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    18 THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

    THE subject of the seven last plagues is another theme that demands examination in connection with the third angel’s message; for they are brought to view in the message itself, and are intimately connected with it according to other prophecies, following immediately its close. The threatening which this message utters is expressed in these words: “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” The first verse of chapter 15, speaks of judgements in which “is filled up the wrath of God.” This must certainly mean the same as the unmixed wrath threatened in the message. But here it is plainly said to be the seven last plagues.TBI 226.1

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    1. What other subject is connected with the third angel’s message?
    2. Where are the seven last plagues brought to view?
    3. In what language is the threatening express?
    4. What expression is used in Revelation 15:1?
    5. What must this be equivalent to?
    6. What is the judgement of Revelation 15:1, called?
    7. Can these plagues be poured out till the work in the sanctuary is closed?
    8. How is this proved?
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    This is still further proved by the chronology of these plagues. They are still future; for they cannot be poured till the work in the sanctuary is finished. John says in Revelation 15:5-8 that the temple of the tabernacle in Heaven was opened. This brings to view the work of Christ in the most holy place. From that temple then came forth seven angels with the seven last plagues, and while they were pouring them out, the temple was filled with the glory of the Lord so that no one was able to enter therein, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. This brings us to the time when the priesthood of Christ has closed; for till then there will be some one ministering in that temple. Being thus future they must be that unmixed wrath threatened in the third message, which is the last judgement to be inflicted on men before the Lord appears.TBI 226.2

    The chronology if these plagues is shown more fully still by the language of the first plague itself. Revelation 16:1. This first messenger of wrath pours out his vial upon the earth, and there falls a noisome and grievous sore upon those who have the mark of the beast and upon those who worship his image. But this reception of the mark and worship of the image, is the very thing against which the third angel’s message warns us. These plagues, therefore, do not fall till the third angel’s message is concluded.TBI 227.1

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    9. Upon whom does the first plague fall?
    10. By what are we warned against receiving the mark, etc.?
    11. What is the chronology of these plagues, therefore, as compared with the message?
    12. If we throw the beginning of these plagues ages in the past as some demand, where must we put the message?
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    Now if we say that these plagues have been poured out in the past, ages in the past as some contend, or that they even commenced to be poured out then, it follows that the third angel’s message accomplished its work ages in the past. But the third message warns us against two antecedent powers brought to view in Revelation 13: the leopard beast and the two-horned beast. These could not have existed and acted later than the message which warned against them.TBI 227.2

    But if, in order to have the first plague poured out ages in the past, we place the third message there, we throw the second and first still further back. But the first message, identical with the angel of Revelation 10, is based upon the fulfillment of the prophetic periods. Hence we thus throw all prophetic interpretation ages away from our own time, where it is having its fulfillment. But we have shown that the two-horned beast is now on the stage of action, preparing to perform his last work, and that the third angel’s message is now going forth, and beginning to be heard in power. The plagues which follow it are therefore future, the last manifestation of God’s wrath upon the last generation of men, after the third angel has ceased his warning, and the work in the sanctuary is ended, and a mediator no longer stands between God and men to stay from them the vials of his indignation.TBI 228.1

    These plagues will be literal. A parallel is found in the plagues inflicted upon the Egyptians, as recorded in Ex. chaps. 7-10, which no one thinks of regarding other than literal. The terrible nature of these judgements is sufficiently learned from the record given us in Revelation 16.TBI 228.2

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    13. What them becomes of the leopard beast and two-horned beast of Revelation 13?
    14. And how are the first and second messages affected by this view?
    15. With what is the first message of Revelation 14, identical?
    16. Upon what is it based?
    17. Then how is all prophetic interpretation affected by such an application?
    18. What has already been proved?
    19. What do all these arguments show in reference to the plagues?
    20. Will the plagues be literal?
    21. What parallel plagues are brought to view in the Bible?
    22. Where is the record of these plagues?
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    As the result of the first plague, a terrible and grievous sore breaks out upon the men which have the mark of the beast.TBI 228.3

    As the result of the second plague, the sea becomes as the blood of a dead man, the most infectious and deadly substance known. If the sea here means the oceans of our globe, as it probably does, we leave the reader to imagine as far as he can the terrible effects of this plague. It is no wonder that John says that every living soul died in the sea.TBI 229.1

