Left Behind - Fact or Fiction | 6/6
In the last days God promises that He will be a hiding place for us (see Revelation 3:10). It does not say that the righteous will be taken before the time of trouble, but that they will be protected through it.
In Revelation 16 the plagues that will fall on those who refuse to obey God’s laws [and receive the mark of the beast] are mentioned. The first plague is physical. Our only security is in Christ and not in obeying human laws (receive the mark of the beast – which the wicked say it will keep one from being harmed physically (not allowed to buy and sell, be killed, etc)).
The second plague destroys the creatures of the sea. Thus the economy will be in jeopardy since most goods are transported by the sea. The second plague says again that all physical and economical security is in Christ.
The third plague transforms the rivers into blood. Again we are taught that man cannot secure life, but Christ alone.
The fourth plague causes the sun to become much hotter. Down through the ages the sun has been worshiped, including through the observance of Sunday (the day of the sun) which the Bible teaches will be enforced by men in the end. The fourth plague says that the true worship is in Christ, the Creator.
The fifth plague causes darkness to fill the beast’s kingdom. Men looked for light in the beast, but it is turned to darkness. There is light only in Jesus (see John 8:12, Psalm 119: 105). Jesus invites us to follow Him for light; and not the traditions of men.
What is the sixth plague all about? The river Euphrates, which went through ancient Babylon, was dried up by Cyrus, the Medo-Persian, in order to conquer it (river Euphrates was the support of Babylon). Revelation speaks about spiritual Babylon. In the Old and New Testament Babylon represents false worship, confusion, rebellion against God – a religious system with church and state united, a confused religious system based on man’s teachings, not God’s, which attempts to change God’s law. The support system (river Euphrates) of spiritual Babylon during the plagues collapses. Babylon says that if the world is united under it, if there is one great religious-political government, everything will be fine. But nothing is fine – the plagues are poured out. In the Bible water represents people. So the river Euphrates (people) which supported spiritual Babylon collapses, so that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. Who are the kings of the east? “As lightening shines from the east even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be.” Jesus comes as the King of kings (Revelation 19). Just as Cyrus came from the east to deliver Israel out of Babylon, so Jesus with all His angels comes from the east to deliver His people.
Armageddon is a battle field in the Middle East. It was the place where God intervened to deliver His people (Ar = mountain, geddo = slaughter). So Armageddon was the place where the enemies of God surrounded God’s people and looked like they could never be delivered. But it was the place where God brought reinforcements to deliver His people, and where the enemies of God were slaughtered.
At the last moments of earth’s history, with all the demons of hell working miracles, God intervenes to deliver His people who have been faithful to God (received not the mark of the beast) and trusted Him.
Armageddon is not some battle in the Middle East; rather the time when God comes with His artillery from heaven (earthquake, hail from heaven, etc) to deliver His people. In the last moments Jesus intervenes; suffering is ended, and the kingdom is given to the saints of the Most High (see Daniel 7:26, 27).Do you want to be ready for the coming of Jesus? Tell Him: “Lord, take me and take all of me. What ever difficulty and temptation I go through I want to trust You. I see the issues in the final conflict between good and evil, that the battle is the battle of the mind, over loyalty. Lord I want to be faithful, to give You the undivided affection of my heart.”