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09/01/2004 - The Book of Revelation - Part 23 The Last 7 Plagues



The Book of Revelation

Part 23

The Last 7 Plagues

Date: 09/01/2004

Issue No. 192

In Revelation 15:6-8 seven angels are given seven bowls of wine to pour out the seven last “plagues” upon the earth. This pictures the last of Israel’s original festivals called the Feast of Tabernacles. Tabernacles, or Booths, was a seven-day festival in which the high priest was to offer 70 bullocks over a period of seven days, along with a drink offering of wine each day.

Revelation 15 and 16 focuses primarily upon the drink offerings, which were seven bowls of wine that were poured out in the old temple.

The Water of the Spirit

Water was also poured out during those seven days of Tabernacles, but not on the eighth day. This signified the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, as we see from Jesus’ words in John 7.

John 7 records a time when Jesus kept Tabernacles in Jerusalem. John 7:2 says,

2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was at hand.

Jesus sent His disciples ahead of him, and then came later “as it were, in secret” (7:10). People in Jerusalem wondered if He would show up, and He finally did so in the middle of the Feast. John 7:14 says,

14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach.

Yet it was not until the last great day of the feast, the eighth day of Tabernacles, that Jesus prophesied of the outpouring of the Spirit. John 7:37-39 says,

37 Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow rivers of living water’.” 39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

When Jesus said that believers would come to Him for water, He was referring to Isaiah 12:2, 3, which speaks of Jesus (Yashua) prophetically, saying,

2 Behold, God is my salvation [Heb: “Yashua”], I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord God [Yah Yahweh] is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation [“Yashua”]. 3 Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation [“Yashua”]

Isaiah thus prophesied by the Spirit that those who put their trust in Yashua (Jesus) would “joyously draw water from the springs of Yashua.” This is how the literal Hebrew text reads, and Jesus knew that this was prophetic of Himself.

John then explains to us in John 7:39 that this was a reference to the Holy Spirit that would be given to the believers. The fulfillment began in part on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. However, because this prophecy was spoken on the eighth day of the feast of Tabernacles, it must find its complete fulfillment on that day in the near future.

Pouring both water and wine at this feast signifies both judgment upon the kingdoms of this world AND the Holy Spirit being poured out. In fact, this is the baptism of fire that John the Baptist mentioned in Matthew 3:11,

11 As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

The connection between water and fire is seen on the day of Pentecost. Though Jesus spoke of the Spirit in terms of “water” in John 7, the Spirit appeared as “tongues of fire” in Acts 2:3. The fire is not a bad thing. It is a good thing. True, it “burns the flesh” and so the flesh perceives it as evil. But its purpose is to purify and cleanse.

So it is with the prophecy in Rev. 15, 16. It speaks of the feast of Tabernacles. The seven angels pour out seven bowls of wine in judgment upon the nations, because they operate in a carnal, fleshly realm that is in rebellion against God. The purpose of these so-called “plagues” is not to destroy the world, but to cleanse and purify it by the water and fire of the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 15, 16 leaves out many details about the feast of Tabernacles, but they are there nonetheless. Any man in his day who had witnessed these ceremonies in the temple would have had a much more complete picture of these things than we have today.

Entering the Temple in Heaven

Rev. 15:8 ends with:

8 . . . and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

This is not a temple on earth, but in heaven (15:5). This seems to be a clear statement that is applicable to the coming of Christ and the harpazo, the “catching away” in 1 Thess. 4:17. I believe that the harpazo is the beginning of the time when the overcomers will have the ability to move between heaven and earth at will like Jesus did after His resurrection. I have written about this in detail in my online book, The Laws of the Second Coming.

This is different from our current right to go before the throne of grace boldly in prayer (Heb. 4:16). Jesus Himself went before the throne of grace in prayer many times before His resurrection, but afterward, He had the ability to go personally into the temple in heaven. In fact, it was a necessity for Him to do this, because He had to bring His blood to sprinkle on the mercy seat of heaven’s temple (Heb. 9:12). This was a new thing.

So it is with us. The “sons of Zadok” (i.e., the Melchi-zadok Order) will minister to God in the heavenly temple as prophesied in Ezekiel 44:15-19. But they cannot enter that temple until the seven angels have poured out the seven last plagues to fulfill the feast of Tabernacles.

We are currently seeing a manifestation of these things in the seven years from 1999 to 2006. Whether or not this is THE final manifestation remains to be seen. Meanwhile, we watch and “wait and see.”

The Seven Last Plagues

The seven bowls of wine are called “plagues” in Rev. 15:8. Whereas Egypt had ten plagues, the nations at the end of age are given seven plagues to conform to the seven days of Tabernacles.

