumpets of Revelation 8:10-12 clearly depict heaven’s rebellion being cast to the earth in THIRDS).
We absolutely concur with both Pretribulationists, as well as Pre-Wrath Premillenarians (i.e., all those who affirm believers will NOT suffer the “Wrath of the Lamb”/“Wrath of God”). There is abundant reference in Scripture that the Church will never suffer God’s retributive wrath: John 3:36; 5:24; Romans 5:9; 8:1; Ephesians 2:3, 5:6; I Thess. 1:10; 5:9. Simply put: GOD HAS NOT DESTINED US TO WRATH!
The seven bowls which are poured out in the Revelation clearly LIMIT THEIR WRATH upon “the earth dwellers” (Revelation 8:13) who have “taken the mark of the beast!” in COUNTERDISTINCTION to the “saints.” Sir Robert Anderson, former head of Scotland Yard during Queen Victoria’s reign, confirms in THE COMING PRINCE that the Seven Trumpets in the Revelation (Revelation 8:7-9 & 11:15+) “parallel” or “answer to” the Seven Bowls of Revelation 16 (with the Seventh Bowl “amplified” in Revelation 17-19—I will directly quote Sir Anderson later).
It is not so much that the Seven Bowls “parallel” the Seven Trumpets, as it is that they follow the introduction of each Trumpet with a “response” thereto (i.e., the First Trumpet answers to the First Bowl, etc.). In this light, the FIRST TWO TRUMPETS answer to the events of Revelation Chapter 11 regarding the TWO WITNESSES, with the final five trumpets answering to the remaining five bowls of judgment.
Again—though the first Two Trumpets answer to the affirmations of the first Two Witnesses of Revelation 11—their message of Wrath (as seen in the initial “Two Bowls of Wrath” are NOT meted out upon the Two Witnesses (i.e., Israel and the Church—a.k.a. the “Two Olive Trees” and the “Two Lampstands”—Rev. 11:4) but upon the EARTH (Revelation 16:2 and Revelation 11:6 and the WATERS (Revelation 16:3) THROUGH the Two Witnesses, as God’s “empowerment.” The sphere/activities of the TWO WITNESSES upon the earth and the waters depict the witness/judgment of the Almighty and the sounding/pouring of the first Two Trumpets/Two Bowls.
Let me be altogether specific in the chart below (Note: I am not here to argue the total futurity of Daniel’s Seventieth Week—the importance of the final three-and-one-half years is critical to the issue at hand.):
THE TREATY OF HELL AND DEATH
“DEFENSE PACT BETWEEN ANTI-CHRIST AND NATIONAL ISRAEL” – Daniel 9:27a & Isaiah 28:15, 18
(The Beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel)
THE TESTIMONY OF THE TWO WITNESSES OF REVELATION
Rev. 11:3-7a – 1,260 days – First 3 ½ Days/Years of Daniel’s 70th Week (Matthew 24:14)
THE FIRST TWO TRUMPETS OF REVELATION 8:7-11
THE FIRST TWO BOWLS OF REVELATION 16:2-3 (Extending into “The Great Tribulation”)
FIRST SEAL – The “White Horse” of Antichrist—The “Rise of Antichrist” – THE False Christ
Commencement of the 70th Week of Daniel – First 3 ½ Days/Years or 1,260 days (Daniel 9:24-27; Revelation 11)
Revelation 6:1-2; The Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24:5 – FALSE CHRIST(s)
SECOND SEAL – The “Red Horse”—War
Revelation 6:3-4; Matthew 24:6-7a – “Wars and Rumors of War”
THIRD SEAL – The “Black Horse”—
Revelation 6:5-6; Matthew 24:7b – Famines, pestilences, etc.
FOURTH SEAL – The “Pale Horse”—Death
Revelation 6:7-8; Matthew 24:9 . . . “deliver you up and kill you.”
“THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION”
“THE VIOLATION OF THE TREATY”
Note: The Final 1,260 Days of Daniel’s 70th Week
“The Great Tribulation—3 ½ Days/Years – “In the Midst” of the 70th Week -Revelation 6:9-11; Matthew 24:9, 15-28; Mark 13:14; II Thess. 2:3-12; Daniel 9:27b; 7:7-8, 11, 19-20, 23-25; 8:8-14, 21-25; 11:40-45; Revelation 11:7; 12:7-9; 13:1-10; 17:10-14
FIFTH SEAL – “The cry of the martyrs” – “War Against the Saints”
The Last 3 ½ Years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week – “They (i.e., The Gentiles) will tread the holy city underfoot for forty-two months” – NOTE: The RAPTURE and RESURRECTION takes place in Rev. 11:11-13
Revelation 6:9-11; 11:7; Revelation 8:10-11 (THE THIRD TRUMPET-Satan Cast to the Earth) – “answers to” the THIRD BOWL – Revelation 16:4-7; THE FOURTH TRUMPET (Rev.8:12-13; 16:8-9)-“A third of the Sun, Moon and Stars” who “rebelled” with Satan are destined to judgment – THE FOURTH BOWL.
THE FIRST WOE-FIFTH TRUMPET-FIFTH BOWL/PLAGUE
(Rev. 9:1-12; 16:10-11)
(Note: The “Bowls” ‘answer to’ the Trumpets during the “Great Day of His Wrath”
Revelation 11:11-12; 14:1-5, 14-16; 7:9-17
(NOTE: Prior to the Second Woe/Sixth Trumpet—Rev. 11:13-14)
“THE GREAT DAY OF HIS WRATH HAS COME” (Revelation 6:17)
“THE DAY OF VENGENCE OF OUR GOD” (Isa. 61:2)
“YOUR WRATH HAS COME” (Revelation 11:18b)
‘THE WRATH OF THE LAMB (Rev. 6:17)
“THE WRATH OF GOD UPON THE EARTH” (Rev. 16:1)
“THE GREAT WINEPRESS OF THE WRATH OF GOD” (Rev. 14:17-20)
(Also: Revelation 14:10, 19; 15:1, 7; 19:15)
“Great Day of His Wrath has Come”
SECOND WOE-SIXTH TRUMPET/SIXTH BOWL
CAMPAIGN OF ARMEGGDON
Revelation 11:13-14; 9:13-21; 16:12-16; 19:17-21
“The Great and Terrible Day of the Lord”
Matthew 24:14, 37-39
SEVENTH TRUMPET – SEVENTH BOWL
“The Third Woe”
THE JUDGMENT OF BABYLON
Revelation 17 – Religious Babylon Judged
Revelation 18 – Commercial Babylon Judged
Revelation 19 – Civil Babylon Judged
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
Sir Robert Anderson:
“Firstly: The seventh trumpet and the seventh vial both relate to the final catastrophe. Under the seventh trumpet, the mystery of God is finished (Rev. 10:7), and the temple of God is opened, and there are lightnings, voices, thunders, and an earthquake (Rev. 11:19). Under the seventh vial, ‘It is done!” is heard from the temple, and there are voices, thunders, lightnings, and an earthquake (Rev. 16:17, 18).
“Secondly: The sphere of the judgments is the same in the correlative visions of both series (i.e., Trumpets and Bowls):
1. The Earth
2. The Sea
3. The Rivers
4. The Sun
5. The pit, the seat of the beast
7. Heavens, the air.
“Chapters 17, 18 – Detailed visions of the development and doom of Babylon, ‘the harlot,’ whose fall has been within the seventh trumpet and seventh vial; the last series of judgments of the seventh seal (Rev. 11:18; 16).
“Chapter 19: The doom of the harlot being accomplished (ver. 2), the glory of the bride follows (ver. 7); the glorious revelation of Christ, and the destruction consequent thereon of the beast and false prophet (ver. 20).” (THE COMING PRINCE, Chapter XIV – The Patmos Visions).
It must be continually kept in mind that the final and/or Seventh Trumpet and the events surrounding the RAPTURE/RESURRECTION OF THE RIGHTEOUS/THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IN VICTORY bear a simultaneous occurrence and are virtually inseparable (though distinct).
WHAT IS IT ABOUT REVELATION 18:4 YOU DON’T WANT TO UNDERSTAND?
