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"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
FROM THE CANDLESTICK TO THE THRONE
THE SEVEN ANGELS WITH THE
“And the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments” (Rev. 16:4-7).
When the third angel pours out the third golden bowl of God’s passion, the third plague causes the rivers, streams, and springs to become blood also. No one drinks sea water, so the sea is turned to blood that men might understand that everything of the flesh realm is full of death and corruption. But here it is the fresh water, all the sources of water for drinking and for washing are turned to blood. And God gives it to religious people to drink!
is reminiscent of the first plague that God miraculously brought upon the
Egyptians through the hand of Moses — the turning of the
results of the plague were devastating, for all the water that was in the river
was turned to blood. Because of this,
the fish died, the river stank, and the
in the spiritual visions of John on
“Rivers,” on the one hand, suggest the flow of these ideas and beliefs as they are taught, published, propagated, and assimilated into the minds, hearts, and behavior of mankind. The “fountains of waters,” on the other hand, represent the sources of the ideas, concepts, philosophies, teachings, precepts, creeds, doctrines, traditions, ideologies, customs, laws — all the intellectual, moral, political, cultural, scientific, educational, and religious influences of this world which are the sources from which men draw their life, their natural joy and refreshment, their mind-sets, their image of themselves, their understanding of the world, their vocations, lifestyles, hopes, dreams, ambitions, and relationships. Collectively, these waters flow through school and college classrooms, seminars, television programs, books, court rooms, political propaganda, church pulpits, cultural traditions, and a hundred other places. Different belief systems moving in intellectual, moral, legal, business, and religious channels constitute the outflowing of these “waters” as “rivers.” Individually, these rivers and springs are the very thought patterns that run through the minds of men that have become polluted through worldly and false teachings. If ever a dealing of God was needed, it is here!
earthly-minded people of the bestial world system prefer to look to the
“waters” that flow from worldly political, commercial, educational, and
religious institutions. They look to
these sources for life, contentment, and fulfillment, particularly to the
religious systems with their impressive ceremonies, elegant pageantry,
time-honored traditions, and static creeds and doctrines. They are like the apostate
there are rivers there is a flow of life with vegetation, crops, food, birds,
and animals of many kinds. Religion is a
flow of life in the soulish dimension of man.
There was a time in our life when it was a blessing to us to live in
that realm, it was a lamp unto our feet, and important to us in our progress
a child can understand that the
have a whole crop of doom-casters in the land today who spend their time and
energy in nothing else but informing the Lord’s people of all the negative
situations which are going to overtake our nation and the world! Many of the Lord’s precious people are being
fed a steady diet of messages, articles, books, and CDs about world conditions,
politics, the situation in the
Let every child of God who has had birthed within his bosom the beautiful hope of sonship turn the searchlight of sincerity and truth upon his pure heart and answer these very important questions:
Do any of the afore-mentioned things minister LIFE?
Does the study of them cause you to be more FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT?
Do they enable you to put on the MIND OF CHRIST?
Do they inspire you with ever-increasing FAITH by which you shall conquer every enemy and lay hold upon life and immortality?
Do they flood your life with PEACE and JOYFUL EXPECTATION in Christ?
Do they TRANSFORM YOU INTO THE IMAGE OF THE FIRSTBORN SON OF GOD?
Do they imbue you with SPIRITUAL WISDOM AND UNDERSTANDING, and with righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost?