    At the pouring out of the third vial, the rivers and fountains of waters become blood. This touches the human family in a still more vital point. Probably these two plagues will be of short duration; for otherwise it would seen that all flesh must perish from the face of the earth. John heard the angel say, as this plague was poured out, Thou art righteous, O Lord; for they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink. The query may arise how the last generation of the wicked, who are not permitted to slay the saints, can be said to have shed the blood of saints and prophets. The answer is, They designed to do it determined to do it, tried to do it, Revelation 13:15-17, and are therefore just as guilty as if they had done it. It is no virtue in them that God restrains them from their evil intentions, and they meet the just fate of the actual transgressor.TBI 229.2

    The fourth angel pours out his vial upon the sun, and it scorches the earth with unwonted heat, thus most fearfully intensifying the effects of the preceding plagues. In the result of this plague we doubtless find a fulfillment of Joel 1:14-20.TBI 229.3

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    23. What is the result of the first vial?
    24. Of the second?
    25. Of the third?
    26. How can it be said of men at this time that they have shed the blood of saints and prophets?
    27. What is the effect of the fourth vial?
    28. What prophecy is fulfilled in this?
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    The fifth angel pours out his vial upon the seat of the beast, and darkness like that which overspread Egypt pervades his kingdom. This judgement is inflicted especially upon the papacy, the seat of the beast being Rome, and his kingdom being his subjects wherever they are found. In the description of this plague we find an expression which shows that all these plagues fall upon the same generation; for it says that they blasphemed God, because of their pains and their sores. These sores must be the ones brought to view under the first plague. Those upon whom the first vial was poured, many of them at least, are thus shown to be still living under the fifth plague, and still suffering from the effects of the first plague.TBI 230.1

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    29. Upon what locality is the fifth plague poured?
    30. What is the seat of the beast?
    31. What is his kingdom?
    32. What proof is found here that these plagues fall upon the same generation of men?
    33. Upon what is the sixth vial poured?
    34. What is here symbolized by the river Euphrates?
    35. What is meant by the drying up of its waters?
    36. What further development takes place under this plague?
    37. What is meant by the dragon, beast and false prophet?
    38. What is denoted by these spirits?
    39. What conclusion have some come to from the condition of Turkey and the work of spiritualism?
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    The sixth angel pours out his vial upon the great river Euphrates. This is a symbol of the Ottoman empire, and the drying up of its waters denotes the utter consumption and overthrow of that power. And the way seems to be even now preparing for that consummation. Under this plague three unclean spirits go forth from the dragon,beast and false prophet, that is, Paganism, the Papacy, and apostate Protestantism. In this we behold the work of spiritualism which has already made such headway in the world. Some have even concluded that we are already under this sixth plague because of the decline of the Turkish power, and the work of spiritualism. But before the Euphrates can be entirely consumed, there must be a process of the drying up of its waters, and before the spirits can go out of the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet, they must win their way into the hearts of these powers. We now see the preparatory work going forward: the strength, resources, influence of the Turkish power are growing less and less, and the spirits of devils are making their way into the high places of the earth. Under this plague we behold the completion of this work; and it cannot, from present indications be far distant.TBI 230.2

    The work of the spirits when they thus go forth with authority is to gather the kings of the earth and of the whole world to the battle of the great day of God Almighty which is then impending. They are gathered into a place called Armageddon. The spirits gather them there, In our English version it reads, “he gathered them;” but in the Greek a neuter plural subject can regularly take a verb in the singular number; and the subject of the singular verb “gathered” in verse 16, is the neuter plural spirits (pneumata) of verse 14.TBI 231.1

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    40. How is this explained?
    41. What is the object of the work of these spirits?
    42. Who gathers the nations?
    43. What criticism is made on th4 singular verb of verse 16?
    44. Where is the seventh and last vial poured out?
    45. What then takes place?
    46. What is the weight of the hailstones that then fall?
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    The seventh angel pours out his vial into the air. The effect of this is all-pervading. A great earthquake such as never before was known rends the earth from center to circumference. The cities of the nations fall. Great Babylon receives her cup of wrath. The islands and mountains flee away; and great hailstones, about the weight of a talent (57lbs.) each, fall upon men. Here are seen the treasures of hail which God has reserved against this day of trouble and battle and war. Job 28:22, 23. This plague brings us into scenes which are intimately connected with the coming of Christ. See Revelation 6:14-17. Christ soon appears; and those who have survived through all these judgements, are slain by the spirit of his mouth and the brightness of his coming. Revelation 19:21; 2 Thessalonians 2:8.TBI 231.2

