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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 85

Men Scorched by the Sun
 

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Let’s pray together:

Father,

As we progress in our study of the seven vials, we better understand the reasons for Your great wrath, and how it will show itself.

Please help us to deepen this knowledge today, so that we may learn to better know, love, and serve You and Your perfect justice.

In the name of Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.




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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.»

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After the close of probation, the wrath of God will be revealed by the pouring out of seven vials, containing seven plagues which will strike unrepentant men.

Now, let’s study the fourth vial.




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Revelation 16:8,9

And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues.

And they repented not to give Him glory.

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After the third vial, which has turned the rivers and springs of water into blood and deprived men of drinkable water, the fourth vial is poured out.

This plague greatly intensifies the sufferings of impenitent men, as it increases the strength of the sun, and makes it more scorching.




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Revelation 8:12

And the fourth angel sounded.

And the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars.

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The correlation between the judgments of the trumpets and those of the seven vials is still obvious here.

In fact, the fourth trumpet and the fourth vial both strike the sun.




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Revelation 8:12

And the fourth angel sounded.

And the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

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Revelation 16:8,9

And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.

And men were scorched with great heat.

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Again the impact of the vial is far greater than that of the trumpet.

Indeed, whereas the fourth trumpet struck only «the third part of the sun», the fourth vial strikes «the sun», and greatly increases its strength.




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Luke 21:25-27

And there shall be signs in the sun. (...)

And on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

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Jesus confirms that, shortly before His return, as the nations of the earth are plunged into great distress, the sun will display special signs.

One of these signs appears at the pouring out of the fourth vial.




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The fourth vial will bring about drought and famine as never before:

«Alas for the Day! For the Day of the Lord is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Is not the meat cut off before our eyes, yes, joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seed is rotten under their clods, the garners are laid desolate, the barns are broken down; for the corn is withered.

How do the beasts groan! The herds of cattle are perplexed, because they have no pasture; yes, the flocks of sheep are made desolate. (...)

For the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness, and the flame has burned all the trees of the field. The beasts of the field cry also to You: for the rivers of waters are dried up, and the fire has devoured the pastures of the wilderness.» (Joel 1:15-20)




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Revelation 16:9

And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues.

And they repented not to give Him glory.

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After the second vial, men wanted to appease the wrath of God, and, to do so, had issued a death decree against all those who refused to keep Sunday as the day of rest.

But, seeing that the plagues continue to fall on them, they now understand that they are fighting against God.

Since the Holy Spirit has withdrawn from the earth, they are unable to repent, so they blaspheme the name of God.




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Isaiah 26:9-11

For when Your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.

Let favor be showed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the Lord.

Lord, when Your hand is lifted up, they will not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy at the people; yes, the fire of Your enemies shall devour them.

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Realizing that God is punishing their refusal to repent, and yet being unable to repent, the wicked will be filled with absolutely unbearable feelings.




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Jeremiah 5:3

You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction.

They have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

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Jeremiah 6:28,29

They are all grievous rebels, walking with slanders.

They are brass and iron; they are all corrupters. The bellows are burned, the lead is consumed of the fire; the founder melts in vain: for the wicked are not plucked away.

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The fourth vial will therefore create a furnace which won’t purify stubborn rebellious men.




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1 Peter 4:12

Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.

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Zechariah 13:9

I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried.

They shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, «It is My people:» and they shall say, «The Lord is my God.»

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This furnace will be in direct contrast to the one which God uses to refine the character of His people and to eliminate their imperfections.




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1 Peter 1:6,7

You greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, you are in heaviness through manifold temptations: that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found to praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

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In fact, the furnace of trial allows the believer to strengthen his faith and bring it to perfection, so that, whatever situation he may go through, he will remain faithful to God until the end.




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Matthew 13:3-6

Behold, a sower went forth to sow.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up.

Some fell on stony places, where they had not much earth: and immediately they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: and when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

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Jesus also uses the picture of the sun scorching the plant to illustrate the effect of the furnace of trial on the faith of the believer.

In fact, through lack of sufficiently deep roots, the plant dies under the heat of the sun.




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Matthew 13:20,21

But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and immediately with joy receives it; yet has he not root in himself, but endures for a while.

For when tribulation or persecution rises because of the word, by and by he is offended.

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The furnace of trial must strengthen our faith in God, before the coming of the great upheavals which will shake the world.

As for the scorching sun of the fourth vial, it will simply bring out the absence of root in unrepentant men.




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Deuteronomy 17:2,3

If there be found among you, within any of your gates which the Lord your God gives you, man or woman, that has worked wickedness in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing His covenant, and has gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded (...).

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The punishment of the fourth vial is also a judgment pronounced against the worshippers of the sun, showing them that their false god has now become for them a curse and a source of suffering.




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Psalm 74:16

The day is Yours, the night also is Yours.

You have prepared the light and the sun.

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Matthew 5:45

Your Father which is in heaven (...) makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good.

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Sun-worship is all the more absurd since God is the Creator of this sun, and yet men refuse to worship the Creator Himself!




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Romans 1:18,24,25

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. (...)

Why God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever.

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Having chosen to «worship and serve the creature more than the Creator», the worshippers of the sun provoke the wrath of God.




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Ezekiel 8:15,16

Then said He to me, «Have you seen this, O son of man? Turn you yet again, and you shall see greater abominations than these.»

And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

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How will unrepentant men make themselves guilty of worshipping the sun?

