Re 16:17 ¶ And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
- The voice from the temple in heaven is undoubtedly that of God Himself. “It is done!” is literally translated, “It has been and will remain done”. This agrees with what was revealed to John in Rev. 15:1: in them is filled (completed, executed, discharged) up the wrath of God.
- This phrase it is done of course is speaking of the wrath of God as it relates to the great tribulation period, at which time, The Second Coming of Christ takes place when He then sets up His 1,000 year kingdom reign.
- Even then, after the Millennial Kingdom, some cleanup operations remain. The order from Scripture is as follows:
- Satan will be loosed to lead the unfaithful in one last rebellion (Rev. 20:7-10) which will be put down by God.
- The unbelieving dead will be resurrected, judged, and undergo the second death (Rev. 20:11-15). The millennial heaven and earth will flee away (Rev. 20:11) to be recreated (Rev. 21:1)
- and then God will repeat this pronouncement in its absolute final sense—when death is no more and sin has been forever vanquished. “It is done!” (Rev. 21:6). The eternal state has then begun.
This same phrase it is done was cried once before. In John 19:30, when Jesus was hanging on the cross He cried with a loud voice, "It is finished" and then He gave up the ghost.
- What was finished? The sufferings and agonies in redeeming man are over. The work long contemplated, long promised, long expected by prophets and saints, is done. Albert Barnes
- Jesus was declaring that His work of redemption for the sin of mankind. Redemption was a finished work. Full atonement for sin was accomplished through His death upon the cross.
- The cry of Christ- "It is finished" - was a triumphant cry, not a cry of defeat. Jesus said in John 10:18 , "No man takes my life from Me. I give My life." He gave His life as a ransom for our sins. He has finished the work of redemption.
- Heb 10:12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God
- Atonement is accomplished, but personal atonement for sin is not applied until we repent of our sin and call upon His Name.
- Heb 7:25 Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them.
- The same God that declared on the cross it is finished, will one day declare with equal finality, it is done. Jesus is either your Lord or He is your Judge.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great (mage) earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake (vast in magnitude), and so great (mega).
- These voices, and thunders, and lightnings are signs of divine judgment. There is also a reference to a great earthquake.
There are numerous earthquakes associated with the time of the end.
- Jesus taught that earthquakes were an indicator of “the beginning of sorrows (birth pangs; travail)” (Mat. 24:8).
- A tremendous earthquake results from the opening of the sixth seal, attended by cosmic signs (Rev. 6:12).
- There was an earthquake after the seventh seal, but before the first trumpet, when the angel of the altar took the censer, filled it with fire, and threw it to the earth (Rev. 8:7-10).
- At the ascension of the two witnesses a great earthquake leveled one tenth of Jerusalem contributing to the conversion of those who remained alive (Rev. 11:13).
This particular earthquake will be the most intense and powerful in the history of man, for it will effect every fault line on the planet.
The minor prophet Haggai prophesied of a great shaking which would involve all nations prior to their recognition of Christ and the return of the shekinah glory of God to the Millennial Temple:
- Hag 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
- The great city likely describes Jerusalem for it is contrasted with the cities of the nations. The phrase “the great” was also used to describe Jerusalem in Rev 11:8).
- The cities of the nations fall. No more NYC, Paris, Mumbai, Tokyo…. The cities of the nations fall because they are aligned against God and have supported the Harlot (Rev. 17:13).
- Babylon is the most significant of these cities (14:8). It is the special object of God’s judgment, which the cup of wine that she receives symbolizes. Chapters 17 and 18 will describe the fall of Babylon in more detail.
- Both Jerusalem and Babylon are identified as great cities in the Revelation. Both are affected by this mighty earthquake. However, they are affected differently based on God’s different purposes for their future.
- Jerusalem is to be restored to be the home of The Abiding Presence of God and serve as the capital of the Millennial Kingdom.
- When Christ sets foot on the Mount of Olives at His Second Coming, the mount of Olives will split in 2 (Zech. 14:4), but the city of Jerusalem will be split into 3 parts not as a judgment (cf. 11:13), but as an improvement. The additional water supply (Zech. 14:8) and topographical changes (Zech. 14:4,5) will prepare the city for its central place in the millennial kingdom.
