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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 82

The Malignant Sores

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Let’s ask God to guide us:

Our Father,

As we begin to study each one of the seven vials, please help us to understand the nature of the last plagues which will soon strike the world, to show in a clear and resounding way Your perfect justice and the relevance of Your judgments.

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, we pray.


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Revelation 15:1; 16:1

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. (...)

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels,

«Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God on the earth.»


After the close of probation, the wrath of God will show itself through the pouring out of seven vials, each one containing a plague which will strike impenitent men.

In this lesson, we will study the first of these seven vials.

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Revelation 16:2

And the first [angel] went, and poured out his vial on the earth.

And there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image.


When the first plague strikes the earth, a malignant sore appears on all those who have the mark of the beast or worship his image.

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Revelation 14:9,10

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.


Yet, during the loud cry preceding the close of probation, all these men had been warned that, if they received the mark and worshipped the beast and his image, they would be exposed to the wrath of God, contained in the seven vials which would be poured out shortly afterwards on the world.

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Revelation 8:6,7

And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast on the earth.


As we will see in a moment, we can draw a parallel between the seven vials and the seven trumpets, which we studied in previous lessons.

These two series describe divine judgments punishing unrepentant nations. Each vial has the same target as its corresponding trumpet.

So the first vial and the first trumpet both strike the earth.

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Revelation 8:7 [NRSV]

The first angel blew his trumpet, and there came hail and fire, mixed with blood, and they were hurled to the earth.

And a third of the earth was burned up.


Revelation 16:2

And the first [angel] went, and poured out his vial on the earth.


On the other hand, the judgment described by the trumpets did not have the impact of the judgment described by the vials.

So, whereas the first trumpet struck only «a third of the earth», the first vial strikes «the earth».

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Job 2:4-7

And Satan answered the Lord, and said, «Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse You to Your face!»

And the Lord said to Satan, «Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.»

So went Satan forth from the presence of the Lord, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to his crown.


The nature of the first vial, a malignant and painful sore (or boil), is a response to Satan’s numerous attacks against God’s faithful people.

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Luke 16:19-21,25

There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day.

And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. (...)

«Remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.»


The malignant sore also responds to men’s selfishness and insensitivity.

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Leviticus 22:21,22

Whoever offers a sacrifice of peace offerings to the Lord to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.

Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a running sore, or scurvy, or scabbed, you shall not offer these to the Lord, nor make an offering by fire of them on the altar to the Lord.


Moreover, the presence of sores on an animal made it unsuitable to be offered in sacrifice, because it could not be accepted by God.

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Leviticus 13:18,22 [NKJV]

If the body develops a boil in the skin, and it is healed, (...) and if [the spot] should at all spread over the skin, then the priest shall pronounce him unclean.

It is a leprous sore.


The sore which does not heal also refers to the impurity of those who are affected, and the necessity of cutting them off from the people of God, because of this impurity.

This is precisely the message conveyed by the first vial, which strikes unrepentant men with such a sore.

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Revelation 15:2,3

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire.

And them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God.


The vials also remind us of the plagues which struck Egypt in the days of Moses.

As we have seen in our last lesson, this link between the two series of divine punishments was already visible in the scene introducing the seven vials.

In fact, this scene presents the redeemed singing the song of Moses, to praise God for having saved them from the enemy.

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Exodus 9:7-9 [NKJV]

The heart of Pharaoh became hard, and he did not let the people go.

So the Lord said to Moses and Aaron,

«Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh.

And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.»


One of the plagues which struck Egypt, that is, sores appearing on people, is identical to the plague caused by the first vial.

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Exodus 9:10,11 [NKJV]

Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven.

And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast.

And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils, for the boils were on the magicians and on all the Egyptians.


Note that the sores (or boils) sent by God struck even the magicians who, in spite of all their powers, were not able to avoid this plague, nor to cure it.

Will it be the same, at the time of the first vial?

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Revelation 13:13,14

[The beast coming up out of the earth] does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

And he deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do.


Revelation 16:14

For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world.


Similar to Moses’ day, the last days will be marked by the presence of «spirits of devils», which will perform great signs and miracles.

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Revelation 16:10,11

And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness.

And they gnawed their tongues for pain, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.


But, like Pharaoh’s magicians, those performing great signs and miracles in the last days will be struck too by the malignant sore of the first vial, and won’t be able to cure it.

This is why, when the fifth vial is poured out, men will still be suffering from this sore.

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Hosea 5:2,11-13 [NKJV]

The revolters are deeply involved in slaughter, though I rebuke them all. (...)

Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, because he willingly walked by human precept.

Therefore I will be to Ephraim like a moth, and to the house of Judah like rottenness.

When Ephraim saw his sickness, and Judah saw his wound, then Ephraim went to Assyria and sent to King Jareb; yet he cannot cure you, nor heal you of your wound.


In fact, there will be no cure, no medicine, no remedy for this malignant sore punishing those who have rejected God’s offer of salvation.

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Deuteronomy 28:58-61

If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, «The Lord thy God», then the Lord will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Moreover He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall stick to you.

Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this Law, them will the Lord bring on you, until you be destroyed.


So the malignant sore, brought by the first vial, will be a totally unfamiliar disease, a disease «which is not written in the book of this Law», nor in any medicine book.

