Graceful Perseverance: The Bible, New Testament; Part 2 – 8/18
Welcome to this week’s blog. For the next several weeks, I will continue to focus on my favorite book, the Bible.
This week I will continue with part two of the Bible, the New Testament (the Bible, Part 2). I will identify the purpose of each book, the author of each book, the date written, key verses and key people involved to help give you a better understanding of the Bible before you dive into it on your own.
When you open your Bible, you will find the New Testament has 27 books, starting with Matthew (28 chapters) and ending with Revelation (22 chapters). To date, I’ve completed the overview of the Old Testament, 39 books. In regards to the New Testament, I’ve completed the overview of 27 books, starting with the book of Matthew through the final book, the book of Revelation.
If you wish to revisit any of the Old Testament or New Testament blogs, you can find them on my website: https://www.thewitnesstoday.com/blog-archives.
The author and compiler of the final book of the New Testament is John, from the Island of Patmos. For hundreds of centuries there have been many approaches to interpreting the book of Revelation. Many of these approaches have supporters, but none of which have proved to be the only way to interpret or read this last book of the Bible.
The book of Revelation is written in “apocalyptic” form – a type of Jewish literature that uses symbolic imagery to communicate hope (in the ultimate triumph of God) for all of us who will be in the midst of persecution. The events in Revelation are ordered according to literary, rather than a traditional, chronological timeline. Revelation provides a powerful message of warning and instruction for end times or otherwise known as judgment day.
Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. – Revelation 1:3 (NIV).
The purpose of the book of Revelation is to reveal the full identity of Christ, and to give warning and hope to believers. The author, Apostle John wrote the book of Revelation approximately 95 A.D. (From the Latin word annō Dominī – stands for “In the year of the Lord”), from the Island of Patmos.
Below is the chapter I have covered in this week’s blog. This format will help readers move through the book of Revelation at their own pace. I encourage you to study and jot down your questions as you go through each chapter and the supporting scripture.
Revelation - Chapter 15-19 (7 Plagues & 7 Bowls of Wrath)
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 (NIV).The Biblical history of the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath date back to a parable during the Egyptian times. What happened to the Israelites during Egyptian times should be an example of what is going to come upon us in our last days.
These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! – 1 Corinthians 10:11-12 (NIV).
More than 3,800 years ago, the Egyptians tyrannized the Israelites, God’s people. The Egyptians would not allow the Israelites to freely worship the true God.
We note the history of the powerful Egyptian government, and their overbearing church, and government that was forced upon the Israelites because this is parallel to what we are seeing today in our end times. We know through history; people have been murdered for their faith. Over the last century, millions have been killed by overbearing governments, and many of the lives that have been lost are those of believers. Christians today are still being persecuted, and condemned and even killed for their faith. We must remove the blinders to what is taking place today. If you think you are standing firm, be careful you don’t fall. There is a collaboration of nations today preparing to merge church, and state into a one-world church, and state union by the direction of our government, religious and world leaders.
In the Egyptian era, worship, and who you worshipped was problematic throughout Egypt. Worship is becoming more and more problematic for Christians today. And, we will see as we get closer to end times, more and more Christians will be persecuted for their faith. Christians will be forced to accept the mark of the Beast (Antichrist) in order survive. The plagues and the bowls of wrath that were thrown down to earth by the angels in heaven during Egyptian last days was because of the enforcement of false worshipping. The Israelites, under the control of the Egyptians, were forbidden to worship, the true God. This made God very angry with the Egyptians. But the Israelites were saved, and protected from the plagues, and the bowls of wrath because they were God’s church, His body of believers. Likewise, God’s people in our last days will also be saved, and protected through the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath because Jesus will deliver us. Just as He delivered the Israelites from the Egyptians.
1st Plague – Ugly Festering Sores: The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the Beast and worshiped its image. – Revelation 16:2 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, those who promote a church and state union will also sanction the mark of the Beast (Antichrist), and its image. Unless all people, from all nations, accept the mark of the Beast (Antichrist), and worship its image, they (the church and state government) are going to bring oppression, and persecution upon those who do not accept this new world church and state (the mark of the Beast).
Biblical scripture reminds us that they will never deliver on their afflictions because their people have already suffered this plague of ugly, festering sores all over their bodies. Through Jesus, His people will be saved and protected with bodily protection.
2nd Plague – The Sea Turns to Blood: The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died. – Revelation 16:3 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, it will destroy the world’s economy. But those who enforce the mark of the Beast (Antichrist) will threaten God’s people if we don’t take the mark of the Beast (Antichrist). It is by rejecting the mark of the Beast that believers will not be able to buy or sell.
For those that follow the mark of the Beast (Antichrist), and its image, they will come to realize that the promises of economic security will be lost if they accept the mark of the Beast (Antichrist), and worship the image. It is then that the entire world will be in anarchy. Through Jesus, His people will be saved, and protected with economic protection.