- Babylon is to be completely destroyed
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
- Not only will all the major cities of the world fall, but every island will flee as well and all mountains sink. No more Caribbean Islands or Hawaii. No more Himalayas. No more Rockies mountains.
- This massive earthquake will level mountains and cause islands to disappear, causing major global topographical changes, that will prepare the earth for the Edenic conditions that the prophets predicted would characterize the earth during the millennium. These changes will be a fore view of the final disappearance of the old creation and the creation of a new earth
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
- Our passage concludes with hailstones raining down. The huge size of the hailstones, which weight ranges from between 50-100 lbs depending on what scale of measurement we use, indicates unparalleled atmospheric convulsions. Such massive chunks of ice will cause unimaginable devastation and death.
- Hail was often an instrument of divine judgment in biblical history (cf.Exodus 9,10; Josh 10:11; Job 38:22-23; Isa 28:2, 17; Ezek 13:11-13; 38:22-23).
- In spite of all these judgments, the hearts of earth-dwellers will remain hard, as Pharaoh’s did during the plague of hail in Egypt (cf. Exod 9:24). They will know that God sent this calamity, but rather than repenting, they will shake their fists in God’s face. God will stone these blasphemers with these huge hailstones.
- Lev 24:16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.
Now as I have stated from the start of our study of the Revelation, we hold the futuristic view of interpretation to this book. Other views of interpretation are:
· The historicist approach views the Revelation as a symbolic or allegorical prophetic survey of church history from the first century up to the Second Coming of Christ. This was the view espoused by most of the "reformers" and thus dominated Protestant eschatological teaching. The historicist view is reflected in most of the "older" commentaries (many of which are public domain works easily accessible on the internet) including the works of John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, C. H. Spurgeon (although Spurgeon did believe in the Millennium), Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke and Albert Barnes. It is also important to realize that many of these "classic" commentaries tend to treat many of the OT promises to Israel as primarily applying to the NT Church.
· Preterist (from Latin praeter meaning "past") holds that through the use of symbols and allegory, the Revelation deals with events that were fulfilled in John's time and that it was written primarily to provide hope and comfort to the first century church persecuted by Rome. For example, this view interprets the beasts of (Rev 13:1, 2, 11-note) as imperial Rome and the imperial priesthood.
· The preterist view is held by many modern scholars, especially liberals and others who deny that the Revelation is predictive of specific future events.
· The preterist view of the Scriptures that we studied this morning, quote a section from Josephus “Now, the stones that were cast were of the weight of a talent, and were carried two furlongs and farther.” They say that the mention of these stones the weight of a talent was descriptive of the destruction of the city of Jerusalem in 70AD, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the Revelation.
I respectfully submit to you this morning that both the preterist and historical view fails to give an adequate answer to these other facts mentioned in our passages today. IN 70AD:
· Jerusalem was destroyed, not Babylon.
· The Euphrates was not dried up.
· No kings from the east participated.
· No significant gathering of troops occurred at Megiddo.
· No cataclysmic, worldwide earthquake took place.
· Every island and mountain on the planet remained in place.
· The cities of the nations remained standing.
o These differing views are not matters of salvation. Though they may be matters of discussion and dialogue, they should not be matters of division or discord.
As an exhortation to my KF family and any brothers and sisters in the body of Christ who may be visiting us this morning, let me close with these words from Peter:
- 2Pe 3:11 ¶ Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? 13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. 14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
o The truest expression of the study of Bible Prophecy will be a life of faith, holiness and sweet fellowship with other believers in Jesus Christ.
- God’s eschatological and eternal wrath is inevitable; no one can prevent or hinder it from coming (Isa. 43:13).
- Death is inevitable, but upon the authority of the words of Jesus Christ, it is finished! God gives us hope Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
- Those who by faith trust in Christ alone for salvation will escape both God’s eschatological wrath (Rev. 3:10) and His eternal wrath (1Th. 1:10). They will not face judgment, because their sins were judged when Jesus died in their place on the cross (2Cor. 5:21; 1Pe. 2:24).
- In light of the inevitable judgment to come, the warning to all unrepentant sinners is “Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7). As I quoted earlier in our study, listen to these words of Scripture. Heb 7:25 Wherefore He (Jesus Christ) is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him (Jesus Christ).