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THE STORY OF THE
"SEVEN LAST PLAGUES"

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part I

  Another Sign in Heaven
  Victory Over   the Beast and Image
  Two Songs of Moses
  The "Image" Becomes History

Part II

  The Temple and the Tabernacle
Seven Angels
Golden Bowls 
  Filled with God's Glory
The Tabernacle
Solomon's Temple
Ezekiel's Temple

Part III

7 Last Plagues
1st Plague
2nd Plague
3rd Plague
4th Plague
5th Plague
6th Plague
7th Plague

Part IV

Who Pours the Bowls
Fall of Jericho
The Elijah Type

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Part I

Another Sign in Heaven

"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." Revelation 15:1

    Revelation 15:1-4 sets the stage for our discussion. It starts with a sign or portent in heaven and mentions "seven plagues," but nothing is said about pouring them out. The vision introduces the seven final "plagues" which will consummate or end God’s judgments.
    This vision is only introductory. Nothing happens in it but the singing of the Song of Moses and the Lamb,  a judgment song that Moses the servant of God sang just before he died. The Lamb takes up the Song and gives it to the saints to sing. We are not left to interpret which saints sing the song. It is interpreted for us.

"And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast [the leopard-like beast of Revelation 13], and over his image [the Protestant likeness of the papal beast], and over the number of his name, stand on [or over] the sea of glass, having the harps [Scriptures] of God." Revelation 15:2

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Sea of Glass

 

    These saints are neither the saints of the Gospel age nor even of the general Harvest period. The saints engaged to sing this Song are those that had gotten the "victory over the beast, and over his image."

    While in token form the saints have indeed separated themselves from Babylon in this Harvest time, what is implied here is more than that. These saints have "gotten the victory over" or conquered the "beast" and "his image," and his "number."
    There was no "beast" or "image" in the early church. While there was the making of a "beast" starting around Constantine’s time that began to emerge, this is not what Revelation 15 is focusing on. Indeed, the saints throughout the age did not worship this dreadful papal beast. However, the time sequence of our study is when a joint endeavor by both the "beast" and the "image of the beast" is orchestrated.
    The "image of the beast" is represented in the Protestant federation, which did not even begin until 1846 with the Evangelical Alliance. Nothing much came of this movement. When the Evangelical Alliance was dissolved, they gave all their papers and records to the World Council of Churches.
    The World Council of Churches was born in 1948, the same year the nation of Israel was born. Since that time, liberal elements have aligned the World Council  of Churches more with communism than with the Western world, and the organization began to lose its way.
    Since the demise of Communism, the World Council has begun to reorient its focus. They will come to a posture similar to that of the Catholic Church today. What the two have in common is a desire to become a dominant religious and political force in the world. The Scriptures teach they will succeed in this. (See Revelation 13:15-18.)

    The point of our lesson is that the "beast" and its "image" will not succeed in making the true saints receive their "mark," either in their "forehead" or in their "hand," or even to accept the number of the beast "666," which translated means "Vicar of the Son of God."
    Our head is the Lord Jesus Christ. We recognize no "Vicar" of Christ, "for one is your Master, … and all ye are brethren." (Matthew 23:8)

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Those Who Get the "Victory"
Over the "Beast" and "His Image"

    The "victory" is no small one on the part of the saints. They refuse to bow before the newly-found powers of the papal "beast" and the Protestant "image." This confrontation is still before us. Those who refuse to bow before this unholy coalition of church and state, while they may be severely tried, shall emerge victorious. They will stand over the "sea of glass," singing the "Song of Moses and the Lamb."

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"Molten Sea" Laver in Solomon's Temple

    Normally water is fluid. Here it is as glass. In Solomon’s temple a "molten sea" was contained in a huge laver, which was ten cubits from brim to brim and five cubits high, supported by 12 oxen. (2 Chronicles 3:2-5) The Revelation "sea of glass" is "mingled with fire." The judgmental purging fire will satisfy God’s justice. A double cleansing of both water and fire is implied.

    The critical point to remember is that the saints gain the victory over the "beast" and its "image." Our Lord calls extravagant attention to these victors. These saints  "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands." Revelation 20:4
    The Lord is obviously very pleased with their performance. By implication, his displeasure is with those who identified with the "beast" and its "image." None who worshipped the "beast" or its "image" may be the bride of Christ. However, the saints' victory does not imply the destruction of the "beast" and its "image"
only refusal to bow their knee.

    Bro. Russell muses as to whether the vivifying of the "image of the beast" may have had a certain fulfillment. We understand this was a part of his untiring effort to keep abreast of possibilities and fitting prophecy into a much tighter time frame than we now see was necessary or possible. In the preponderance of his articles and projections, Bro. Russell looked to this victory as a future event. (For more information, see THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON, Vol. 4, 1916 Foreword, p. 3,00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes) and 1912 Foreword, Roman Numeral p. vii-x. 00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes) )
    The Evangelical Alliance has been disbanded and its papers turned over to the World Council of Churches. Hence, in the coming federation the "Image of the Beast" comes to life.