The point to made in all this—and our future A 21ST. CENTURY COMMENTARY ON THE REVELATION will go into much greater clarity and depth than the above chronologies—is simple: Revelation 18:4 occurs so “deep into the Wrath of God/Wrath of the Lamb” that it is simply inexcusable to assert that God’s people have any relevance at all in the immediate destruction of that Great City!
To the contrary—the prophetic depiction of the servants of the Lord, the TWO WITNESSES—is one of triumphant and empowering testimony at the commencement of the Seventieth Week and of grace and courage under fire during the latter half of that Great Tribulation. There is absolutely NOTHING WHATSOEVER in the Scripture which portends judgment and/or divine retributive wrath upon God’s people (Christian or Jew for that matter); thence, the phrase “come thou up out of her my people” (lit.) is clearly a coming up out from the midst of her in a way of divine deliverance wherein the Almighty, as He did with Israel, both PRESERVED the Hebrews while the plagues surrounded them on all sides, and ultimately brought them “up out of” Egypt through the Red Sea in a massive display of divine DELIVERANCE—thence, is there any wonder why PRIOR to the pouring out of the Bowls of Divine Wrath in Revelation 15 we read:
“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the VICTORY OVER THE BEAST, OVER HIS IMAGE AND OVER HIS MARK and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. THEY SING THE SONG OF MOSES, the servant of God, and the SONG OF THE LAMB . . . “ (Revelation 15:1-3).
Was not the SONG OF MOSES sung after their total deliverance from Egypt on the other side of the Red Sea? (cf. Ex. 15:1-21). How can one not rejoice with Hallelujahs (the only ones in the New Testament) at Babylon ’s destruction—just as Pharaoh’s chariots were destroyed in the Red Sea—especially, because God’s people have been utterly delivered from the wrath to be poured out upon that awful scene of vengeance? (Revelation 19:1-6)
Friend, brother and sister—this is our BLESSED HOPE—the “Glorious appearing of the Great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ!” Make no doubt about it—the Word of God is absolutely sure. Do NOT trust in man’s pernicious and pious frauds which are but OUTWARD pharisaical attempts to foolishly and hurtfully burden the Body of Christ. They have nothing to do with INWARD REALITY and the fullness of the Spirit in the believer’s life.
Let me; finally, quote Bob Gundry who clearly understands the dimension of “wrath” vs. “deliverance” and a man whose evangelical credentials and understanding of “contextual eschatology” is without repute:
“There are clear indications in the book of Revelation that the bowls of divine wrath will not touch saints, indications in addition to the theological necessity that God’s wrath not touch a saved person. Just as the three woes, which are the last three trumpets, will come upon the “earth-dwellers” (8:13) in contradistinction to the saints, so also the bowls will be poured only upon the wicked. The first bowl will be poured upon ‘the men who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image’ (16:2). The turning of the sea into blood, in the second bowl, does not need to involve saints. The third bowl will be directed against those who ‘poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and “Thou has given them blood to drink’ (16:6). The fourth bowl will fall on those who in response ‘blasphemed the name of God . . . and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory’ (16:9). The same will happen under the fifth bowl (16:11). The sixth bowl will concern the kings of the east and the armies which will gather to Armageddon. The seventh bowl will reach to the very end and have to do with Babylon (OUT OF WHICH GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CALLED ‘THAT YOU MAY NOT RECEIVE OF HER PLAGUES,’ 18:4-my emphasis on Gundry’s remarks) and the cities and nations. The recipients will again respond with blasphemy (16:17-21). It should be evident that the bowls of divine wrath will concern the wicked alone.”
(Dr. Robert Gundry, The Church and the Tribulation, pp. 46-47)
Again, in none of the above, in so far as divine retribution is concerned, the Church—and for that matter, Israel—are spared such wrath; however, we have not spoken in detail of the one who is to “come down having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12). But, we do affirm:
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, ‘Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” (Revelation 12:9-11)
May the Lord sustain and keep you in these trying times—our redemption draws nigh. Let us remain steadfast in the faith, and in NOTHING, terrified by our adversaries, which (if we do) is to them an evident token of their perdition, but to us of salvation, and that of God (Phil. 1:28).