In Rev. 16:1 these plagues are equated to “the wrath of God.” These have often been taken too literally, not realizing that this is prophetic terminology seen in visions. The mistake is made largely because men have been taught that God punishes sinners, rather than correcting them.

Thus, commentators may insist that the “malignant sore” of Rev. 16:1 must be a literal, physical disease instead of spiritual disease. This in spite of Isaiah’s picture of Israel as being sick from head to foot. Isaiah 1:5, 6 says,

5 Where will you be stricken again, as you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even to the head, there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil.

In God’s eyes, Israel was sick with malignant sores everywhere, because she was in rebellion against God. The “sores” were evidence of spiritual disease and internal poisons. Sores were not the problem. Spiritual toxins were.

Wine was used in the Bible to cleanse sores and wounds. Note the Good Samaritan in Jesus’ parable. In Luke 10:34 we read,

34 and came to him, and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them. . .

Pouring wine on a wound does not cause a sore. A sore is the natural, God-given way for the body to heal itself. When the body builds up too much poison or toxins faster than the organs can eliminate, the skin opens up and drains toxic material to help the other organs. These are called “sores.” Sores are part of the solution, not the problem. They are evidence that poisons have overloaded the organs so the skin opens up to help those organs cleanse the body.

The alcohol in wine is an antiseptic to kill bacteria. The oil was either balsam oil (the “balm” of Gilead in Jer. 8:22) or frankincense or myrrh with olive oil as a carrier. The oil was for healing, the wine was for cleansing.

And so when the seven angels pour out the seven bowls of wine, we ought to understand that this does not cause the disease among the nations. It merely manifests the disease (rebellion against the rule of Christ) that is already within their hearts. The first bowl is said to cause a “malignant sore,” but the sore is meant to cleanse the nations of their toxic, rebellious attitude toward Christ. The seven bowls of wine manifest the symptoms of the disease so that it can be treated. Perhaps we should think of the nations as having seven major diseases that need treatment.

Only immature children without understanding think of the medicine as something “bad” just because “it stings” or “it tastes bad.” Let us be more mature than that.

The Seven Angels

The book of Revelation does not give us the names of the seven angels or, indeed, of any angels. It is therefore not essential to know their names. The main thing is to see their function and the earthly results of what they do.

Having said this, let me also add that it is always helpful to our understanding to know their names, for that helps us to broaden our understanding of what they do. The problem is that the only way to know such things is to pray for wisdom and revelation as James 1:5, 6 tells us,

5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea driven and tossed by the wind.

Well, I am one who lacks wisdom, so I feel qualified to ask for my fair share. Having done so, I will share what I believe I received from the Father over the past few weeks. If you do not believe in such revelation, please just treat it as a nonessential issue. The seven angels with the seven bowls of wine are:

  1. The Redemption Angel

  2. The Cleansing Angel

  3. The Appearing of Sons Angel

  4. All Consuming Breath Angel

  5. Overcoming Flesh Angel

  6. Angel of Pure Influence

  7. Angel of the Approaching Fullness of God

Earth and Sea

The first angel pours out his bowl of wine upon the earth, and the second upon the sea. These are called to judge the two beasts in Rev. 13, where the first beast comes from the sea, and the second from the earth.

Rev. 13:1 says,

1 And he stood on the sand of the seashore. And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

We wrote about this beast in FFI #179, Part 10 of our series. (We have back issues for those who need them.) This beast was prophesied and described in Dan. 7. In Dan. 7:8 the beast is described as having “a mouth uttering great boasts.” Later, Daniel says it wages war on the saints and overpowers them until the Ancient of Days came to transfer authority to the saints of the Most High.

John sees it in Rev. 13:5 as a beast “speaking arrogant words and blasphemies.”

This “little horn” of Daniel that comes out of the Roman Empire is Papal Rome. In Part 10 we showed some of the arrogant, boastful words of the popes who claimed that they had the power to dispense with the precepts of the apostles and of Jesus Himself.

As for timing, Daniel sees its power extending for “a time, times, and a half a time.” Prophetically speaking, a “time” is 360 days or years, depending on whether it is being applied in short-term or long-term prophecy. It is thus three-and-a-half “times,” or a total of 1,260 years.

John interprets Daniel’s “times” as being a period of 42 months (Rev. 13:5). A prophetic “month” is 30 days or years. 42 x 30 = 1,260 years.

In this case, we have the long-term fulfillment in full view, going from 529 to 1789 A.D. It began when Justinian changed Roman law to align with Orthodox Church Law in 529 A.D. It ended when the Roman Church began to lose its temporal power at the time of the French Revolution.

The point is, this beast that comes from the sea is a religious beast—specifically, the Roman Catholic Church.