Are they QUICKENING, LIFE-GIVING TRUTH, or are they, one and all, merely things that are true, or, perhaps, may be true, or may not even be true at all!
have no hesitation in telling you that all these streams of teaching are naught but carnal rivers flowing through the
earth-realm! Some will be
dismayed by the statement I am about to make, but quite frankly, I care not one
whit who anyone thinks the Antichrist is, or when the Great Tribulation will
begin, or how long it will last, or what technological or economic development
may bring the mark of the beast, or what the
while it is abundantly clear that there is no
spiritual life in any of the springs, streams, and rivers of man, they seem
to be life to those who drink from them, for they are refreshed and
strengthened in their carnal life by this “water.” By the symbolical changing of all this “water”
into “blood,” men are brought face to face with the fact that there is no true life in it and that, in very fact,
it is naught but death. It is made death unto them! It bespeaks the revelation of the complete
corruption of all the sources of natural human
“And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord…because Thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments” (Rev. 16:5-7).
is the only place in the Revelation where the altar is said to speak, though we have heard before of a voice from
the horns of the altar (Rev. 9:13). In
Revelation 8:5 we find the altar connected with the prayers of the saints, and
as a result of their prayers fire is taken from off the altar and cast into the
earth. The fire is a symbol of purging
and purification, and the voice from the horns of the altar comes also as a
result of the prayers of God’s elect and releases a mighty
strange statement is that because they have shed the blood of saints and
prophets, God is giving them blood to drink: for they are worthy. That
last phrase simply means “for they deserve it!” We don’t like to think of God giving
people what they deserve, but in this case that is exactly what He is
doing. Shed blood signifies death. That is what they deserve to drink, death to
themselves. The reference is to the fact
that the church systems have slain, both figuratively and literally, the
righteous men and prophets sent to speak the words of God to them through the
ages. Thousands have been the martyrs
slain by the church systems in ages past and even in recent times! They chose to drink from the human sources of
this old world. Thus they wickedly rejected
the living streams
of water flowing out from God’s chosen vessels! So now He is causing them to drink a full
dose of the death they have chosen! Let
them drink blood! Oh, yes! They deserve it! It is not vindictiveness — it is correction! The Spirit is revealing to them the
awful depths of the death that flows in the streams of man! And it is for their good, for their
on this passage Ray Prinzing wrote: “Truly we can
bear witness, ‘He is the Rock, His work
is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity,
just and right is He’ (Deut. 32:4). Moffat’s translation reads: ‘Steadfast — He rules aright, HIS METHODS ARE IN DUE ORDER, a God trusty and wholly
true, upright and honest.’ While Ferrar Fenton adds the thought, ‘
a declaration! His work is perfect, all His lines are
straight. His methods are in due order,
all that He does is RIGHT! Therefore it
rightly follows, ‘All His ways are
judgment.’ Everything He does is to
bring about a restoration and setting right that which has been perverted,
distorted, defiled, etc. HE IS OUR GOD
OF SALVATION! Were He to draw a line in
your life, it would be a straight line — and that means you would be brought
into alignment with that uprightness. ‘I will cause them to walk by the rivers of
waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a Father to
“So long has Christendom programmed their doctrines with a negative view, that to read of the pouring out of the plagues brings a shudder, a fear, for all they see is calamity and distress, while actually God has promised the opposite. Full well He knows the propensity of humanity to do evil. He knows of the self-will and rebellion, that we have ‘turned every one to his own way.’ But He also has promised, ‘I will bring the blind by a way that they know not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them’” — end quote.
THE FOURTH BOWL
“And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with the great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues…” (Rev. 16:8-9).
the fourth trumpet, one-third of the sun, moon, and stars were stricken with
darkness, so that one-third part was dark.
But here, under the fourth bowl, or plague, the thing John saw was an
angel pouring the contents of his bowl on the sun, as a result of which the
heat of the sun is increased to such an extent that men are actually scorched
by it, burned, suffocated with solar heat, and in misery and torment are
The plague is called “great heat.” Men fret and groan under heat from the sun when it is 90 to 115 degrees, but the picture painted here is of heat much more severe than anything we have experienced! In the symbols of the vision the words “sun,” “heat,” and “scorched,” are used literally; but in applying the symbols to the work of God they must be used figuratively and spiritually. The fourth plague compounds the severity of judgment upon the natural man. Sick with ulcers, the stench of death in their nostrils, parched with thirst, the “earth-dwellers” find to their dismay that they are not yet at the end of God’s dealings!
