The Grapes of Wrath - Wikipedia
What is the love of the truth? The Gospel. And what's the Gospel? That Christ died for my sins, was buried, and that He arose from the dead. Those of you who have been in my classes over the years know that I do not ascribe to just an easy-believism. In other words, just saying that, yes, I believe that Christ lived, and that He died, and I believe that He rose from the dead; that's not what the Bible is talking about. The Bible is talking about a concerted faith and trust in that very act of God. That God Himself paid the penalty for all our sins. I have told my classes many times (and I like to put it this way): if you or I had been the only person living, Christ would have still gone to the Cross to purchase our redemption. When you have that kind of faith, that you can say that I believe that with all my heart, and can say that you know He is alive, I know that His Word is true; then God sees that faith as salvation. Romans 4 makes it so clear. It wasn't by works that Abraham was saved, but by faith. What was Abraham's faith? He believed God! And God counted it unto him as righteousness. He was a believer.Folks who have heard this Gospel, and have been convicted by the Holy Spirit that they need this Gospel and reject it. They are the ones that will have no further chance at salvation and will be blinded from the truth. But there are literally billions of people upon the face of the earth tonight who have never heard the Gospel. I always maintain in every city that I teach, that there are multitudes who have never heard the Gospel. Now I know that is hard for us to believe. But listen, there are people who may walk into a place of business and there may be a preacher on the radio or television preaching the Gospel in all of it's truth and sincerity. But they don't hear it. They don't pay any attention to it. So I maintain they are going to still be candidates for the preaching of the 144,000.I feel that the only ones who will be completely condemned are the ones we have talked about, who have completely heard, understood, were convicted by it and said, "No thank you" or, "I'll do it later," or whatever. We even have church people who have been in my classes, who have come and said, "Les, we have never heard the Gospel before." And they had been in church all their life. That is a sad commentary I know, but it's still the truth. So as these 144,000 Jews go out around the world, there's no one being saved as a second chance. But only those who have never heard the True Gospel. The ones who have rejected and are doomed will also be the first to take the mark of the beast, the 666. For us believers tonight we don't have that to fear as we will be gone when that comes on the scene for the Tribulation people. But they will accept that mark of the beast at the drop of a hat for they have already been completely deluded by a Sovereign act of God, that the Anti-christ is the man the world is looking for.(16d) What will happen during the battle of Armageddon ?Book 11 LESSON THREE * PART I Always remember that prophetically there are only three areas of the world that are involved in those last days of the Tribulation or the battle of Armageddon. And that is Western Europe, the Orient, and parts of Africa. There is nothing at the very end that concerns Russia, or the Western Hemisphere. There is nothing in prophecy that would involve those two great areas in that last great battle.Book 12 LESSON THREE * PART IVTRUMPET & BOWL JUDGMENTS: BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDONNow to Revelation 16. We studied the last 6 terrible judgments that will be coming upon the earth. I'm going to stop before we get to number 7 for a reason. After the sixth bowl had been poured out, which was the drying up of the Euphrates River so the armies can come into the Middle East from the Far East, John says in verse 13:"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth (communications)Satan, who is now indwelling the Anti-christ, will make contact probably by phone with all the national leaders still in place. He will ask for their armies to come to the Middle East to get rid of the real problem of mankind, the Jew (what Hitler called the final solution). I look at this final gathering of the nations at Armageddon as Satan's attempt once and for all to annihilate the Jewish people. But it's really going to end up, Satan against The Christ."For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."When President Bush was putting together the nations in Desert Storm, the papers said he would just pick up the phone and call the leaders of the various nations. Using only phone calls, he was literally getting these leaders convinced they should unify against Iraq. That was just a little tiny preview of what we have right here. Now verse 15, and The Sovereign God is behind it:"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame." In other words, the Lord is reminding us that it is time for His appearance at the Second Coming, but before He does that: (this is the power of a Sovereign God working through, of course, the mind set of the Anti-christ who puts out the call to the nations to come to Jerusalem)From which the word Megiddo comes. Another word is Esdraelon. And if you go to Israel as we did last spring, that is one of the tourist attractions. You will see the archaeological digs of the ancient city of Megiddo. When you stand on the hills of Megiddo amongst all the ruins of that ancient city, you can look off to the northeast and