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Seven Last Plagues - Part 2

Scripture: Revelation 22:11, Revelation 6:, Psalms 91:4
The book of Revelation speaks of a close of probation, a time when all decisions will have been made. It is after this time that judgment plagues will fall upon the earth. Those who keep God's commandments and have the faith of Jesus avoid these plagues. They have been sealed by God.
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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."

When Jesus Christ comes, when Jesus Christ finishes His work in the sanctuary, what comes next? The reward. And who determines what reward we get? It says that reward is determined by the works we have done. If we have done works of righteousness for Christ, we will receive a righteous reward. If our works have been wicked, we will receive the reward of the wicked, which is final destruction in the fires of hell. All that is necessary and is a part of God's great plan of getting sin out of the universe. Beloved, God will not take a second chance of sin arising again. God knows more about sin than I do; and when I read some of these things I don't understand about the character of God, I just make up my mind to this effect: that God is doing what is necessary to remove sin from my heart and from the hearts of the saved and from the universe and somehow in God's plan He sees that it is necessary for these plagues to be poured out in His effort to eradicate sin.

Now, notice what these plagues will be like. It says the first plague was poured out and a great sore developed. Boils came upon them who had the mark of the beast. Terrible boils. Of course, if a man has boils, we expect him to develop a fever and in this feverish condition we would expect him to want some water to drink. The next one pours his vial upon the waters and the water turns to blood. God is just in doing it, because they have spilled blood, they have wanted blood; therefore, God has given them blood to drink. The second and third plagues deal with blood. The fourth plague deals with the sun, and the sun is given heat to scorch man upon the earth. The fifth plague is a plague of darkness, darkness so deep that men will agonize because of the plague that is upon them. And then the sixth plague is the plague that prepares the way for the final act of the controversy. This plague turns loose devils to go out and deceive the world and call them to the great battle of Armageddon. Spirits of devils are let loose under this plague.

Then the seventh plague is an earthquake, lightnings and thunders. Cities of the earth are broken down by that earthquake and hailstones fell upon the earth. Very destructive things. I don't know how many of these plagues are spiritual, how many are literal, but I do know they predict to us a time of terrible suffering and destruction, when the power of Satan will be let loose to bring destruction upon those under his power. When the Spirit of God is removed from this world, and the restraint is removed over the evil tendencies of an evil heart and that heart will become exceedingly wicked, and the devil will possess men and through the work of the devil many of these things will take place. I do know that there will be a terrible time of suffering. We are told in Revelation 11:18 that the nations were angry and God let these things come upon those who were destroying the earth. When Jesus comes, this earth will be in a terrific state of destruction. The cities will be broken down, the fields will be parched, there will be desolation everywhere; destruction, misery and sorrow upon those who refuse to obey God and who have rejected His seal.

Now we come to the last question. How may we prepare to escape those plagues? The only way to prepare is to bring ourselves into harmony with God's Ten Commandments through the grace of Jesus Christ. I read in Revelation 14:12: "Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus." Now we find the contrast. Those who worship the beast and his image and receive his mark shall receive the plagues. But in the last days, we find the saints of God, those who keep the commandments. So there is something about the keeping of the Ten Commandments, faithful obedience to the Ten Commandments, that places upon one the seal of God. That is the way we receive the seal, by obedience, by living in harmony to God's Ten Commandments.

The controversy is like this; you know, there is a seal that God has in His law. In these last days, He is trying to place His seal upon those who will accept Him and receive that seal. The devil is trying to place his mark upon them who are following him. That is all involved in the Ten-Commandment law of God and our relation to that law. For I read this verse in Isaiah that explains it a little for us. Isaiah 24:4. This is a description of the earth as it has suffered these plagues. "The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languished and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth is also defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinances, broken the everlasting covenant, therefore, hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate."

Why will God allow this terrible curse to come upon the earth, the seven plagues? Because man has changed the law of God, has transgressed that law, has broken the everlasting covenant. The whole world will be found guilty except those who are classified as the saints of God, and the saints of God, in the last days, will be found keeping the Commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. They will stand upon the sea of glass, they will escape. Those who transgress will be destroyed, it says. They languish away. So there we find the secret of how we can escape, not by joining a church, not by being baptized, but by living in harmony with the will of God as expressed in the Ten Commandments. If we are obedient, we receive the seal of God; if we are disobedient, we receive the mark of the beast. Since we have come to that conclusion, this brings us to the highest point in this series because there is nothing so important for us to know and to understand than what the seal of God is and how we may receive it. There is nothing so important as to know what the mark of the beast is and how we may shun it and not receive it.

God has planned a way whereby we may escape these plagues, and I think this Psalm fits in here the best of any place in the whole history of man. Psalms 91:4. "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust; his truth shall be thy shield and buckler." What will be our shield? His truth.

What is His truth? "All thy commandments are truth." The Psalmist tells us in Psalms 119 that the commandments of God will be our shield and buckler. "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day, nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shall thou behold and see the reward of the wicked; because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most high, thy habitation." Now, I thank God for that kind of delivery from something as terrible as these plagues coming upon the world. I am sure the plagues will come. There is no question about it. In God's plan of settling this wickedness, the plagues are foretold. Just as sure as I know that the plagues will come, I know there will be a place of safety for God's people. If we put our trust in God and make the preparation, we will see it with our eyes, but it will not come near us. We will have food, we will have water, we will have things that are necessary for life in that time; and those who are faithful and live until Jesus comes will be translated without seeing death. That will be a glorious morning, but dear friends, we must not wait until those things begin to come, because it will be too late then.

I want to remind you of this verse in Hebrews 3:15, "Today if you will hear His voice, harden not your hearts." That is a verse for us, beloved. Because I know what a lot of people are doing. They say, "I am going to wait. I will wait until I see the first plague fall," or, "I will wait until I see the Euphrates dry up," or something else in those plagues. "When that happens, then I am going to get ready because surely the Lord is coming soon." It will be too late then, friends. Before the plagues fall, probation will close, the doors of mercy will be closed just before those plagues fall.

Just suppose there were thousands that knocked on the door of the ark after Noah went inside. But the door was closed by the Almighty hand of God and it could not be opened. The doors of mercy will be closed by Jesus as He comes out of the sanctuary of heaven. Anyone that comes knocking then, comes knocking on a closed door. It will never open again. Today hear His voice and harden not your heart.

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