This is the fourth angel to pour out his bowl, and it is significant to note what happened on the FOURTH CREATIVE DAY as God arranged the cosmos in that long-ago beginning. “And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: He made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, and to rule over the day and the night” (Gen. 1:14-18).
The truth of the great lights in the heavens includes many wonderful examples of that which is taking place in the realm of the spirit. The sun, moon, and stars of the heavens exist in a realm where God is absolute Sovereign and Lord, far above the sin, confusion, sorrow, strife, pain, and death of earth. Therefore, in their highest meaning, in their spiritual meaning, the sun, moon, and stars are used to represent HEAVENLY, SPIRITUAL RULE AND DOMINION. The prophet said, “The heavens do rule.” That is the great truth revealed when at the moment of creation the almighty Creator proclaimed of the lights of the heavenly realm, “Let them be for light upon the earth…the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night.” The primary thought is that of rulership and dominion!
God of heaven rules over all, and can we now open the eyes of our understanding to behold the
wondrous truth that God’s elect sons are
destined, with their sovereign and glorious Father, to become the CONSTELLATIONS OF THE SPIRITUAL HEAVENS, THE
LUMINARIES AND RULERS IN GOD’S SKY! As
the glory of the Lord arises upon His chosen ones they pierce the gloom of
earth’s dark night of sin and sorrow and bring
sun in prophecy
is the most exalted ruler in any order.
We find that God, the supreme Ruler, is called in the scripture a
“sun.” “For the Lord thy God is a sun and
a shield” (Ps. 84:11). Also, our elder brother,
the Lord Jesus Christ, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, is called “the sun
of righteousness” (Mal. 4:2).
The divine pattern in all these things becomes clear once we understand the great truth that there are revealed in the wonderful book of Revelation two heavens and two earths! The blessed Seer of Patmos beheld these in rapt vision and recorded what he saw in these inspired words, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea” (Rev. 21:1). There is an old heaven and there is a new heaven! There is an old earth and there is a new earth! The old heaven and earth pass away, but we look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness (II Pet. 3:13). It should be clear to any thinking mind that the old heaven with its sun, moon, and stars, is not our natural solar system or the star-studded universe we behold in the night sky. That is not the old heaven John is writing about! Rather, it is the old order that men have lived under, the old world of human consciousness, worldly society, and man-made religion with all its luminaries — the “lights” or personalities and institutions that govern, control, dictate, constrain, inspire, and direct men’s thinking, understanding, ways, will, desires, ambitions, and conduct in the world of humanity.
two heavens — the old heavens of man’s order, and the new heavens of God’s rule
by the Spirit, are both presented throughout the book of Revelation and we must
be keen in discernment to understand which is in view in any scene. Let me put it this way. One way to recognize whether it is the old
heaven or the new heaven is to observe the action taking place. The heavens that are being darkened, smitten,
falling, rolled together as a scroll, and passing away with a great noise
certainly are not the new heavens, for only the old heavens
pass away and the new are established in righteousness and glory and power
forevermore! It is the heavens of God’s
kingdom where sons reign upon the throne and from whence the seven spirits of
God are sent forth into all the earth! It
is the new heavens of the Spirit of the Lord from which the holy city, New
Jerusalem, descends (Rev. 21:2). It only
stands to reason the new
is an application of this reality both corporately and
are probing two unseen worlds. One is a
world too vast and far away to be seen by the eye, and the other is a world too small to
be observed by the eye. I want to give
you three words in this connection, together with their meanings. First, we find the word MICROCOSM. This word means a little world; anything
regarded as a world
in miniature; man, viewed as an epitome of the universe. This word comes from two words in the Greek
language. One is MIKROS which means
little or miniature. The other is
let us return to the fourth plague poured out upon the “sun.” There is an interesting connection between
the plague poured out from the fourth bowl and the one that follows from the
fifth bowl. The fourth bowl is poured
out upon the sun — the source of light and