    For some of the gracious promises which are given to the people of God during this time of fearful trouble, was a time of trouble on the nations, such as never was, Daniel 12:1, read the 91st psalm.TBI 232.1

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    REVIEW QUESTIONS ON LESSON EIGHTEEN
    47. What Old Testament declaration is then fulfilled?
    48. Into what scenes does this plague bring us?
    49. How are those who survive the plagues finally slain? References.
    50. To what does he time of trouble such as never was, mentioned in Daniel 12:1, apply? (This trouble coming on the nations is not be be confounded with the tribulation such as never was, Matthew 24:21, which comes upon the church.)
    51. What promises have the saints during this time of trouble?
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    CLASS QUESTIONS ON LESSON 18, WITH ANSWERS.

    1. The plagues mentions in Revelation 16:1, are to fall on those who have the mark of the beast. Will not those lands where they do not have the mark be exempt?TBI 232.2

    ANS. It is only the first plague which is said to fall especially upon those who have the mark of the beast, and who worship his image; and such persons seem to be the only ones involved in it, Of course it will fall upon them in whatever country the are; and those countries where there are none of this class will be exempt from this plague; but other plagues are more extensive in their application, and the whole earth is finally involved in the judgements threatened.TBI 232.3

    2. Revelation 16:12. Who are the kings (plural) of the east, and from what stand-point do we reckon?TBI 233.1

    ANS. The great river Euphrates is dried up that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. The objective point to which the nations are gathered together under this plague is Armageddon, or Mount Megiddo, overlooking the plain in the half tribe of Manasseh. This is probably the same as the “valley of Jehoshaphat,” to which the heathen will be gathered; as declared in Joel 3:12. In Jerusalem, therefore, or the land of Palestine, is the stand-point from which we are to determine the points of the compass. The principal nationality lying east of Palestine is Persia; but there are other petty tribes, sovereignties and nationalities, described in Joel as the heathen, who are more or less intimately connected with Persia in all her interests and movements; and who, with Persia, doubtless constitute the kings of the east here spoken of.TBI 233.2

    It may be asked further, for what the way of these kings is prepared by the drying up of the Euphrates? and the answer is, The way is prepared for them to come up to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. Persia claims a personal interest in the land of Palestine, regarding it as rightfully belonging to her dominion, dating from the conquest of Cyrus. The Greek Church, or the Russians, and the Catholic Church, both claim a right there, because there are the holy sepulchers. This is the great bone of contention. Yet, so long as the integrity of the Ottoman empire is maintained, which now controls that land, these other parties cannot go in to claim what they call their rights, But as soon as the Euphrates, or the Ottoman Empire, is dried up, then nothing will prevent these powers from coming into collision at Jerusalem in behalf of the interests which they there consider that they have at stake.TBI 233.3

    3. Please explain James 5:7. What is meant by the latter rain? or what relation does it hold to the third angel’s message?TBI 234.1

    ANS. The early and the latter rain spoken of in this verse is doubtless taken as a figure to represent special blessings to come down upon the church at the beginning and close of this dispensation.TBI 234.2

    The early, or the former rain, is applied to the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost; and the latter rain will be a still greater outpouring of God’s Spirit as the dispensation closes. It is therefore, very intimately connected with the third angel’s message, and will doubtless be experienced when that message goes in its greatest power.TBI 234.3

    There are many scriptures which speak of the great outpouring of the Spirit upon the church to take place at this time, to a few of which we here refer: Revelation 3:20; 2 Peter 1:19; Revelation 12:17; 19:10; 18:1; Daniel 12:1.TBI 234.4

    The latter rain which literally came down upon the husbandman ripened the grain for the harvest; so the outpouring of the Spirit in the last days ripens the saints for the heavenly garner. Revelation 14:15, 16. And the coming of the Lord is at the door when James introduces this figure of the early and the latter rain.TBI 234.5

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