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They refused to change their hearts. Revelation 16:8,9

As children, we watched a show on television called, The Twilight Zone.
1959 Series Logo
1959 Series Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
You were never quite sure if the person who was central to the story wasn't living out part of a dream or their personal reality. In one particular episode “The Midnight Sun, the earth had fallen out of its orbit and was creeping closer to the sun. The obvious effect was a continuous and increasing heat, and people were dying.
I would venture a guess that Rod Serling borrowed this concept from the Revelation. How about that for a transition to our next passage.
Revelation 16:8-9 NASB The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. (9) Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
Land baked by a scorching hot sun.
Land baked by a scorching hot sun.
I want to tell you that everything we see in the Revelation is meant to drive men to God; but, what if it is not. What if it is merely meant to punish and judge? Do I then join the chorus of people we see in verse nine, blaspheming the name of God?
To validate my argument that the destruction is meant to turn people to God, the Easy-to-Read Version says, “But they refused to change their hearts and lives and give glory to God.” So then, it is true; God is trying to get their attention. And, since reasonable people would turn to him, God would have good reason to halt the pain and destruction.
(This is not a new concept, it is one of the primary reasons that Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh, because he knew that God would show them mercy and Jonah wanted them dead. This was such a driving force in him that he effectively committed suicide. I know, this all too hard for most to handle, but you would understand this if you read God's word for yourselves.)
Jeremiah 18:8 ERV But if the people of that nation change their hearts and lives and stop doing evil things, I will change my mind and not follow my plans to bring disaster to them.
Did you notice that they blasphemed the name of God?
How many times have you heard the lament, I think I have blasphemed God and I am therefore unforgivable? More than a couple I imagine.
I seriously doubt that most of us have any idea of what it means to blaspheme.
It does not necessarily mean what you mother, who was trying to control some ugly behavior in you, meant when she told you your tongue was going to send you to hell. Jesus explained this concept very plainly when he harshly berated the Pharisees and elders for attributing his works to the devil.
Mark 3:28-29 KJV "Verily I say unto you, All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme: (29) But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation:"
Pay attention here, “All sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies..:” “But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness,” The Holy Ghost?! Many of my friends have loudly ranted that the Holy Ghost will be taken out of the earth with the church, at the rapture (or snatching away.)
These unidentified persons we see in Revelation 19:9, and there are many, “blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.” Jesus Christ nor scripture makes a distinction between God and the Holy Ghost, and neither should you.
1 John 5:5-8 NASB "Who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? (6) This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. (7) For there are three that testify: (8) the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement."
Look at what Revelation 16:9 says once again.
Revelation 16:8-9 NASB The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. (9) Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
The passage does not say this condemns them to the eternal hell meant for Satan and his followers, we merely assume so. It is a logical assumption since they did not repent.
Let's focus on the word blaspheme for a moment. The Greek word blasphēmeō means many things, all quite comparable. What we saw in Mark's gospel was a defamation by attributing the works of God to the devil. Did they mean it when they said it? Wholeheartedly; I believe they meant to divert people away from God, the form of Jesus, back to Jewish tradition. So, yes, they meant what they said.
BlasphemeG987 – blasphemeo - From G989; to vilify; specifically to speak impiously: - (speak) blaspheme (-er, -mously, -my), defame, rail on, revilespeak evil.
Scorched with fierce heat they vilified God, spoke impiously about him, defamed his name and character, reviled him and generally spoke evil of this God they previously chose to ignore; most people would.

Having now had many plagues, poisonings, and disasters befall them, these people still do not get it.

Get what? That there is a God and he is not theirs. Theirs, it seems, is willing to sacrifice them with no remorse. Assuming that many of these would be Muslims, then they would be calling out, “Allahu Akbar” (“god is greater.”) Since nothing will change and they have a strong belief that all fate is in the hands of Allah, then this will probably be the standard chant.
What would be the standard chant of the atheist or the apostate church, should they find themselves in this place?
At least the Muslims have a comprehension that Allah is in control and his decisions are beyond question. What a concept that would be for the Christian church, but I digress.
Where in this process is the blasphemy? Kind of hard to tell based upon one word. Doesn't this imply that they added some descriptive language to their vocabulary, and, that they at a least acknowledge the possibility that there is some other entity out there, which, by their calculations, hates them?
What would help to make these verses about blasphemy make more sense? [Revelation 16:9 and Mark 3:28,29]
Perhaps forgiveness - the basis of our lives in Christ; the forgiveness that came from Jesus placing himself voluntarily on the cross to pay OUR debt, doing all that God intended; an action that paid the debt for everyone – whether it be in the past, present, or future. And, because of that voluntary submission and payment, these people we see in Revelation 16:9 are not judged for their sins either but for their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah over their life.
Because Jesus made this statement that we read in Mark's gospel, “he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation”, then there must be some sort of imaginary line drawn in the sand that must not be crossed. Look closely at both verses, the line is difficult to see, because, as Mark pointed out this person or group, “is in danger”. There is no finality in that, but I can perceive a warning. Contrast this warning with one coming from a father speaking to his child who is playing on the edge of a fire pit filled with hot embers from a dinner cooked only moments before. Merely to warn of the danger does not mean that the father will push the child in. It certainly implies that the father is painfully aware of what can happen should the child push the envelope of safety and fall in.
What I see, even here, is God giving them an opportunity to receive mercy. You see something comparable in Revelation 16:9 when the Holy Spirit points out that, “they did not repent so as to give Him glory.” The opportunity for mercy is there all along; and, because they choose not to take it, this is all on them as they are making the choice, not God.

