Saturday, February 10, 2007
REWARD HER EVEN AS SHE REWARDED YOU
A study of Revelation 18:6
Reward Her Even As She Rewarded You
When we dove into Revelation chapters 17 and 18 we have seen that God used symbolic language to describe the condition of:
1. The End Time Church
God pictured the church as a great whore that sitteth upon many waters. God also pictured her as the woman in the wilderness who sits upon the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, who is representing Antichrist. God also called her “Mystery Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth”. God not only called her “the Mother of Harlots” for the spiritual fornications that the end time church will be engaged in, but God also called her “the Mother of Abominations of the Earth” for the many false gospels that she is going to produce, and God also called her “Babylon the Great” for the many idols that she is going to worship, and for her enormous influence over all the people of the world. And how the mighty church of God is going to degrade herself into such a cursed condition is a great “Mystery”, but God already indicated this in the Old Testament in the words of:
“Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD. For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”
But there are many more passages in the Old Testament that are pointing to Revelation 17 and 18 as the condition of the end time church. We have already seen in Isaiah 21:1-10 that God showed us a parable about “Babylon is fallen, is fallen”. But God also shows us the equivalent of Revelation 17 and 18 in Isaiah 23, and Isaiah 47, and Jeremiah 50 and 51, and Ezekiel 27, and Nahum 3. These chapters are all speaking about the same subject matter as Revelation 17 and 18, the city representing the end time church.
But let me make one thing clear:
I did not say that true believers must depart out of their faithful church.
I did not say that God’s wrath is upon all churches worldwide.
I did not say that there are no longer any faithful churches.
I did not say that we should not celebrate the Lord’s Supper or perform Water Baptisms any more.
We do not have a God with a calendar in His hand who states that on a certain date all churches in the world suddenly have become abomination before God. We have a God who is a just God, who is a merciful Father for all those whom He is drawing to Christ, and who has praise for those churches that remain faithful to Him as indicated in Revelation 2 and 3, but who has wrath upon all churches who turn to idolatry by inventing false gospels of their own, as indicated in Revelation 2 and 3.
And why do entire churches fall away into another gospel?
Why is it that congregations are so easily deceived?
It is because they do not read the Bible any more. They listen to their Pastor, rather than listen to God. And thus they leave themselves open to all kinds of false teachings that are symbolically spawned by the 200 million demons that were released in Revelation 9. And so, when we look at most churches today we are reminded of the words in Isaiah 1:21, where God says:
“How is the faithful city become an harlot! It was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers”.
And the murderers that God refers to are not those that murder the body, but those that murder the souls of men. It was so in the days before Jerusalem was destroyed, and it has again become so today, by which we know that WE are living in the Final Tribulation Period, the days of the harlotry of the end time church. And just like in the days of Jerusalem’s spiritual harlotry, even so today there is no repentance in view on the part of the corporate church. They have become unteachable, which is nothing but dirty rotten pride.
We have seen that the woman, the harlot church, sits upon the beast with 7 heads and 10 horns, which represents Antichrist. And since Antichrist rules in the name of Satan and rules over all the nations of the world, Antichrist cannot be one person, but must be many persons ruling in governments and in churches all over the world. They all have one goal, and that is to rule and reign without Christ, regardless of which religion they hold. That is why together they are called Antichrist. The “great falling away” within the corporate church has reached its crest. The church has opened its doors and has received with open arms all those who call themselves Christian, along with all their abominations and sins against God. They hoped to enlarge their congregation, but in the end they will be destroyed by those same people whose tongues they do not understand. For we read in Revelation 17:16-17 that the ten horns of Antichrist shall hate the whore,
And They Shall Burn Her With Fire
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
For God hath put in their hearts to fulfill his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.
This event that was prophesied here in Revelation 17:16, the physical destruction of Babylon, the harlot church, is being fulfilled in Revelation 18. First occurs the great falling away and the spiritual degradation of the church, who becomes the harlot church, Babylon, and then the physical destruction of this Babylon, the harlot church, and then the physical destruction of all the nations of the world. This is the sequence of events in the end time, indicated by God in Jeremiah 25.
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.
Further along in this chapter we read:
Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you. And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink. For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
The nations shall see the destruction of the church, and this is a sign to them that they too shall be destroyed and then be brought before the judgment throne of Christ, and not one of them shall escape, “for we must all appear before the Judgment seat of Christ”.
