MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 16
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Lord of Hope
Vic Batista: I find throughout the book of Revelation God offers tidbits of encouragement, like for example in Revelation 16:15. “Behold I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and receive his shame.”
This is Jesus talking. If you have a red letter Bible, this passage is in red letters. This reference hails back to Matthew 24 when Jesus describes His return like a thief. For those of us who are Christians, we will be taken up by Jesus to Heaven before the Tribulation begins. Jesus comes for us just like a thief and steals believers away.
Jesus is making a comparison. You don’t expect when a thief is going to break into your house. Boom! There they are. You were not expecting the thief. And so, when Jesus comes to rapture the Church, He will suddenly and unexpectedly arrive, just like a thief.
For unbelievers during the Tribulation, they don’t know that the Tribulation will last seven years. They don’t know when Jesus will be coming back, so His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation will also be like a thief coming for them.
For those who become believers in Christ during the Tribulation, those who get saved after the Rapture, they will be expecting Jesus exactly at seven years, though not in 365 day years. The Tribulation runs on 360 day years. So, for the Tribulation Saint, Jesus will not be coming as a thief.
For the rest of the unbelieving world, Jesus’ return at the Second Coming is a double-edged sword. He is coming as unexpected as a thief and they are not expecting Him.
Blessed is he who watches! Those who are saved keep their garments on and their lights ready, metaphorically, because they are going to lose everything during that time period, but gain eternal life.
During the Bowl Judgments, the world will have lost the entire hydrological system. The sun will be blazing extra hot and burning the world. The people who have taken the Mark of the Beast are diseased with sores. In trying to run their own lives apart from God, they have in truth lost their lives. Rather, they need to give up and surrender their lives to Jesus Christ, those who can because they haven’t taken the Mark, that is.
As we read back in Revelation 16:11, again and again what do the people do? They blaspheme God and they refuse to repent. “They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.”
Vic Batista: In verse 15 the people of the Tribulation are called to prepare for Christ’s return. I believe that there is also a message here for believers today. Yes, we know that we are not going to go through the Tribulation, for we know that the Rapture is going to take place beforehand. But, the question is, “What are we as Christians doing with the message of the Gospel and the Great Commission in sharing that message of hope?”What are we as #Christians doing with the #Gospel and the #GreatCommission? Click To Tweet
I’m reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5 where Christians are called to be light and not of the night, therefore living as those who are of the day. In 1 Thessalonians 5:1 it reads:
“But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourself know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I believe the call to believers in Christ is that we need to be awake and recognize what is going on spiritually in the world.
Nathan Jones: Agreed! That’s a fantastic verse that describes what’s happening in the end times. The fact is the world is coming to an end, and so we need to be sober and alert, and not just in our own age, but as a hope for the believers during the Tribulation as well.
As the Revelation narrative about the Tribulation goes on, the Bible stops occasionally so that Jesus can give the Apostle John and the reader hope. The narrative stops and Jesus provides flash-forwards into the future to show us that this awful, terrible time period may be the worst in human history, but the Lord wants His children to have hope that it all ends in Christ’s victory.
An example of this hope can be found in Revelation 16:15 where Jesus is saying, “Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments.” In other words, things are coming down hard, but I am going to come back and all this awfulness is going to come to an end. There’s a little bit of hope here that Jesus gives for those who are believers in Him during the Tribulation. The world isn’t going to end in annihilation, and they aren’t going to all be destroyed in God’s wrath, because Jesus is coming back. That should be exciting to the Tribulation Saints!
Vic Batista: There are going to be individuals who will know about the seven year period of time the Tribulation will last because they are going to have the prophetic calendar in the Bible. They will see all the judgments happening and they will know when the end of the Tribulation is coming nearer.
Nathan Jones: One thing about the Tribulation is that those who have to live through it and become saved and have Bibles to study, they will know the exact length of the Tribulation. Jesus will return at the end of seven years, seven years of 360 days each that is, or two segments of 42 months. There will be no doubt when Jesus will be coming back. But, for the rest of the unbelieving world who doesn’t know Jesus Christ, they are going to be very shocked when Jesus comes back, because He is coming back suddenly like a thief.
