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If I Were Told the Future - Lesson 86

The Deep Darkness
 

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Welcome to this lesson! Let’s pray together:

Our Lord,

The prophetic set of the seven vials contains a message which does not aim only at reporting the pouring out of Your judgments. These vials also give us a serious warning, so that we may prepare ourselves today for the return of Your Son.

Please continue to guide us, as we study the fifth vial. In 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 reveal itself by the pouring out of seven vials, containing seven plagues which will strike impenitent men.

In this lesson, we will study the fifth vial.




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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 they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

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After the scorching sun of the fourth vial, the wicked are struck with deep darkness.

While still suffering from the effects of the preceding four vials, they now have to undergo the additional pain that is linked with the cold of darkness.




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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 they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

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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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The accumulation of these calamities and their harmful effects drives the wicked, who are unable to repent, to blaspheme God more and more.




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Zephaniah 1:14,15,17

The great Day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hastens greatly, even the voice of the Day of the Lord.

The mighty men shall cry there bitterly.

That Day is a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of devastation and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness. (...)

I will bring distress on men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the Lord: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung.

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The darkness of the fifth vial announces the imminence of Jesus’ return.




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Deep darkness announces the imminence of Jesus Christ’s return:

«I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible Day of the Lord come.» (Joel 2:30,31)

«Woe to you that desire the Day of the Lord! To what end is it for you? The Day of the Lord is darkness, and not light. As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.» (Amos 5:18,19)

«Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the Day of the Lord comes, for it is near at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness.» (Joel 2:1,2)




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Revelation 16:10

And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the seat of the beast.

And his kingdom was full of darkness.

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Revelation 13:2,3

And the dragon gave [the beast] his power, and his seat, and great authority. (...)

And all the world wondered after the beast.

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The fifth vial strikes the throne of the beast, plunging his entire kingdom into darkness.

Now, at the time of the pouring out of the vials, the kingdom of the beast will be the whole earth, «all the world».




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In the last hours of history, the beast will reign over the whole earth:

«And it was given to [the beast] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell on the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.» (Revelation 13:7,8)

«And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength to the beast.» (Revelation 17:12,13)

«For God has put in their hearts to fulfill His will, and to agree, and give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.» (Revelation 17:17)




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Isaiah 47:1,5

Daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground. (...) Sit you silent, and get you into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans.

For you shall no more be called, «The Lady of Kingdoms».

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Revelation 18:21,23

Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (...)

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you.

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Associated with the beast, Babylon the great harlot, «The Lady of Kingdoms», will also be plunged into darkness.

So the fifth vial will strike the whole apostate religio-political coalition.




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Revelation 17:13

[The ten kings] shall give their power and strength to the beast.

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Job 12:24,25

[The Lord] takes away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

They grope in the dark without light, and He makes them to stagger like a drunken man.

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And the political rulers of the world, having given «their power and strength to the beast», will also be plunged into the utter darkness which will fall upon the earth and its inhabitants.




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Exodus 10:20-23

[Pharaoh] would not let the children of Israel go.

And the Lord said to Moses, «Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even darkness which may be felt.»

And Moses stretched forth his hand toward heaven; and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.

They saw not one another.

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Once again, the vials of Revelation remind us of the plagues of Egypt.

Like the vials, which will not bring men to repentance, the plagues hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and the land of Egypt was finally plunged into total darkness.




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Pharaoh and Egypt foreshadow the fate of Babylon in the last days:

«Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him, (...)

“I shall put you out, I will cover the heaven, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give her light. All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and set darkness on your land,” said the Lord God.

“I will also vex the hearts of many people, when I shall bring your destruction among the nations, into the countries which you have not known. Yes, I will make many people amazed at you, and their kings shall be horribly afraid for you, when I shall brandish My sword before them; and they shall tremble at every moment, every man for his own life, in the day of your fall.”» (Ezekiel 32:2,7-10)




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Exodus 10:22,23

There was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days.

They saw not one another, neither rose any from his place for three days.

But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings.

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The plague of darkness in Egypt gives us a valuable piece of information: whereas the whole land of Egypt was plunged into impenetrable darkness, there was still light where the people of Israel were dwelling.




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Exodus 14:19,20

And the Angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them.

And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel.

And it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night.

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After the people of Israel had come out of Egypt, God again used darkness to form a protective wall between His people, who still had light, and the Egyptians who were pursuing them.




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Psalm 91:5,6,9,10

You shall not be afraid for the terror by night, (...) nor for the pestilence that walks in darkness. (...)

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.

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Psalm 112:4

To the upright there rises light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

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So, just like the other vials, the fifth vial won’t strike God’s people.




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Job 5:11-15

[God] sets up on high those that be low; that those which mourn may be exalted to safety.

He disappoints the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. He takes the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the fraudulent is carried headlong.

They meet with darkness in the day time, and grope in the noonday as in the night.

But He saves the poor from the sword, from their mouth, and from the hand of the mighty.

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The darkness of the fifth vial will further accentuate the contrast between the faithful people of God and the wicked who want to kill them.




