And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. Revelation 16:10,11.

The Fifth Vial

Part II
by Brother Emerson A. Wilson

 

 

Strong Delusion
Let's turn and read II Thessalonians 2:3-12.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Now let's make some observations about this passage of Scripture:

  1. The "son of perdition" who "exalteth himself above all that is called God", is the Pope of Rome, the seat of the Pope.
  2. When Paul was writing this passage of Scripture, the time hadn't come yet; the Roman Empire was still holding this thing down. It couldn't come to the state of papalism yet, but he knew the time would soon come when the Roman Empire would so change that church and state would be one, and the church would be ruling over the state.
  3. "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work" means the spirit of it already works; the foundation was being laid for the Pope to take over.

Let me tell you, you are just getting in good shape to find another way and another god when you refuse God and His Word. I want to tell you again, there would have been no people for the Pope to reign over if God's people had stayed true. Papalism had its beginnings, my friends, in people who had fallen away from the truth. John said that every anti-Christ went out "from US". Friends, it yet remains to be seen what we can do if we will just be faithful to the message of God's Word.

"And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Here is your darkness, Brothers and Sisters. You are in darkness and sealed in it when God turns you over to a delusion and lets you believe a lie and be damned; lets you believe you are right when you are wrong. Oh friends, don't play around with God. If you don't have a love for the truth, you ought to have. Something has killed your love if your love has waxed cold. God sent strong delusions because they didn't love the truth. They just mosied right on along as many people do these days. They attend where it's preached, but they grump and groan, find fault with it after they go out, and only halfway (if that much) live it.

You can mechanically measure to everything that the pastor preaches, but if you don't have a deep down love in your heart for that truth, if the love of God isn't shed abroad afresh through the Holy Spirit, if charity isn't there that loves and rejoices in the truth, you will STILL go to hell. Consider Ephesus: she was still doing lots of things. Jesus rejoiced in their works, but told them they had left their FIRST LOVE. Their love had waxed cold.

How can you tell when the beast spirit begins to work on you? An earmark of the beast spirit is that you begin to oppose what God says, and you begin to exalt yourself. When you begin to oppose God, you start exalting yourself. Come on, it is more than the Pope who has that spirit. Oh yes, it went out to the whole world. It is knocking on your door and on my door. If you have the love of God in your heart, that beast spirit will work to kill it. Be careful! Be on your guard against it!

The Deceivableness Of Unrighteousness
In verse 10, Paul talks about the "deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish". One of the marks of the beast is the "deceivableness of unrighteousness". It is the "deceivableness of unrighteousness" of false religion which makes you feel that because you made some moves, you are right even though you are unrighteous. Don't think for one nanosecond that it's not easy to be deceived into thinking you are righteous, when you are not. It's VERY easy to be so misled.

Come on, what is the mark of the beast? Why it's the "deceivableness of unrighteousness". How does he do it? With all signs and lying wonders. My friends, there are false signs of every kind. People have signs from speaking in tongues to working false miracles. People are deceived, EASILY deceived, believing they are a member of The Church, but living in unrighteousness all the time. Well, I am here to tell you right now, there is NOBODY SAVED WHO IS LIVING IN UNRIGHTEOUSNESS. Chew on that for a bit. Think about it, now. You cannot be saved and be living an unrighteous life. We go right back to the same old thing: you're either a "CHRISTian" (follower of Christ) or you're not. Bitter and sweet don't come from the same well. Saved and sinner cannot be the same person. I don't care if you can turn flip-flops and jump and shout; when you hit the ground, if you are still living in sin, you are NOT a child of God!

Never before in my life has the "Everybody-sins-once-in-a-while" LIE been so prevalent as I see and hear it today. I've got news for you: I've heard preachers, from the pulpit, say that it's "not so bad" when a "Christian sins". They call it operating under the "permissive will of God". Lies! Lies! Never does God grant permission to sin! It is SIN that SEPARATES us from God. They call it the "permissive will of God" because He doesn't instantly strike the perpetrator of that sin dead. You'd better know this: God NEVER gives His permission for us to sin. Just because He extends mercy, just because there is not instant retribution does not mean that we have His permission to sin! If you are sitting under the preaching or teaching that you can sin and get away with it under the "permissive will of God", get away from it. It's false doctrine!

