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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

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The description of the seven last plagues doesn’t make good bedtime story reading. The book of Revelation makes heavy use of symbolic language, yet the effects of these plagues will be very real and terrifyingly disastrous. The plagues target specifically “the people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped his image.” Rev 18:4 indicates that they are intended for end-time Babylon; they will, in fact, bring about her downfall. 
Four of the plagues are similar to those that fell on Egypt, and the final two relate to Babylon. They remind us of the Exodus of God’s people from Egypt to the Promised Land and of their release from Babylon to return to their homeland. These end-time plagues prepare the way for God’s saints to be delivered from their enemies and transported to their eternal Home. In the midst of it all, Jesus says: “Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” As the plagues arrive, we stand clothed in the righteousness of Jesus, ready to go home. 
In a last-ditch effort to win the battle for control of this world, the forces of the dark side—dragon, beast and false prophet—unite to win the support of the heads of state. This international alliance targets the Lamb and his followers in the Battle of Armageddon. But “the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings” (17:14). Consequently, the 3-fold union will disintegrate and the capital cities, the seats of government, will collapse (16:19). The final acts of judgment will include an unprecedented earthquake and massive hailstones hurtling down from the darkening skies as a voice from heaven’s throne pronounces, “It is done,” echoing the mighty cry of Calvary, “It is finished.” 
The end-time saints who survive the plagues will find Psalm 91 full of encouragement. It alludes to the plagues and the punishment of the wicked: “You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness.” As today you make Jesus your Savior and Refuge, you have nothing to fear from the future.

Garth Bainbridge
Greater Sydney Conference