3rd Plague - Fresh Waters Turn to Blood: The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve. And I heard the altar respond: Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments. – Revelation 16:4-7 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, the enforcers of the mark of the Beast (Antichrist) will proclaim to God’s people that if we want to live, we must take the mark of the Beast (Antichrist). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath falls upon the earth, the enforcers, and their people cannot protect themselves from this plague. The only drink the wicked deserve will be that of blood, while God’s people will be blessed with fresh water (Isaiah 33:16). Through Jesus, the lives of His people will be saved, and protected.
4th Plague – Scorched by the Sun: The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him. – Revelation 16:8-9 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, people will be scorched with fire, fire from the sun. These are unbelievers who worship the Beast, and blasphemy against God’s name. They refuse to repent, and glorify God. They will be seared by the intense heat, as they continue to curse God. Through Jesus, His people know that our worship belongs to Jesus, not the Beast (Antichrist).
5th Plague – Darkness Upon the Kingdom: The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the Beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony. – Revelation 16:10 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, those who look to the Beast (Antichrist) for light and truth, will find their kingdom suddenly, and unexpectantly filled with darkness. Light is a sign of truth, divine knowledge, and wisdom from God. Through Jesus, His people will be saved, and protected with His light and truth.
6th Plague – Euphrates Dries Up: The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the Beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.
Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed. Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. – Revelation 16:12-16 (NIV). When this plague, and the bowl of wrath come upon the earth, the great River Euphrates will dry up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. In the Old Testament, we learn that the great River Euphrates was Babylon’s main support system. The great River Euphrates ran through the center of the city of Babylon.
The meaning and etymology of Babylon (Greek), or Babel (Hebrew) means confusion. Notoriously, Babylon was denoted as any large, and overbearing government (1 Peter 5:13 and Revelation 14:8).
We learn in Revelation that Babylon is referred to as the spiritual Babylon, which represents a ‘church and state government of confusion.’
As I’ve mentioned throughout my blogs, scripture is very symbolic. Revelation 17:15 reveals that water is symbolic for peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. The reference of a prostitute in this scripture symbolizes Babylon, and the prostitute of the Beast (Antichrist). The great prostitute called Babylon represents the early Roman empire, with its many gods, idols, and the blood of Christian martyrs on its hands. The name written on her forehead was a mystery: BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. – Revelation 17:5 (NIV).
The seductiveness of a government system like Babylon uses corrupt means to advance its own desires, wealth and gain. Much like that of a prostitute who uses seductiveness for personal desires, wealth and gains.
Then the angel said to me, The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. – Revelation 17:15 (NIV).
In the end, after all seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath have fallen onto earth, onto the multitudes of people who follow the Beast (Antichrist), the wicked will begin to realize that the church and state leaders who told them they would be saved from the plagues, they actually have absolutely no power to halt God’s seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath.
Millions of followers of the Beast (Antichrist) will be confused, and will desperately want to pull back their following of the Beast (Antichrist). This is what the Bible refers to as the drying up of Euphrates. Through Jesus, His people will be saved, and protected through salvation.
Just as Cyrus, the King of the East, delivered God’s people from literal Babylon when the river Euphrates dried up, Jesus Christ, the only King of Kings, will also deliver His people after the wicked pull back their support from the spiritual Babylon.
The Bible, with all certainty, tells us that Jesus will come as a thief to deliver His people. But not after the 6th plague as some believe, but before the first of the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of God’s wrath strikes the earth.
Revelation 16:15 certainly depicts God’s warning to all of us to stay awake, remain clothed, so as to not be shamefully exposed when the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath come upon the earth.
Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed. – Revelation 16:15 (NIV).
In order to witness God’s wrath upon the wicked, the righteous will still be here during, and through the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath as they are poured out upon the earth. But God promises during the pouring out of the seven plagues, and the seven bowls of wrath, He will protect His people. He promises that no harm will overtake His people, and no disaster will come near the tents of His people. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, The LORD is my refuge, and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. – Psalm 91:5-10 (NIV).
7th Plague – End of the World Battle: The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake.
No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed.
God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.
From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible. – Revelation 16:17-21 (NIV).
When this seventh, and last plague, and the seventh, and last bowl of wrath come upon the earth, Jesus returns as King of Kings. The seventh, and final plague, will be the most horrific, and dreadful plague out of all of the plagues. Jesus returns as King of Kings. This is “Day of the Lord.”
This final earthquake will level the great cities of the earth, causing the lands and mountains to crumble. The wicked will be destroyed by the great hail, and God’s faithful followers will be caught up to meet Jesus in the air, just as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV) proclaims.
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. – 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NIV).
Through Jesus, His people are saved, and protected and will receive deliverance.
Let’s recap. This week we covered Chapter 15-19 of Revelation (7 Plagues & 7 Bowls of Wrath) in the New Testament. Next week I will wrap up the New Testament series with Revelation, Chapters 20-22 (The 1,000 Year Reign, The New Heaven and the New Earth and Eden Restored).
I am hopeful that you are finding this format an easy, quick overview of the New Testament.
Blessings until next week,
Debra Pauli Unstoppable Believer
Scripture Quoted From: New International Version Bible (NIV) Archived Blogs: https://www.thewitnesstoday.com/blog-archives