That's just like the "tongues" movements in various denominations. Oh let me tell you, "tongues" IS in the Bible. It is one of the gifts of the Spirit, where it's needed, but it is NEVER a sign that you are a Christian. It is by grace we are saved through faith, NOT by works, my friends. One might have the gift of tongues, another not: is one "more" saved than the other? In a word, NO. Someone might argue, "These signs will follow them that believe." Yes, every one of those signs that follow them who believe is nothing more than the works that a Christian will do in helping a world, but not one of them is a sign to the Christian that he is saved. Why? We are saved by grace through faith, not by a sign of any kind.

II Thessalonians 2:12 says, that they …believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Such a kingdom will never have light, because they love darkness rather than light. There are many in religious movements today who love it just as it is: dead, formal, and cold. They will never have light because they don't want light. They don't want fire. They love darkness. They love quietness. They love formality and rituals. Sure, they love their forms of godliness, so they will never have light. God doesn't force feed you light. He does not press light in upon you.

There is only one choice: either the strait (narrow) way or the broad way. God doesn't have two churches, a cold one and a hot one. If you want darkness, God will give you darkness. If you want formality, God will give you formality. God was feeding old Israel on manna and they wanted flesh. So He gave it to them until it ran out their nostrils. In other words, they got sick of it. That kingdom will never have light, so there is no need sitting around in Babylon.

Someone might say, "I'm down there. If there is any place that needs light, it's down there." Well, Brothers and Sisters, the darkness in Egypt was so dark they could feel it. A man couldn't even light a candle. It was a heavy, oppressive darkness. When God gets the truth to you and tells you to come out of Babylon, you can't help them by staying there. He would have healed her, but she won't be healed. He would have given her light, but she wants darkness. The cry is to "Come OUT of her."

You can't shine your light in this kind of darkness. This darkness is so dark, so heavy and oppressive, that your light will not work down there. God said, "Come out of her, my people." There is only one way to get out of that darkness: Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. Colossians 1:12,13.

The Light Of Life
In Ephesians 6:10-17, Paul tells us as Christians to put on the WHOLE armor of God because we are warring against spiritual wickedness in HIGH places.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 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. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

We don't have/need/use carnal weapons because we are not fighting a carnal warfare. We need to realize there is spiritual wickedness in HIGH places, in the rulers of the darkness of this world. When you are sure you have on the whole armor of God, then take the sword of the Spirit (which is the Word of God) and pray much. This is the call to God's army. We have been given implicit instructions.

Jesus said in John 8:12, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. You have the light of life when you know how to live a Christian life, when you know how to live free from sin. Babylon is in darkness; that is why they still contend that you must live in sin! They don't have the light of life. Oh, they talk about "some" light on repentance and confession, but they don't have the light of life. They don't have light on knowing how to live a Christian life, free from sin. If you will let Jesus translate you out of darkness into life and then follow Him, you will have the light of life. He will show you how to live pleasing to God.

Getting back to our Scripture text, because men and women are not following Christ, but following the beast, you see their sores (their sins) keep breaking out. The more pain they suffer from sin, the more they blaspheme the God of Heaven. How do they blaspheme the God of Heaven? By bowing before and submitting to rites, rituals, ceremonies, and forms of godliness that are put forth by men who are sitting in Christ's seat. When you submit to them and let such things be your god, when you let them take authority over your life and command you, you are blaspheming God.

In the darkness of false religion, there is no power to truly repent. They blasphemed God because of their pains and their sores, and they repented NOT of their deeds. If they had repented of their deeds, their sores would have been healed. The sore of sin will heal with real repentance of your deed. In their darkness, there is no power to repent, so they just have penance, lent, and all the other powerless rituals, never bringing man to a real experience of repentance.

Compromise
When God first sent Moses to free His people, we see a picture of Pharaoh trying to compromise. It is a picture of how the devil will try to work through a worldly-minded individual still today. It is one of his favorite tricks. When Moses asked Pharaoh to free God's people so they could serve Him, he said, And Pharaoh called for Moses and for Aaron, and said, Go ye, sacrifice to your God in the land. Exodus 8:25. Now "the land" Pharaoh was referring to was still the land of Egypt. Here is a picture of that which is spiritually called Egypt: it is a picture of servitude, or sin. Pharaoh tried to compromise by letting them worship in Egypt.