Moving on.

Revelation 16:10 LITV And the fifth angel poured out his bowl onto the throne of the beast. And its kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues from the pain.
I never noticed this before: “And the fifth angel poured out his bowl onto the throne of the beast. And its kingdom became darkened;”
Darkness poured out over the throne of the beast.
Ask yourself a few questions here.
  • Do we know where his “throne” is yet?
    Not yet, but the whole world will almost immediately after the catching away of the church.
  • Does the “beast” present himself as a beast, or is that merely God's designation for a man of such horrific actions?
  • How many beasts are mentioned in the book of Revelation?
Rev 11:7 the beast out of the Abyss;
Rev 13:1 the beast coming out of the sea;
Rev 13:11-14 another beast coming up out of the earth .. it spoke like a lamb. And, it exercises all the authority of the first beast whose fatal wound was healed;
Then how do we know which beast we are dealing with?
You might start answering this question by asking, what is the context of this beast, for there are several mentioned in Revelation. This one, in particular, is the Antichrist character. A human, carrying out the will of the dragon/Serpent, but he may or may not be completely aware of that the dragon is empowering him. In an effort to get a better feel for the context I went back to Revelation 13:5 where it says, There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.” While it may not be clear to others it is definitively clear to me that the mouth speaking is speaking of someone who represents the multi-headed beast now in these last days. 
Is it possible that he is here now? Certainly, and may be speaking on behalf of the broader spectrum beast even now. (Clues: The American President speaks in defense of Islam constantly; Angela Merkel defends the infidels that rape German women. Just pick a country where the "refugees" have come and what is the leadership doing, being their mouth, defending their abhorrent actions.)
Because the restrainer (the church) is removed by this catching away of the church, the antichrist spokesman's authority to act with no restraint is unleashed upon the world for forty-two months. 42 months = Three-and-one-half years. Because we know that the beast/antichrist operates long enough to make a seven-year treaty with many, and then breaks his own treaty at 42 months. We can assume that this happens rather quickly.
But when we go back to Revelation 13:1 we see a description of something not found on the earth. A monstrosity with 10 horns and seven heads. One of those heads sustains a deadly wound and is assumed to be dead. In time, it comes back to life and becomes a deadly threat upon the entire earth.
And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems [crowns], and on his heads were blasphemous names [defaming things that speak vile against God]. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; “(Revelation 13:1-3 NASB) Italics are added by me.
There is one entity on earth today that fits that description, and it is Islam. Investigate the end of the Ottoman empire and you will find that this was Islam in its finest and most destructive form for the day. Shut down, made illegal, and disbanded by the British in 1924, the world assumed the Islamic religion and its rampaging violence was dead. Not so. Even worse, it has been back with a vengeance since 1979 and the Islamic revolution in Iran. Are you looking for a one world religion, not necessarily one with a voluntary compliance, but one forced upon you? Then here it is.
Since the darkness is poured out on its kingdom, then where is that?
Again, that is not clear yet. If President Obama were to assume the role of Antichrist, would that make America the kingdom of darkness?
Give some thought to this:
  • I would have never imagined in my wildest of dreams that our American president would be a Muslim, but, it has become clear, by his own admissions and statements, that he is.
    ISIS, the extreme arm of Islam, has openly declared our president an infidel/Kafir, they did this because they demand a strict following of the Qur'an, making him the object of their rage as well. Trying to understand who controls these people is confusing at best and makes them and their ideals extremely dangerous. If they unleash their goals upon this country, then we too will end up looking like the bombed out cities of the Middle East.
  • Should this all happen before the elections and a new president comes into power, then what would it mean for America, or the country you live in, to go into what seems like a painful darkness?
    This makes little sense unless you understand: where we as a nation stand financially, and that North Korea, among others, wish to bomb America with nuclear weapons. Since we know that an EMP blast will have the effect of putting the lights out, for a very long time, and cause painful grief in so many other ways, then this becomes a real possibility.
  • Lastly, should President Obama move on to become the president of the U.N., would he take his kingdom global?
Things that stand out in my mind:
Since this head that sustained the mortal wound is clearly alive and well today, bringing its one world religion progressively to the nations by killing off for example 2.4 million Hindus in India in 1971, there is clearly something restraining this beast from running rampant, doing all that he pleases. We can see reference to that restraint in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8.
NASB “And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. (7) For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (8) Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming;”
In case you did not know it, the restrainer is the church when it is in an active mode, praying, voting, making people aware and withholding the enemy. To make this more relevant, here in America we have elections coming up in November to elect a new president. Sadly, though, others get to make the decision for us about who we get to vote for. Oh, don't get me wrong, I can vote for anybody, even write in a name like Dr. Ben Carson, but I might as well throw my vote in the trash at that point. That means I need to focus my attention on the horrid choices I have. Because I lean toward one political party over the other, I really only have two choices out of the four. Of the ones I will not have to consider, one should be in prison; the other is a Socialist. History has proven life under a socialist regime is a disaster unless you are a part of the global elite and very few are.
How about the options I do have? Neither of those is worth a dime. Blondie will become a vindictive dictator while the other has changed his song so many times no one should trust him. None-the-less, I will vote, putting my trust in the Holy Spirit and some intelligence to guide me.
Here is the bottom line on this voting stuff. The country I live in is done; those of us who are awake realize this. Therefore, whoever God places in office will be by his design, and I have to accept that. There is no hope in that, but there hope in Jesus Christ/God and his promise that no matter what happens we will have a home in eternity, free from violence, hatred, and pain, and it will be with the Father.