Right at the beginning of this prophecy of the physical destruction of the church God gives us the time frame when this shall come to pass. God speaks about an Angel, or better a Messenger, coming down from heaven, whose coming will be like the 2nd coming of Christ. Obviously this is not an angel, but is Christ Himself, taking vengeance on all them that know not God.
And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Verse 2 speaks of the church having fallen into apostasy, and having fallen under the curse of God, and having become the dwelling place of devils, and having become a prison of every unsaved person, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. When a church abandons the Bible, she has in fact abandoned the only true God and is worshipping another god; regardless what name she assigns to the god she worships, he is always another god. And thus, when a church abandons the Bible, even if it is only a small portion of the Bible, she has become a dwelling place of devils, and has become the prison of every unsaved person.
Because the place that was originally designed to be to the glory of God, has now been converted to a place of contempt for God, a place where God will not find any glory for Him. And this the devil and all his demons like very much. But why did God add to this verse that the church has become a favorite stomping ground of every unclean and hateful bird? The answer lies in the unusual Greek word that God uses for “bird” <3732> in this place. That particular Greek word appears only in two other verses in the Bible, both of these in Revelation 19 where it is translated “fowls”.
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls <3732> that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls <3732> were filled with their flesh.
What is this?
Does this mean that instead of Hell the unsaved will be devoured by vultures and that will be the end of them?
No possibility whatsoever.
When this world has come to an end there are no more vultures. These vultures represent demons, or the fallen angels. God uses the picture of vultures devouring carcasses of the unsaved, to drive home the principle that Satan and his demons shall be the tormentors, executing God’s wrath upon all the unsaved in Hell. The harlot church, Babylon, has become the favorite stomping ground for demons who are like vultures eagerly waiting for human beings to be cast into Hell. What a horrible prospect for the unsaved in Hell.
Verse 3 of Revelation 18 speaks of “all nations” who have been deceived by the false gospels coming from the end time church. God’s wrath is on them. Verse 3 also speaks of “the kings of the earth”. When we search the Bible we find that the expression “the kings of the earth” can be understood two different ways, the good guys, or the bad guys. Here in Revelation 18:3 the context indicates that these are the bad guys. Verse 3 also speaks of “the merchants of the earth”. When we search the Bible we find that “merchants” can be understood two different ways, the good guys, or the bad guys. Here in Revelation 18:3 the context shows that these merchants are the bad guys. Now please drop down to verses 4 and 5, and there we read:
2. For Her Sins Have Reached Unto Heaven
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.
At any time throughout our life as a child of God, but especially during the Final Tribulation Period, we must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. We all are well aware of this general principle.
But who are unbelievers?
It means nothing if anyone claims to be a Christian. It means nothing if anyone says that he or she believes in Christ. Even Jews and Moslems believe in Jesus Christ. But they do not believe that He is God.
And why not?
It is because they do not believe the whole Bible, like we do. God says in:
“And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God”.
Now we know that the whole Bible is also called “The Word of God”. And thus it stands to reason that the Lord Jesus Christ, our Jesus Christ, is circumscribed by the whole Bible, and by the Bible alone. By this definition of Revelation 19:13 anyone who believes that the Bible plus something else is the Divine infallible Word of God, worships another god, but he is not the God from the Bible whom we worship. For example, anyone who believes that the words from one of the Popes or the words from one of the saints of the past are infallible because they are words inspired by God, believes in the Bible plus something, and thus by the definition of Revelation 19:13 this person is an unbeliever. Anyone who believes that God brings additional Divine revelations today in dreams, or in visions, or in angel visitations, or in tongues, believes that his package of Divine messages from God constitutes of the Bible plus something else, and thus by the definition of Revelation 19:13 this person is an unbeliever. On the other hand, anyone who believes in the theory of evolution has in his mind relegated the first 11 chapters of Genesis to the category of mythology. This person does not believe the whole Bible is the Word of God, and thus by the definition of Revelation 19:13 this person is an unbeliever.
He worships another god, but it is not the God of the Bible. Another example: a person who does not believe Psalm 119, or Isaiah 43, or Matthew 13, or John 6, or John 17, or Romans 9, or Ephesians 1, or Colossians 1, does not believe the whole Bible is the Word of God, and thus this person is an unbeliever. He worships another god, but it is not the God of the Bible. I am not making this up now, for these principles and conclusions are thoroughly supported by Revelation 22:18-19, which you know already.