The devil, through false religion yet today, is saying that you can worship God if you want to, anywhere you want to, as long as you stay in sin. As long as the Israelites stayed in Egypt, Pharaoh still had control over them. And the devil is saying to man yet today: "As long as you stay in sin, I don't care if you worship God. I still have control over you."

Moses told Pharaoh that they couldn't worship God in Egypt. Why? It was a land of bondage, a type of the bondage of sin. Pharaoh then said, I will let you go, that ye may sacrifice to the Lord your God in the wilderness; only ye shall not go very far away… Exodus 8:28. In other words, you can go just over the weekend, but you've then got to come back. A lot of people have that kind of religion: they have it just over the week-end. For them, being a Christian is a role they slip into on certain days of the week, certain hours on those days. The devil says, "Yeah, you can go worship over the weekend, but I want you right back there come first thing Monday, and we'll (you and I) take up right where we left off our partnership." The devil doesn't mind you making little starts for God, but he sure doesn't want you to go very far.

Pharaoh continued to try to compromise (Exodus 10) with Moses, but Moses said, We will go with our young and with our old, with our sons and with our daughters, with our flocks and with our herds will we go; for we must hold a feast unto the Lord. Exodus 10:9. I want you to understand something: from the very first time Moses appeared before Pharaoh, Pharaoh got the message. When God said for him to loose His people so they could go and serve Him, His message was for Pharaoh to loose them all together, to be gone forever from Egypt, and to never return. Those were the terms God was talking about; Pharaoh wasn't stupid. He knew what Moses meant the very first time Moses showed up in his court.

When Moses told him that everyone and everything had to go, Pharaoh said, Not so: go now ye that are men, and serve the Lord; for that ye did desire. And they were driven out from Pharaoh's presence. Exodus 10:11. Well, when Moses got outside and stretched out his rod, the plague of locusts fell and began to eat up everything.

Verses 16 and 17 of that same chapter tell us, Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron in haste; and he said, I have sinned against the Lord your God, and against you. Now therefore forgive, I pray thee, my sin only this once, and intreat the Lord your God, that he may take away from me this death only. Was Pharaoh truly sorry for "his sin"? Of course not. He just wanted God to "take away from me this death".

Everything was dying. The locusts had taken everything, and he was going to die because he couldn't get any food. Why did he repent? For the very same reason so many people do today: they are in trouble and they feel if they [momentarily] repent, God will help them out of their trouble. They don't really repent; to do so would mean they would quit sinning! They only repent to get God to lift the trouble at hand. Well, my friends, that leads us up to our message: Pharaoh told Moses to get out, that he didn't want to ever see his face again. That didn't bother Moses at all; he said, Thou hast spoken well, I will see thy face again no more. Exodus 10:29.

God Delivers
In Exodus 11:2, the Lord instructed Moses, Speak now in the ears of the people, and let every man borrow of his neighbour, and every woman of her neighbour, jewels of silver and jewels of gold. God knows how to keep the record even. The Egyptians had worked the Israelites for no wages, but when God brought them out of the land of Egypt, they came out loaded with gold and silver. They wound up being very well paid for their labors. Then while Egypt was mourning, included the Pharaoh, the loss of each of their firstborn, Moses was leading Israel, singing, towards the Red Sea and out of bondage.

I will seal the message with this: God's Will is going to be done. Where you fit into it is up to you. Whether you live in the darkness and under the plagues of rebellion is up to you, but God's Will is going to be done. When God says, "Let my people go," He means it!

Friends, we are shaping up into a final battle of Armageddon. You may have played around, but within the very near future, everybody is going to know exactly which side you are on. God is calling for you to run up your flag. The very word Armageddon points to a showdown. Right out there over the last hill is a final judgment. God is not going to bring a confused multitude up to the judgment. The Word of God is putting people in or out, on the left hand or on the right. When He calls, we'll be in our respective places. This preliminary judgment lets us know where we stand: we're either saved or lost. We're either in darkness or in light. We're either following the beast or the Word and Spirit of God.

Friends, the extent of the seat of the beast is far reaching right down to the human heart. The beast spirit has never stopped. It is still reaching out. And then on the other side, Thank God, God has never stopped. The Holy Spirit is still reaching, enlightening, drawing, imploring, pointing, and guiding every one who will allow Him to do so.

 


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