1. WHAT is God’s final warning against false worship?
“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of His indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb.” Rev. 14: 9,10.
NOTE.-During probationary time God’s wrath is always tempered, or mingled, with mercy. Thus the prophet Habakkuk prays, “In wrath remember mercy.” Hab-3:2. God’s wrath unmixed with mercy is visited only when mercy has done its final work, and evil has gone to the limit, so that there is “no remedy.” See Gen. 6:3; 15:16; 19:12,13; 2 Chron. 36:16; Matt. 23:37,38; Luke 19:42-44; 2 Peter 2:6; Jude 7.
3. How does Joel describe the day of the Lord?
“Alas for the day! for the day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.” “For the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Joel 1:15; 2:11.
4. What has Daniel said of this time?
“And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Dan. 12:1. See Eze. 7:15-19.
NOTE.-The seven last plagues will be the most terrible scourges ever visited upon man. As Ahab accused Elijah of being the cause of Israel’s calamities (1 Kings 18:17,18), so, in the time of trouble, the wicked and those who have departed from God will be enraged at the righteous, will accuse them as being the cause of the plagues, and will seek to destroy them as did Haman the Jews. See Esther 3:8-14. But God will miraculously deliver His people at this time as He did then.
5. What will be the first plague, and upon whom will it fall?
“And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” Rev. 16:2.
6. What will constitute the second plague?
“And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.” Verse 3.
7. What will be the third plague?
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.” Verse 4.
NOTE.-The second plague affects the sea. The third plague comes closer to the habitations of men, and affects the land. The water supplies are contaminated.
8. Why, under these plagues, does the Lord give men blood to drink?
“For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou has given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.” Verse 6.
NOTE-In this is shown God’s abhorrence of oppression and persecution. The plagues are God’s rebukes against colossal forms of sin.
9. What will be the fourth plague?
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.” Verse 8. See Joel 1:16-20.
NOTE.-Sun-worship is the most ancient and widespread of all forms of idolatry. In this plague God manifests His displeasure at this form of idolatry. That which men have worshipped as, a god, becomes a plague and tormentor. Thus it was in the plagues of Egypt. Those things which the Egyptians had worshipped became scourges to them instead of benefactors and blessings. See “The Philosophy of the Plan of Salvation,” by “An American Citizen,” chapter 3.
10. Will even this terrible judgment lead men to repent?
“And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him glory.” Verse 9.
11. What will be the fifth plague?
“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.” Verse 10.
NOTE.-This plague strikes at the very seat of the great apostasy of the latter days, the Papacy. It will doubtless be similar in effect to the like plague in Egypt, which was a darkness that could “be felt.” Ex. 10:21-23. By this plague that haughty and apostate spiritual despotism which has set itself up as possessing all truth, and as being the light of the world, is enshrouded in midnight darkness.
12. What takes place under the sixth plague?
“And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East might be prepared.” Verse 12.
NOTE.-This, we understand, refers to the drying up of the Turkish Empire by the great world powers preparatory to the battle of Armageddon. See preceding reading.
13. How are the nations gathered to the battle of Armageddon?
“And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are the spirits of devils working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. . . . And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Verses 13-16.
NOTE.-This scripture shows that it is the spirit of Satan which incites men to war, and explains why the great nations of the world are now at war. The dragon represents paganism; the beast, the Papacy; and the false prophet, apostate Protestantism-the three great religious apostasies since the Flood. The plain of Esdraelon, in south-western Galilee, is the Armageddon here referred to.
14. At this time what event is imminent?
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Verse 15.
15. What takes place under the seventh plague?
“And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air. . . . And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.” Verses 17-19.
16. What accompanies the earthquake?
“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.” Verse 21. See Job 38:22,23; Ps. 7:11-13.
17. What will the Lord he to His people at this time?
“The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel.” Joel 3:16. See Jer. 25:30,31; Haggai 2:21; Heb. 12:26; Ps. 91:5-10.
NOTE.-To prepare His people and the world for these terrible judgments, the Lord, as in the days of Noah, sends a warning message to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. See Rev. 14:6-10.
18. Just before the pouring out of the plagues, what call does God send to His people still in Babylon?
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Rev. 18:4,5. See Gen. 19:12-17; Jer. 51:6.
NOTE.-As before the flood, many of God’s people will doubtless be laid away to rest shortly before the time of trouble. See Isa. 57:1; Rev. 14:13. Referring to the time before the Flood, an ancient book says: “And all men who walked in the ways of the Lord, died in those days, before the Lord brought the evil upon man which He had declared, for this was from the Lord, that they should not see the evil which the Lord spoke of concerning the sons of men.”-Book of Jasher 4:20. See also chapter 5:21 of the same book.
19. How suddenly will the plagues come upon modern Babylon?
“Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her. . . . For in one hour is thy judgment come.” Rev. 18:8-10.
20. What famine will come at this time upon those who have rejected God’s messages of mercy?
“Behold, the days come, says the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the Word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11,12. See Luke 13:25; Prov. 1:24-26; Heb. 12:15-17.
21. What announcement is made under the seventh plague?
“And there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” Rev. 16:17.
NOTE.-God made man to bless him. Gen. 1:28. When His blessings are abused, He withholds them, to teach men their source and their proper use. Haggai 1:7-11. Judgments are sent that men may learn righteousness.” Isa. 26:9; 1 Kings 17:1. That men do not repent under the plagues is no evidence that God has ceased to be merciful and forgiving. They simply demonstrate that all have determined their destiny, and that even the severest judgments of God will not move the ungodly and impenitent to repentance.
22. Just preceding Christ’s second coming, what solemn decree will go forth showing that the cases of all have been decided?
“He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Rev. 22:11,12.
23. What psalms seem to have been written especially for the comfort and encouragement of God’s people during the time of the seven last plagues?
Psalms 91 and 46. See also Isa. 33:13-17.
The great decisive day is at hand!
The day when Christ will come,
To call His children home
And to seal the sinner’s doom,
Is at hand.
Where will the sinner hide in that day?
It will be in vain to call,
“You mountains, on us fall,”
For His hand will find out all
In that day.