The second beast in Rev. 13:11-18 is an economic beast. That is why it is described in terms of no man being able to buy or sell without its mark.

So the first two angels pour out their judgment upon the earth and the sea—not upon nature itself, which is God’s and which was pronounced “very good” in Gen. 1:31, but upon the beast systems that arise out of earth and sea.

Pouring Out the Bowls: 2000-2006

As we said earlier, the time of the seven bowls began with the 2000th birthday of Jesus at the feast of Trumpets in the year 1999. I showed in my book, Secrets of Time, that Jesus was born in 2 B.C. at the feast of Trumpets. There was no other possible time in history that He could have been born, given the biblical description compared with the secular historians of the day. Josephus tells us that Herod was approaching 70 years old.

Cyrenius was governor of Syria by May of 2 B.C. He had been sent to Syria as a lieutenant governor of Syria to enroll all Roman citizens in ratifying the Roman Senate proclamation (Feb.5, 2 B.C.) making Augustus Caesar “Father of the Country.” By September of that year, the enrollment had moved down to Judea, which was under the jurisdiction of the province of Syria. That is when Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem to be enrolled in the city of his family—the city of David. The only other time Cyrenius was governor of Syria was in 6 or 7 A.D., but this would have been far too late for the birth of Jesus.

Thus, Jesus turned 30 in September of 29 A.D. after John the Baptist had been ministering for six months. That is when John baptized Jesus. John himself had begun his ministry in the 15th year of Tiberius (Luke 3:1). Tiberius had been adopted by Augustus Caesar. Augustus died on Aug. 19, 14 A.D. Tiberius’ 15th year, then, was in 28-29 A.D. John began his ministry in the Spring of 29 A.D.

Jesus turned 30 six months later, so working backward we find that Jesus was born in the fall of 2 B.C. Keep in mind that there is no year zero. That is why it is 30 years from 2 B.C. to 29 A.D. It is important to know this history, because Hosea 6:2 says that “He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day.” The third day from Jesus’ birth began at the feast of Trumpets in 1999.

When the time actually came, we were given the insight that in order to begin pouring out the vials, we first had to wait a year for the crop of “grapes” to become ripe. That is why we had to wait until Tabernacles of 2000 to pour out the first bowl of wine. The seventh bowl will be poured out at Tabernacles of 2006, and that will begin the 8th day/year of this Tabernacles fulfillment.

The Law of the Double Witness

In Rev. 13 the beast from the earth is the economic beast. I had this insight as early as 1995 when I did a series of tapes on the book of Revelation. What I did NOT know at the time was the timing of its fulfillment. In 1999 as we approached the feast of Trumpets, He finally gave me this revelation. And so we prepared to pour out the first bowl.

But wait—what gives me the right to pour out any bowls of wine?? Does not Revelation 16 clearly say that this is done by seven angels? That is absolutely correct. But as we have already seen through many examples in our study of this book, men do on earth what the angels do in the heavens.

God established things by His word, which is His law. The law of the double witness is one such law. All things are established on earth by two or three witnesses. The ultimate witnesses are heaven and earth, as Moses tells us in Deut. 4:26, “I call heaven and earth to witness against you today.”

God gives the first witness from heaven; and it is established in the earth when the earth says AMEN as the second witness. God is looking for an AMEN people, those who speak what they hear their Father speak, and those who do what they see their Father do.

The first heaven and the first earth were created by the power of the AMEN, and Isaiah 65:16-18 tells us that the same is true with the new heavens, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem,

16 Because he who is blessed in the earth shall be blessed by the God of truth [Heb. “amen”]. And he who swears in the earth shall swear by the God of truth [Heb. “amen”]. . . 17 For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. . . 18 for behold, I create Jerusalem for rejoicing.

This passage is referenced in Rev. 3:14,

14 And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this.

Jesus Christ had to come to earth to provide the earthly witness—making it a double witness to what the Father was doing in heaven. This is the lawful means by which the new heavens, the new earth, and the new Jerusalem are formed. Not only Jesus Himself, but also His Body, of which He is the Head—these are the AMEN people, those who are in agreement with God and His plan for the earth.

So when I was led to begin pouring out the bowls of wine on earth, it was simply a response to what I saw the angels doing in heaven, or on the spiritual plane. My job is only to bear witness to what I have seen or heard. I can initiate nothing, nor can anything I do have any effect by itself. If the angel has not done it first, then nothing I do will have any effect whatsoever.

So beginning with our next issue we will show what has actually transpired in the earth, for only actual events can prove the accuracy of what I have seen and heard. The first bowl was poured out in Oct. 2000 upon the economic beast, and then we saw the world economy begin to crash.