I don’t think Satan will be shocked when Jesus returns, because he knows how the Tribulation will play out due to the Bible, so he will know his time is short.
The Prowling Lion Wages Armageddon
Nathan Jones: When Satan is cast out of Heaven after his last coup attempt to take God’s throne, he’s going to come falling down to earth in wrath like a prowling lion taking whom he may devour. Satan will know when Jesus is coming back to conquer, so via the Three Demonic Frogs of the Sixth Bowl Judgment, he’ll gather all the armies of the world together in order to wage one last battle against God. That battle is one that almost everybody knows, even those who haven’t read the Bible. It’s called Armageddon.
Vic Batista: Nathan, we’ve been to Israel. We’ve seen the valley the Bible says where Armageddon will take place.
Nathan Jones: The Valley of Jezreel is amazing to behold! It’s filled with farms right now with narrow winding roads and little creeks that run through it. It’s hard to sit there from the top of Mount Carmel and not gape. There’s a Carmelite monastery up there on the top of Mount Carmel, and from it you can look down at the tremendous view across the Valley of Armageddon. You can see a military air base at one end. You can look across in the other direction and see Lebanon. It’s simply amazing to stand there and know that Napoleon Bonaparte was once there and said that he could field all the armies of the world in that valley.
The size of the Valley of Armageddon is tremendous! To think that the blood of the soldiers from that battle will flow the full 180 miles, which is the full length of the Valley of Jezreel, up to the height of a horses’ bridle, which is about four feet high or so. There’s going to be a massive slaughter of all the armies that will gather together in order to try and fight Jesus when He returns.
Vic Batista: Right now in our world there is a lot of shaking going on. A lot of terrible events are happening between different countries and within the nations. We saw a coup going on in Turkey. We see the instability of the world economy. This world is looking for a global leader, and I believe the time is right for end times events to fully line up.
Nathan Jones: Everything is lining up right now to fit the Bible’s prophetic picture. We are seeing the world moving ever closer towards their desire to crown a one-world leader. The world seems obsessed with instituting a global government. Even our own President seems to care less about our country and more about a global entity. China oddly enough is also interested in crowning a one-world leader. The European Union frequently calls for a one-world leader. The whole world wants a one-world leader because they think he will fix all of their problems. Instead, from Bible prophecy we know that the Antichrist will plunge the world into destruction.
Vic Batista: Revelation reminds us that we don’t have a lot of time left in this age. Jesus warns, “I am coming as a thief.” No thief gives any advanced warning of his arrival.
Nathan Jones: No, we’d be ready with our guns drawn if a thief showed up after he granted us advanced warning. To the believer in Christ, Jesus’ call to rapture up the saints will be welcomed but unexpected. And, for the unbelieving world, the return of Jesus Christ at the end of the Tribulation will also be like how a thief comes, because His return in judgment will be totally unexpected because they haven’t read the Bible.
Vic Batista: For Christians today, we have hope, for we believe the Lord is going to take us off this world before the horrors of the Tribulation happens. To have that hope, one must place their trust in Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ alone.
Many tragic stories have happened this week, and many people have died. As a nation we’ve taken our eyes off the Lord and are dabbling in humanistic and satanic teachings. As a result, we see the destruction of marriages and families and society descending into chaos.As a nation we've taken our eyes off the Lord and are dabbling in humanistic and satanic… Click To Tweet
People need to recognize there is a real spiritual war going on. Christians need to pray specifically for the Church of Jesus Christ, because it just seems like pastors and church leaders are oblivious to prophetic events and sleeping at the wheel. When it comes to Bible prophecy and the teaching of Eschatology, they don’t give them any importance, and so Christ’s warnings are ignored. Christians today don’t think knowing the future is necessary. But, the Bible tells us that we need to be sober and we need to be children of the light in the midst of all this darkness.
I want to encourage everyone to take time this week to get into the Word of God. Read a few chapters in the book of Revelation so that you can see how exciting it is. Gain a good hold of what trials are coming to the world in the time called the Tribulation so that you too can be ready.
In the forty-fourth segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the Seventh Bowl Judgment Angel shakes the earth!