    Vivifying the "image" is not the subject at hand. However, it is central to establishing the time when the saints get the victory over the "beast" and its "image." That is where we take up our study. The saints have yet to take on the "beast and its image," as referred to in Revelation 13:15-17. Refusing the demands of the Papacy and Protestants, they gain the "victory."

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    After this "victory," the saints stand over the "sea of glass mingled with fire," having the "harps" of the Old and New Testaments. The "seven last plagues" have not yet been poured.
    At this point those who refused to bow the knee to the "beast and his image" are to sing the "Song of Moses and the Lamb." We are not left to conjecture as to what that song might be. We are given the words of this song:

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"Great and wonderful
are Thy deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are thy ways,
O King of the Ages!
Who shall not fear and
glorify thy name, O Lord?
For thou alone art holy.
All nations shall come
and worship thee,
For thy judgments
have been revealed."

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Two Songs of Moses

    There are two Songs of Moses.

(1)  When Pharaoh and his minions were destroyed (picturing the second death of Satan after the Millennium), Moses and all the Israelites sang one song after the victorious crossing of the Red Sea.

    This pictures when the whole people of God are delivered at the end of the Millennium (Psalms 136:15).
   While there was a sea in that picture, it was not a sea of glass mingled with fire. Rather, it was a separated sea caused by a strong east wind, implying some turbulence. The "seven plagues" do not destroy Satan
they only defeat him in his warfare, resulting in his landing in the "bottomless pit."
    The Red Sea Song cannot be referred to in Revelation 15:2, because Satan and the "leopard beast" are still alive and active, certainly not in the pit yet.
    When it says "the saints" get the victory over the "beast and his image" it means they successfully refused to receive its "mark" or "number"
not that they destroyed them. No, that destruction awaits the pouring out of the seventh and last "plague." The victory of the saints is in refusing the "mark of the beast" and "his image"that is all.

(2)  The Song of Moses referred to in Revelation 15:2 is undoubtedly the song Moses sang before his death in Deuteronomy 32.

      This Song has two parts to it.
     The first part deals with God's treatment of his wayward people and their punishment.
     The second part deals with God's punishment of the enemies of his people.
(See Deuteronomy 32:34-43.)

"Rejoice, O you nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people." Deuteronomy 32:43

    This Song of Moses is the precursor to the pouring out of the "vials." It is God's justification for using the "sea of fire" below the glass. The "sea of glass" protects the saints standing over it.   Those below the "glass" take the fire and heat--which would be those systems who oppose the Lord and his people. (See Reprint 3078.)

    This Song of Moses is preparatory to the pouring out of the "seven last plagues." It gives meaning and reason for the ensuing "plagues." We do not overlook the fact that the "seven angels'" messages are identified with the Harvest message.  The Harvest message contains the plague-producing ingredients.
    In one sense these plague-producing elements were proclaimed throughout the Harvest, to cause Babylon some discomfort. But the plague-producing elements did not bring about the demise of Babylon's systems.
    Babylon seems to have weathered the assaults of truth in our time and remains powerful enough to cause the saints considerable grief. The "seven last plagues" will precipitate Babylon’s destruction.

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The "Image of the Beast"
Becomes History
After Revelation 15:2

    After the saints get the victory over the "beast" and "his image," we no longer find the "image of the beast" around. Just like the woman of Revelation 12we do not know what happens to her, we are not told what happens to this "image." Nothing more is said about the "image" except as a historical reference.
    The papal "beast" is "cast alive into the lake of fire" in Revelation 19:20, but no mention is made of the "image" being "cast alive" into that lake. The "image" just fades off the screen after this point. But this is no accident.

    Why should the "image" escape the same fate as the "beast"? We do not know, except to observe that something must have happened along the way to make the "image" less than a "beast"a union of church and state. It could be that after the world experiences a financial collapse, our constitutional government may become a military state under martial law.
    During such an interim the church and the state may have powers that they could not have under the constitution. After this power is exercised for a season, constitutional government may come back. This would declaw and defang the "image of the beast" somewhat
perhaps making it no more than an accomplice of the "lying prophet," as in Revelation 16:13.
    We cannot be sure as to why the metaphor changes from the "image of the beast" to the "false prophet." The "false prophet" is identified with the "two-horned beast" of Revelation 13:11, 12 with no stated connection to the "image of the beast" in Revelation 19:20.
    The important point to observe is that the "plagues" are not poured out while the saints are getting the "victory" over the "beast" and "his image." No! While the "seven angels" have "seven plagues" in this vision, nothing is said about their being "poured out."

Click to go to the following:

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)   Image of the Beast

00GoldSquare.jpg (705 bytes)   Song of Moses

Topical Studies on:
The Seven Last Plagues Part I - Part II - Part III - Part IV

CHAPTER/VERSE BY VERSE STUDY ON THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES:
Revelation 16

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