But then the fifth bowl brings absolute darkness — suggesting the absence
of the sun! Let us understand! God has ordained that all spiritual truth and
reality in the heavenly world be typified and pre-figured by the physical
creation in the natural world. The
figures speak of the sun first becoming hotter and actually scorching men
with fire. This is not the picture of an
excessive heat drought as is now sometimes experienced. The sun itself is first smitten, then it
emits rays that scorch and burn men. The
next scene is one of such total darkness that men are gnawing
their tongues in pain as a result of the darkness. How utterly graphic these scenes are! These two visions have embodied within them
knowledge of modern science which was still unknown to men at the time of
John’s vision! This is
Our solar system, just one of millions in the Milky Way galaxy, is approximately seven billion miles across. It consists of our sun (a medium-size star) with nine planets, the largest of which is Jupiter. Our sun, by the process of atomic fusion, is an energy-producing instrument. It was made by the Creator for a specific job, which it has been performing since the fourth day of creation. When producers of energy can no longer export the same amount they generate, then “something must give.” In the case of stars, they either blow up (supernova) or they suffer an atomic collapse (nova). Novas and supernovas are occurring all the time, with approximately thirty observed each year in our galaxy alone.
These calamities are brought to pass by entropy, which is the degradation of the matter and energy in the universe to an ultimate state of inert uniformity. The law of entropy dictates that everything in the universe is running down. According to this law, stars like our sun were composed of solid hydrogen in the beginning. In the fusion process, which changes hydrogen to extreme heat and sunlight, hydrogen is converted into iron and other metals. When the inner core of the metal builds to the point where the energy produced cannot escape in an even flow, huge atomic explosions covering millions of square miles occur, hurling atomic matter and gases millions of miles outward. Such activity precedes the death of a star. It is thought by some scientists that the critical stage is reached when 50% of a star’s hydrogen is consumed.
The question immediately arises as to where our sun stands in relation to these events. The “burning” questions are: “How much longer will the sun remain stable?” “When will it start on its way towards a higher surface temperature and more brilliance?” Scientists believe that approximately one-half of our sun’s supply has now been consumed, and increasing sunspot activity is taken by some scientists as a sign that our sun could nova at any time. Should our sun nova at some future date earth would experience a period of increased brightness and heat, followed by incredible darkness. However such literal events are merely of academic interest, since no one on earth would be around to worry about them. About our only physical hope of escaping such a calamity would be to move to another planetary system!
A nova stage is reached when the heat factor builds to a point where atoms are stripped of their shells. Like a runaway atomic generator, the remaining heavy hydrogen is consumed within a period of seven to fourteen days. Subsequently, the entire mass, originally 900,000 miles across, would be compressed into a ball no more than fifteen miles in diameter. The gravity would be so intense that no light could escape. Whether my reader can understand all the science of this does not really matter. The point of importance here, as it relates to the fourth and fifth plagues, is just this. The literal picture in the two plagues is that of the “nova” of our sun! DURING THE RUNAWAY PERIOD (SEVEN TO FIFTEEN DAYS) JUST DESCRIBED, OUR SUN COULD BECOME UP TO SEVEN TIMES HOTTER THAN NORMAL. THIS WOULD BE FOLLOWED BY TOTAL DARKNESS!
John’s vision, however, doesn’t indicate that our literal, physical sun up in the heavens, ninety-three million miles from earth, is going to nova — getting brighter and hotter, scorching men with fire until they blaspheme the name of God, who has power over these plagues; and then dying, collapsing into a black hole, throwing our planet into such total darkness that men would literally gnaw their tongues for pain, and further blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains. Oh, no! The vision is a symbol, a type, a picture, a parable of great spiritual dealings and workings of God!
Ah, do not preachers do
this today when they fear the people are going to leave them? I’m sure that many who now read these lines,
when the Lord was calling you out of
To be continued… J. PRESTON EBY
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