These are the sins of the church which have reached unto heaven. They are worshipping all kinds of other gods. And this is the present day situation.
But will churches repent and return to the God of the Bible?
No way! They like it where they are now, and they have no intentions to change their beliefs.
And so, what constitutes a Believer?
A Believer believes that the whole Bible is the Word of God, nothing more and nothing less than the whole Bible. And a Believer has a fervent desire to live a life that reflects what he believes, and is always open to correction if justified from the Word of God. A believer has an ongoing desire to do those things that are pleasing to God. A Believer desires to obey what God says in 2 Corinthians 6:14:
2 Corinthians 6:14
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
2 Corinthians 6:15
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
2 Corinthians 6:16-18
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
We must not be unequally yoked with unbelievers, means if we are not married we must choose a mate who is also a Believer. And if we choose a partner in our business he or she must also be a Believer. If we become saved and we find that our marriage partner is still unsaved, we must remain with that unsaved spouse till death do us part, for God hates divorce. But God hates it when we deliberately choose a marriage partner who is in the army of Satan, while we claim to be in the army of Christ. This is an act of treacherous treason. And thus we read in:
2 Corinthians 6:17
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord”.
It is the same call to separation that we find in:
“Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues”.
Throughout the Bible God calls us to be separate from the heathen. Now we are going to discover God’s rules about:
Double Inheritances and Double Rewards
In the Old Testament God laid down the principle that when an inheritance is divided among the children, the firstborn always receives a double portion. This was a Ceremonial Law since this was a law that looked forward toward the nature of salvation as explained in the New Testament. God says in Deuteronomy 21:15-17:
¶ If a man have two wives, one beloved, and another hated, and they have born him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the firstborn son be hers that was hated:
Then it shall be, when he maketh his sons to inherit that which he hath, that he may not make the son of the beloved firstborn before the son of the hated, which is indeed the firstborn:
But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.
The firstborn among the children is special. He is the one on whom special favors rest. It reminds us of the elect of God on whom His special favors rest. Certainly God is not a respecter of persons, in the sense that He chooses whom He wants to save from all nations and people and tribes and tongues without considering if they are poor, or blind, or lame. But once He has decided to save a person, on that person His special favors rest.
And what is the favor of God?
It is grace, for grace is unmerited favor. And thus God typifies all His elect people as being firstborn. God calls them in:
“The church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven”.
Of course, Christ was also the firstborn, for we read in:
“Who is the beginning, the Firstborn from the dead”.
All of God’s elect receive from Him a double inheritance. Our first inheritance is “Mercy”.
What is mercy?
Mercy is when God withholds the penalty that we do deserve. We do deserve to go to Hell on account of all our sins. But when Christ paid for our sins the penalty that we would have to pay, the equivalent of an eternity in Hell, our obligation to go to Hell is completely erased, for our sins have been completely paid. When His payment was applied at the moment that we became born from above, our status was changed from the deepest depth of Hell to neutral ground. That in itself was already an enormous blessing, for we do not have to suffer the torments of Hell. But then God added our second inheritance, which is “Grace”.
What is grace?
Grace is when God gives us what we do not deserve, for grace is unmerited favor.
What does God give us?
He gives us all things we need in this life, and in the life hereafter He literally gives us all things that He owns. He gives us an eternity in heaven. He gives us the status of sons of God. Yea, He tells us in:
1 Samuel 2:8
“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory”.
Did you hear that?
He makes them (plural) inherit the throne (singular) of glory, His throne. We inherit God Himself.
How could anyone ask for a greater gift than that?
That is why God says in Isaiah 40:1-2:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD’S hand double for all her sins.
Our iniquity is pardoned, for we have received of the Lord’s hand double for all our sins. We are Christ’s firstborn and this is our double inheritance: Mercy and Grace. On the other hand, God speaks of those that are condemned also as firstborn. We see both usages in Exodus 4:22-23. Please listen:
And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son,
even my firstborn:
And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.
Therefore, just as the double inheritance for Believers means the highest possible blessing from God, so the double reward for the unsaved means the most grievous punishment possible.
For saints God speaks of an inheritance, since none of these gifts is given by merit. But for the unsaved God speaks of rewards, for all they receive was earned by them through their works. Their rewards are the wages for their works, for God said in Romans 6:23:
“The wages of sin is death”.