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Deuteronomy 28:15,27,35 [NKJV]

It shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (...)

The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. (...)

The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.


The curse of the malignant and incurable sore (or boil) had already been called down in Moses’ days on those who would disobey God’s commandments.

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Deuteronomy 28:58-60

If you will not observe to do all the words of this Law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and fearful name, «The Lord thy God», then the Lord will make your plagues wonderful, and the plagues of your seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance.

Moreover He will bring on you all the diseases of Egypt, which you were afraid of; and they shall stick to you.


So the purpose of the malignant sore is the punishment of two specific sins of unrepentant men:

- first, the fact that they did not fear God;

- then, as a result of this disrespect, their contempt for the commandments of God.

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1 Samuel 5:2,3

When the Philistines took the ark of God, they brought it into the house of Dagon, and set it by Dagon.

And when they of Ashdod arose early on the morrow, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the earth before the ark of the Lord.

And they took Dagon, and set him in his place again.


In the past, disrespect for the law of God has caused diseases in men.

That was the case with the people of Ashdod who, in spite of a first warning from God, continued to place the ark of the covenant, containing the law of God, in the presence of their god Dagon.

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1 Samuel 5:4,6

When they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen on his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord.

And the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off on the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him. (...)

The hand of the Lord was heavy on them of Ashdod, and He destroyed them, and smote them with tumors, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof.


The second night, God destroyed the idol which was worshipped by the people of Ashdod, thus showing His wrath in the face of this contempt for His law.

But it wasn’t enough: to this glorious deed, He added a curse, and struck them with tumors.

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1 Samuel 5:7,9

And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said,

«The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for His hand is sore on us, and on Dagon our god.» (...)

And it was so, that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the Lord was against the city with a very great destruction.

And He smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had tumors in their secret parts.


The people of Ashdod understood that the ark of the covenant was the cause of their disease, but, even after having moved it elsewhere, the plague persisted on them all.

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Exodus 23:24,25

You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but you shall utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images.

And you shall serve the Lord your God, and He shall bless your bread, and your water.

And I will take sickness away from the middle of you.


The people of Ashdod could have avoided this disease, if they had given up their idolatry, turned to the living God, and put into practice all His commandments.

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Deuteronomy 7:12,15

It shall come to pass, if you listen to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord your God shall keep to you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. (...)

And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will put none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you know, on you.


Men despise the law of God, and they are thus struck with many diseases.

Immorality has greatly contributed to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS.

The guilt of sin often leads to depression and suicide.

And how many more diseases could we add to the list...?

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Isaiah 1:4-6

Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters!

They have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger, they are gone away backward.

Why should you be stricken any more? You will revolt more and more.

The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is no soundness in it; but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.


Man’s abandonment of God has indeed left our world in a pitiful state...

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Sin marks the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health of men:

«There is no soundness in my flesh because of Your anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For my iniquities are gone over my head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me. My wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness. I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. For my loins are filled with a loathsome disease: and there is no soundness in my flesh. I am feeble and sore broken: I have roared by reason of the disquietness of my heart.» (Psalm 38:3-8)

«I am in trouble: my eye is consumed with grief, yes, my soul and my belly. For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength fails because of my iniquity, and my bones are consumed.» (Psalm 31:9,10)

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Exodus 15:26

If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and will do that which is right in His sight, and will give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of these diseases on you, which I have brought on the Egyptians.

For I am the Lord that heals you.


Now, here’s good news! God can heal us from the incurable sickness called sin, this sickness which the malignant sore, brought by the first vial, will only intensify.

We only have to «diligently listen to the voice of the Lord» who calls us to salvation, and then «do that which is right in His sight».

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The Lord’s way will favor our physical, emotional, and spiritual health:

«Be not wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to your navel, and marrow to your bones.» (Proverbs 3:7,8)

«Attend to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; keep them in the middle of your heart. For they are life to those that find them, and health to all their flesh.» (Proverbs 4:20-22)

«When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy on me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. I acknowledge my sin to You, and my iniquity have I not hid. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord;” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.» (Psalm 32:3-5)

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Revelation 18:4

And I heard another voice from heaven, saying,

«Come out of [Babylon], My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.»


The call to come out of Babylon, and also to take Babylon out of our heart, is still given to us, «that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues».

So let’s accept Jesus, right here and now, as our Savior and Lord, and let’s put into practice the commandments of God, by the power of His Spirit working within us.

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Psalm 91:5-10

You shall not be afraid (...) of the pestilence that walks in darkness; nor for the destruction that wastes at noonday.

A thousand shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you.

Only with your eyes shall you behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Because you have made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the Most High, your habitation; there shall no evil befall you, neither shall any plague come near your dwelling.


If we follow the way God shows us, He will cleanse us from all sin, and protect us from the malignant sore which will soon strike the wicked.

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Let’s pray together:


It is really sad to see that the impenitence of men and their contempt for Your law, in addition to causing them a lot of worries and suffering, will soon cause them to be struck by the malignant sore of the first vial.

Please send us the latter rain, so that we may receive the love and power we need to loudly proclaim Your final call to salvation, before it is too late.

In Jesus Christ we pray.


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