People do not make treaties unless there is some potential or real strife going on.

Ezekiel 38,39 tell us that this strife will happen, and it sounds like nuclear weapons are involved because teams are required to mark bodies while others must come and dispose of them. (This is the battle of Armageddon that gets mentioned frequently.) The ESV calls it Armageddon while the CJB refers to the place as Har Megiddo. Look up the Hebrew translation of Har Megiddo and you get two parts: a mountain or range of hills and the rendezvous. It quickly becomes obvious that God has a rendezvous planned.
Ezekiel 39:6 NASB "And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coast lands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.
Even though we see the dead being buried for seven months, there will be those they cannot even approach for seven months.
Ezekiel 39:14-15 NASB "They will set apart men who will constantly pass through the land, burying those who were passing through, even those left on the surface of the ground, in order to cleanse it. At the end of seven months they will make a search. (15) "As those who pass through the land pass through and anyone sees a man's bone, then he will set up a marker by it until the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog.
If you have been paying attention to the not so headline news, then you would know that Russian and Syrian troops are on the border of the Golan Heights area of Israel. The potential for disaster is there already.
Ezekiel 39:1-2 NASB "And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog and say, 'Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal; (2) and I will turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
Soon, all the nations will be gathered against Israel.
Zechariah 12:3 NASB "It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.
I mentioned a few lines ago that there is little hope for the nation but followers of Christ have a hope. What I did not mention is that this hope does not exclude you from the trials and tribulations of this world. In case you did not know it there is a clear distinction between the time immediately after the rapture called by many, "the tribulation"; however, God calls this time frame the time of his wrath or the “day of the Lord”. This time of wrath has no options, it comes from God - although we cannot exclude his usage of people, and is meant to punish. Tribulation, on-the-other-hand, is as Jesus said, a lifestyle thing for believers. What does that mean to me? It means that I have to mentally prepare for the worst case scenario. I am a grandpa, and if my granddaughter wants to go to the bathroom in a store that condones a man going into the woman's bathroom, then I am going to protect her. The obvious aspect is that I might to jail over this. Not only do I have mentally prepare for something like this but everything I write is being monitored and the day will come when I will be arrested for expressing my opinions in a post. This is what you get with totalitarian and Sharia law, should you be entertaining that thought.
This is why I am telling you to find out who you are in Christ. You are the son of a carpenter, a man's man and he is not telling you to be a wimp. Just the opposite. Remember, that voluntarily submitting to the Holy Spirits leading, and not fighting back takes tremendous strength also.
The Apostle Peter stood on the day of Pentecost and announced that “this is that”. What is that? The fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Joel the prophet - a prophecy about the last days.
Joel 2:28-29 NASB "It will come about after this That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and daughters will prophesy, Your old men will dream dreams, Your young men will see visions. (29) "Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
Why would I need the power of the Holy Spirit during the last days? Because those who find themselves in this time of wrath will be under the most horrific pressure.
Joel 2:32 NASB "And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of the LORD Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the LORD has said, Even among the survivors whom the LORD calls.
If you find yourself in this horrific time frame call upon the name of the Lord.

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