We read in Revelation 18:6:
Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she hath filled fill to her double.
The title of this article is taken from this verse, “Reward Her Even As She Rewarded You”.
Who does “You” refer to?
In the KJV when we see the personal pronouns Thou and Thee it addresses a singular person, and when we see the personal pronouns You and Ye it addresses plural persons. So, here in Revelation 18:6 the voice from heaven says, “Reward her even as she rewarded you, my people”, or when we add Revelation 17:6 we can say paraphrased, “Lord, reward the harlot church, Babylon, double for all the evil she has done to your people, for she is drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus. And give her double on top of her double rewards for her works, for she has filled the cup of the wrath of God to deserve double for all her fornications. She has not at all glorified God in her works, for she has glorified herself.” We read in verses 7 and 8,
How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow.
Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.
And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:
The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,
And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.
3. Merchandizing the Souls of Men
What a horrible profession; merchandizing the souls of men. But this is what the harlot church is presently doing. That is why God has the hottest place in Hell reserved for pastors and teachers who preach a false gospel, leading many unto a slippery slide into Hell. God says in James 3:1:
“My brethren be not many masters (or Bible teachers), knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation”.
The merchants of the earth are merchandizing the souls of men. We have seen in Revelation 13:17 that the only ones who are buying and selling during the Final Tribulation Period are those who bear the mark of the beast. We have also seen that those who bought and sold in the temple were those whom Jesus called a den of thieves. They were called thieves because what they sold should have been given free of charge, or not given at all, for many are in the business of deceit. The charismatic movement is even greater business today than that of the TV evangelists. The unsaved are peddling the souls of men. Those who come with false gospels for personal gain are effectively selling the souls of men to Satan. We read in the following verses,
And the fruits that thy soul lusted after are departed from thee, and all things which were dainty and goodly are departed from thee, and thou shalt find them no more at all.
The merchants of these things, which were made rich by her, shall stand afar off for the fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!
For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!
And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas, that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate. Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee;
And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
A stone like a great millstone
And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying,
Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all.
This very heavy stone was cast into the sea, representing Babylon which must be cast into Hell. 2000 years ago it was Christ, who often is pictured as a rock or a stone, and who had to endure Hell for those He came to save. But now it is Babylon who must endure Hell for her own sins.
Let us find out if this is really the metaphor used by God in this passage of Revelation 18:21. We find a similar passage in Jeremiah 51:61-64. Jeremiah was never taken as a captive to Babylon, but Jeremiah instructed one of the princes, named Seraiah, who went to Babylon with king Zedekiah in the fourth year of his reign. And then we read in Jeremiah 51:61,
And Jeremiah said to Seraiah, When thou comest to Babylon, and shalt see, and shalt read all these words; Then shalt thou say, O LORD, thou hast spoken against this place, to cut it off, that none shall remain in it, neither man nor beast, but that it shall be desolate for ever.
And it shall be, when thou hast made an end of reading this book, that thou shalt bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of Euphrates:
And thou shalt say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise from the evil that I will bring upon her: and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah.
Here we see that the Word of God is bound to the stone that is cast into the River Euphrates. The Word of God represents Christ, and the River Euphrates represents Hell. The implication is that Christ, by enduring Hell for the sins of His people, has established the principle that all sinners must suffer the wrath of God in Hell. And there we read, “the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee”. It means that the sound of the Lord as the Word of God shall not be heard any more in the harlot church, Babylon. The Word of the Lord shall not be preached at all in the harlot church. “The light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee”, indicates that the church as the appointed light of the world shall not let her light shine any more. The voice of the Bridegroom, which is the voice of Christ, and the voice of the Bride, which is the voice of the faithful in the church, shall not be heard any more in the harlot church. And then God says, “For thy merchants were the great men of the earth”. Man was created to glorify God. But instead he worships the idols of his own liking. These are impotent idols that cannot save. “For by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.” Through the sorceries of the Charismatic Movement all nations were deceived into believing that God indeed is bringing Divine messages today. But they have not read the Bible, for the Bible clearly says in Revelation 22:18-19 that God’s messages ceased when the last page of the Bible was written.
And then we read in Revelation 18:24:
“And in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.”
Satan was a murderer from the beginning. All throughout time he and his servants, the unsaved of the world, have persecuted and martyred the followers of Christ. “Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her.” AMEN.
By Alfred Chompff