To understand, let’s study this passage in the book of Ezekiel.




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Ezekiel 8:15,16

«You shall see greater abominations than these.»

And He brought me into the inner court of the Lord’s house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

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This passage presents a scene which is described as an abomination: men are standing as close as humanly possible to the temple of God, yet they have turned their backs on it to worship the sun.

So God decides to punish these men who are trying to serve both Him and the sun at the same time.




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Ezekiel 9:3,4

And He called to the man clothed with linen, which had the writer’s inkhorn by his side; and the Lord said to him,

«Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.»

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Before carrying out His judgment on Jerusalem, in which dwells a people who claims to serve Him, God acknowledges that there are faithful believers in the city, «that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.»

To protect them from the coming destruction, God puts His mark on their foreheads...




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Ezekiel 9:5,6

And to the others He said in my hearing,

«Go you after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have you pity.

Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.»

Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house.

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Destruction is aimed at those who worship the sun.

Those who are mainly responsible for this abomination are «the ancient men which were before the house», that is, religious leaders who claim to serve God.

But the mark of God will protect His true servants.

Doesn’t that remind us of something?




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Revelation 14:9,10,12

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. (...)

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

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As we have seen in the lesson «The Mark of the Beast», a false day of rest, Sunday, the day of the sun, will soon be imposed by the worldwide religious coalition led by the Papacy.

This mark of the beast will be put on all those who won’t keep the commandments of God.




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Ezekiel 22:26

Her priests have violated My law, and have profaned My holy things.

They have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they showed difference between the unclean and the clean.

And they have hid their eyes from My Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

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Similar to the prophecy of Ezekiel, religious leaders claiming to serve God will be at the source of this sun-worship, that is, the worldwide promulgation of Sunday as the official day of rest.

By taking up this false day of rest, they defile the Sabbath of God’s fourth commandment.




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Obedience to the commandments of God drives away sun-worship:

«The king [Josiah] stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments and His testimonies and His statutes with all his heart and all his soul. (...) And he put down (...) them that burned incense to Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.» (2 Kings 23:3,5)

«And Asa did that which was good and right in the eyes of Jehovah his God: for he (...) commanded Judah to seek Jehovah, the God of their fathers, and to do the law and the commandment. Also he took away out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the sun-images: and the kingdom was quiet before him.» (2 Chronicles 14:2-5 [ASV])




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Ezekiel 9:4

Go through the middle of the city, through the middle of Jerusalem, and set a mark on the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the middle thereof.

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Revelation 18:2,4

Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen! (...)

Come out of her, My people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues.

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God knows that some sincere believers are still to be found within Babylon, the worshipper of the sun.

So He calls these sincere believers to come out of Babylon right here and now.




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Very soon, God will punish and destroy those who worship the sun:

«And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your sun-images, and cast your dead bodies upon the bodies of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you.» (Leviticus 26:30 [ASV])

«In all your dwelling-places the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate; that (...) your sun-images may be hewn down, and your works may be abolished. And the slain shall fall in the midst of you, and you shall know that I am Jehovah.» (Ezekiel 6:6,7 [ASV])

«“At that time,” said the Lord, “they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves. And they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped: they shall not be gathered, nor be buried; they shall be for dung on the face of the earth.”» (Jeremiah 8:1,2)




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Deuteronomy 4:15,19,20

Take you therefore good heed to yourselves (...) lest you lift up your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, should be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord your God has divided to all nations under the whole heaven.

But the Lord has taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be to Him a people of inheritance, as you are this day.

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On the other hand, God will protect His faithful people and save them from the furnace of the fourth vial, just as He did for the Hebrews in Egypt.




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Isaiah 49:10

They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them.

For He that has mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall He guide them.

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Protected from the first three plagues, the people of God will suffer from neither the effects of the scorching sun, nor the thirst and hunger brought about by the great heat and drought.




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God will protect His people from the scorching sun of the fourth vial:

«These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (...) And He that sits on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat.» (Revelation 7:14-16)

«I will lift up my eyes to the hills, from where comes my help. My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer your foot to be moved: He that keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He that keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper: the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord shall preserve you from all evil: He shall preserve your soul.» (Psalm 121:1-7)




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Malachi 4:1,2

«For, behold, the Day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the Day that comes shall burn them up,» said the Lord of hosts, «that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

But to you that fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.»

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At the end of the seven plagues, Jesus Christ, «the Sun of Righteousness», the only Sun worthy of our worship, will arise and come to gather His people who await Him on the earth.




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Matthew 13:40-43

As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be in the end of this world.

The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.

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As unrepentant men are destroyed in the furnace of fire, each faithful believer «shall shine forth as the sun» in the kingdom of God.




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Revelation 21:23-25

And the city [New Jerusalem] had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.

And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

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Finally, the scorching sun of the fourth vial will never again come to the minds of the redeemed on the New Earth, for the glory of the Father and the Lamb will be the new source of light, for all eternity.




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Let’s thank God:

Lord,

It is written, «For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass, and the flower thereof falls, and the grace of the fashion of it perishes: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways.» (James 1:11).

The scorching sun of the fourth vial reminds us that we really must develop deep and strong roots, to avoid succumbing to Satan’s deceptions.

It is only by nurturing a close and trusting relationship with You that we will strengthen our faith in You.

Every time and everywhere, may You always be our God, our only God. In Jesus Christ we pray.

Amen.


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