there is that beautiful flat valley. The Nation of Israel is predominately mountainous. You have these valley areas between the mountain ranges. The reason I'm pointing this out is that when God brings the armies of the world to Israel, naturally they will put their encampments on those valley floors. And this area of the valley of Esdraelon has been a battlefield throughout time. The place had great strategic importance, since it commanded the pass through the mountains between the plains of Sharon and Esdraelon. There have been hundreds of battles fought here. So he will bring the nations of the world to the Middle East. Now I know there is not a bit of military intelligence connected to it, but you must remember we are dealing with a Sovereign God and He is going to cause those generals to pack their troops into these valleys, beyond description. They will be in there like sardines in a can, because a Sovereign God is forcing the issue. Now let's come back a couple of chapters to Revelation 14, and we have a tremendous symbolic picture of all of this."And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." I feel this is an allusion to Christ. He is the One who is about to reap this harvest.(they used to use the sickle to harvest the grain)Remember the communication is between the angel and Christ.Chapter 16 shows the call going to all nations to come to the Middle East. That's the reaping A Sovereign God is bringing about."And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the cluster of the vine of the earth: for her grapes are fully ripe."The word `fully' in the Greek means `over-ripe.' It's past harvest time. Here is the symbolism again. The grapes were gathered and put into a wine vat, where they could be crushed; the juice taken out of them and made into wine. The juice was squeezed out of the grapes by walking on them in the wine vat. They would put two or three people in a vat and they would walk until all the juice would run out. That is the allusion here, that this is exactly what God is doing with the peoples of the world. Now come back to the Book of Isaiah Chapter 63, and you will get the beautiful analogy. And again, I do this so you can see that all of Scripture fits together."Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Who do you suppose he is referring to? Christ! This is a picture of His returning and bringing forth judgment upon these gathering armies. Don't lose that analogy. The grape harvest was put in the wine vat, and it was trampled by individuals. Naturally, the grape juice would spurt and juice would get all over them. The prophet sees Christ also covered with this red apparel. And he says, "Why are you this way?" Look at the answer in verse 3. And again, Christ is speaking:"I have trodden the winepress alone (in Revelation Chapter 5, God the Father had a scroll. No one was worthy to open that scroll except the Son of God and He came and took the scroll. Here it comes to its fruition. He alone was worthy, and no one else was worthy of bringing on this particular judgment)(He's not speaking of His own Blood here) As He more or less tramples the people in the wine vat. Now verse 4:(this isn't the God of Grace now. This is a God of wrath!)Let's hold all of this together. Revelation Chapter 19:
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I know the first thing that comes to mind is, "How can a God of love do something like this to His created beings." Well, you must remember the big picture. For thousands of years God has been nothing but gracious, kind, loving, and patient. But back to Psalms Chapter 2, all of a sudden we break into a period of time that is going to be the wrath and vexation of God. When He has finally run out of His patience and said, "I've had enough." In the day that you and I are living and have seen the fabric of the world society just rot at the seam (even in these last 15 to 20 years), don't you often ask yourself, "How long will God put up with it?" You look at what men and women are doing today and you just have to ask yourself that question. Well it won't be much longer! And when He does stop being gracious, His wrath is going to be beyond our comprehension. And as the Scripture tells us, it is fair and just. He will torment the human race with the stings of these locust, and instead of hurting for an hour or two it's going to sting for 5 months. The 5 months refer to the length of the result of that sting.
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Now those are two separate songs. Let's go back to the song of Moses. Turn to the Book of Exodus Chapter 15. Remember that Israel has just come through the Red Sea. They've looked back and seen the residue of all the floating Egyptian horsemen, chariots and everything else. From all practical aspects it wasn't a very pretty picture. But when Israel could look back on their years of slavery and mistreatment and sufferings, and then be able to see what had happened to their enemies, no wonder they could sing. So this is the song of Moses. And again this is (as I have made the analogy over and over as we have studied Revelation) such a repeat of that Exodus experience and dealing with the Pharaoh and the plagues, only on a far grander and greater scale. And here is another parallel. These Tribulation saints, who are now removed from their suffering and are in the presence of the Lord, they too will sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. We won't read it all because it's too long, but here is the gist of it. Verse 1: