“Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"
There were noises and thundering and lightning, and a great earthquake, such a powerful earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
Then every island fled, and the mountains were not found.
And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great (NKJV).
This is the seventh and last of the wrath of God poured out by these angels, and it is the most devastating. We have not yet seen an earthquake of this magnitude, or hail of this size. However, if we take what is represented by these bowls of the wrath, it seems that we are fast approaching all that is foretold.
It is right to look at the physical fulfillment of these things first, but there are also spiritual implications. Thunder can represent prophetic messages that go forth, and lightning often speaks of revelation, especially revelation that exposes things hidden in darkness. Islands sometimes represent cultures or societies in prophetic symbolism and the sea can also mean humanity, as we see in places such as Isaiah 17:12.
Earthquakes sometimes represent revolutions. In the early 1990s, there was a revolution on the scale that the world had not seen when the communist yoke was thrown off and the iron curtain collapsed. That might seem to be the spiritual fulfillment of this, but I look for the natural to happen first, and it also does not seem that we have had a natural earthquake yet of the magnitude described.
We can expect these things to happen physically, but we must not miss what they reflect in the spirit. These are all foretelling massive destruction, disruption, and civilization-wide changes. We cannot prevent these biblical prophecies from being fulfilled, but there are things we can do to prepare for them. We have a kingdom that cannot be shaken. If we build our lives on the kingdom as instructed, we will not be shaken regardless of what happens in the world. We will only be able to help others if we are standing on such solid ground.
There are instructions for how to prepare for this in Hebrews 12, of which we will look at the last few verses here:
For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest,
and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore.
(For they could not endure what was commanded: "And if so much as a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned* or shot with an arrow.”
And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, "I am exceedingly afraid and trembling.")
But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels,
to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect,
to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel.
See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, "Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven."
Now this, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.
For our God is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:18-29 NKJV).
If we walk in the pure and holy fear of God, then we will not need to fear anything else, even His wrath that He promises to protect His faithful from.
next week 11