Saturday, 29 April 2017 06:54

63. The sixth trumpet: they didn't repent! * Revelation 9:13-21 - Part 3 of 3

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19 For their power is in their mouth, and in their tails: for their tails were like unto serpents, with heads, and with them they do hurt.

20 And the rest of the men who were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship demons, and idols of gold, and silver, and bronze, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.

 

Part 3 - Revelation 9:19-21

 

*** Their power is in their mouth, and in their tails ***: In the fifth trumpet, the tormenting powers of the locust army was in their tails. We can see that in the sixth trumpet, the intensity of the demonic activities increased because their power is not only in their tails but also in their mouths. The tail power causes great torture but the mouth power causes death. Even the tail power seems to be stronger in the sixth trumpet. It is compared to the power of a serpent (Revelation 9:19), not to the power of the tail of a scorpion, as it was in the fifth trumpet (Revelation 9:10, study #59).

Isaiah 9:14-15 tells us that the false prophets are the tails. They teach great lies. Satan was referred to as the "father of lies" (John 8:44), and the “serpent of old” (Revelation 20:2). The false teachers in the sixth trumpet are going to be just like Satan (they were like unto serpents - Revelation 9:19). They hurt people with lies coming out of their mouths, like fire, smoke, and brimstone. What they teach burns, suffocates and consumes the ones who follow such teachings.

*** What happened to the rest? ***: The ones who were not killed by the fire smoke and brimstone coming out of the mouths of the locust army had an equally terrible ending: they did not repent of their sin. Repentance is the main focus of the plagues sent with the first six trumpets. With the sound of each trumpet alarm, God was giving the people of the Earth a chance to change their ways. During the fifth trumpet, those who decided not to follow God had made themselves vulnerable to Satan's attacks. They were tormented with his lies. In the sixth trumpet, one-third of those people suffered spiritual death because of the demonic doctrines they accepted (Revelation 9:18).

When we stop to consider what it means to be spiritually dead, we can see that the expression implies that those who died are not at all involved in any spiritual activity, and possess no spiritual interests. They have been completely absorbed by Self, and abandoned God's values. The remaining ones who still have spiritual interests are not much better of than the ones who died. They prefer to continue in their wrong and wicked ways of idolatry. They still seek to worship a supernatural force (the verse in Revelation 9:20 mentions demons), or the representation of supernatural powers through idols made of earthly materials.

*** Worshiping demons and idols ***: This is not the first time in the Bible where the wicked are seen worshiping "idols of gold, and silver, and bronze, and stone, and of wood". We see this expression used in Psalms 115:4-7 and Daniel 5:23. God's Law teaches us that those who love Him, will not practice idolatry: "And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make unto yourself any graven image or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me" (Exodus 20:1-5). The remaining people will not repent because they do not love God. They prefer to go completely against God's commands.

*** Idols who cannot "see, nor hear, nor walk" ***: As we mentioned before, this expression is found in the Old Testament as well (Psalms 115:4-7 and Daniel 5:23). When we read the texts in Salms and Daniel, while considering everything we've studied so far in the book of Revelation, we can see that these idols have none of the qualities attributed to Jesus up to now:

Jesus is worthy of worship (Revelation 5:12-13) People should not worship man-made artifacts (Revelation 9:20; Exodus 20)
Jesus sees everything with his flaming eyes (Revelation 1:14; Revelation 2:18,19) The idols cannot see (Revelation 9:20; Salmos 115:4-7; Daniel 5:23)
Jesus hears our prayers, and He knows everything that goes on in His church (Revelation 6:10-11; Revelation 2:2,9,13, 19; Revelation 3:1,8,15) The idols cannot hear  (Revelation 9:20; Salmos 115:4-7; Daniel 5:23)
He walks among His church, and care for them deeply (Revelation 1:13,20; Revelation 2:1) The idols cannot walk (Revelation 9:20; Salmos 115:4-7; Daniel 5:23)

The idols cannot know or see anything that is going on with the people who created them. On the other hand, the one who created us knows everything there is to know about everything. The message in Revelation 9:20 is a strong one. Jesus is telling us, once again, that worshiping objects is just as bad as worshiping demons. The worshiping of entities and things other than God is exactly what the first 4 of the 10 Commandments tells us not to do.

*** The sins from which they do not repent from ***: The ones who were not killed by the locust attack, were committing terrible sins. The worse thing of all: they were not sorry for their actions. They did not repent. The breaking of the first four commandments, as it was mentioned in verse 20, leads to the breaking of more commandments. They were committing murders, sorceries, fornication, and thefts. There is a very serious consequence to not repenting from sin. When people don't repent, they don't accept forgiveness. We can only be forgiven from our sins if we accept the forgiveness Christ is freely offering to us. God does not force us to ask for it or to accept it. It's up to us. The people in Revelation 9:21 had made their choice. They sided with sin. The Bible is clear about what will happen to those who behave in such away: they will suffer eternal death (Romans 1:18-32; Luke 13:3,5; Revelation 21:8; Revelation 22:15).

*** Prophetic Application ***: The sixth trumpet brings us to the time of the end. The last spiritual battle is very near. The enemy activities will be at an all-time high, as never seen before. Jesus said in Matthew 24:24:" For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." We live today very near to the end. It is difficult to say exactly at what point we are because we've passed the events of the fifth trumpet, but it is possible that we have not yet experienced the things described in the sixth trumpet at their full strength. The deceiving tactics of Satan are, however, happening very strongly. It is possible that we are in the transition between the fifth and the sixth trumpet, it is possible that we are already well inside the sixth trumpet time, since the sixth trumpet is an intensification of the fifth. The take home message is: we are near the end.

*** Overview ***: God has been giving the people of the Earth opportunity after opportunity to repent. God does not want anyone to perish but He wants people to repent and have eternal life (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16). The scene in the sixth trumpet gives us the idea that God is waiting to the last minute for people to turn around and seek His saving hand. The gift of Salvation is still possible during the sixth trumpet. People still had a choice to repent or not. The trumpets are not equally divided as far as time. Some periods are shorter, some are longer. Regardless of exactly how much time we have until Jesus returns, we only have our own lifetime to make our decision: who are we going to serve?

   
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