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A contrast is drawn between the children of light and the children of darkness:

«Arise, shine; for your light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen on you. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you.» (Isaiah 60:1,2)

«He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken to pieces; out of heaven shall He thunder on them: the Lord shall judge the ends of the earth.» (1 Samuel 2:9,10)

«The path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more to the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.» (Proverbs 4:18,19)




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Revelation 9:1,2

And the fifth angel sounded.

And I saw a star fall from heaven to the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.

And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace.

And the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.

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The parallel between the trumpets and the vials is still present here, since the fifth trumpet also brought about a darkening of the sun and the air.

But the parallel goes even farther than that...




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Revelation 9:3,4

And there came out of the smoke locusts on the earth. (...)

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.

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In our lesson about the fifth trumpet, «The Locusts from the Bottomless Pit», we have seen that this darkening symbolized the rejection of God by the nations, on behalf of Materialism and Rationalism, which deprived the Papacy of its power for 150 years, from 1798 to 1948.

But, like the darkness of the fifth vial, this spiritual darkening didn’t affect the faithful believers.




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Jude verses 11-13

Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Korah.

These are (...) wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.

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Following the pattern of the fifth trumpet, the fifth vial also punishes the erroneous ways of the nations which rejected God and His light, preferring to adhere to attractive and pleasant beliefs and philosophical ideas which take them far from the path which leads to eternal life.




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Revelation 18:21,23

Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (...)

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you. (...) For by your sorceries were all nations deceived.

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2 Peter 2:15,17

[They] have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam. (...)

These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

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Having rejected the light of God, men blindly accept the false teachings of Babylon, until the time when darkness suddenly descends upon her.




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Jeremiah 13:16

Give glory to the Lord your God, before He cause darkness, and before your feet stumble on the dark mountains, and, while you look for light, He turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.

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Romans 1:21

When they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful.

But they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

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So, the darkness of the fifth vial will cover unrepentant men who refuse to give glory to God.




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Micah 3:5,6

Thus said the Lord concerning the prophets that make my people err, (...)

«Therefore night shall be to you, that you shall not have a vision; and it shall be dark to you, that you shall not divine; and the sun shall go down over the prophets, and the day shall be dark over them.»

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Jeremiah 23:11,12

«For both prophet and priest are profane; yes, in My house have I found their wickedness,» said the Lord.

«Why their way shall be to them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein.»

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The fifth vial will also punish the spiritual shepherds who have been leading men astray.




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Isaiah 8:19-22

And when they shall say to you, «Seek to them that have familiar spirits, and to wizards that peep, and that mutter:» should not a people seek to their God? For the living to the dead?

To the law and to the testimony! If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their God, and look upward.

And they shall look to the earth. And behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.

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So, the fifth vial will punish those who abandon God and His teachings.




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Revelation 18:21,23,24

Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. (...)

And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in you. (...) And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain on the earth.

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Job 15:30,31

[The wicked man] shall not depart out of darkness; the flame shall dry up his branches, and by the breath of His mouth shall he go away.

Let not him that is deceived trust in vanity: for vanity shall be his recompense.

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The fifth vial will also punish the dark and evil works of the wicked.




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Isaiah 5:20,30

Woe to them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness! (...)

In that Day they shall roar against them like the roaring of the sea.

And if one look to the land, behold darkness and sorrow, and the light is darkened in the heavens thereof.

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By refusing to know and put into practice the will of God, men sink into evil, and will soon be plunged into deep darkness.




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The wickedness of men will plunge them into extreme darkness:

«Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whoever goes therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither does justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. (...) For our transgressions are multiplied before You, and our sins testify against us.» (Isaiah 59:7-10,12)

«[The wicked man] believes not that he shall return out of darkness, and he is waited for of the sword. He wanders abroad for bread, saying, “Where is it?” He knows that the Day of darkness is ready at his hand. Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready to the battle. For he stretches out his hand against God, and strengthens himself against the Almighty.» (Job 15:22-25)




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John 8:12

Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying,

«I am the light of the world.

He that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.»

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John 12:46

I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on Me should not abide in darkness.

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Yet, men can avoid that total darkness by giving their lives to Jesus, the Light of the world, today while there is still time to do so.




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By giving our lives to Jesus, we turn from darkness to light:

«I send you to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in Me.» (Acts 26:17,18)

«(...) giving thanks to the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins.» (Colossians 1:12-14)

«But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.» (1 Peter 2:9)




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John 3:19

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

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2 Corinthians 4:3,4

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine to them.

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Unfortunately, a lot of people will reject God’s call to salvation, and will rather choose the dark ways of Satan.




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2 Corinthians 11:14

Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

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Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

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Let’s not be deceived.

Even if the ways of Satan seem to be as luminous as those of God, let’s not forget that Satan is «the ruler of the darkness of this world», and that his ways will ultimately lead us to death.




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John 12:35,36

Then Jesus said to them,

«Yet a little while is the light with you.

Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come on you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes.

While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light.»

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The darkness of the fifth vial is at our gates.

Let’s not delay our decision to accept Jesus, the Light of the world, as our Savior and Lord of our life.

We must decide today, because tomorrow might be too late...




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Let’s pray:

Our Father,

Jesus said, «Many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.» (Matthew 8:11,12).

Please always keep us close to Jesus, the only Source of light, and make us Your children of light, so that darkness may not overtake us.

In Jesus Christ our Savior we pray.

Amen.


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