Thursday, December 17, 2009

Obstacles to the Kingdom (14) - Revelation

In the Book of Revelation, John describes a time when the governments of man will be replaced by the true government of God (not Jesus returning). The first five seals describe the birth pangs of this new age. The opening of the sixth seal describes the collapse of human government and democratic power.

I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place (Rev 6:13-14).
These events are not literal. The Old Testament prophets often described the collapse of a great nation in the same language. One example is found in Ezekiel 32:7,
When I snuff you out, I will cover the heavens and darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not give its light.
Ezekiel is speaking about the defeat of Egypt by the armies of Babylon. His words are a graphic description of the collapse of Egypt at the hand of a greater power. The sun continued to shine, but the prophecy fulfilled when Egypt collapsed.

Other prophets used similar language to describe the collapse of a nation or empire. They described the collapse of a human government as the sun and moon falling from the sky. Examples are Isaiah 13:10 and 34:4-5.

References to the sun, moon and starts turning to blood or falling from the sky describe the collapse of human government and political power.
Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; and they said to the mountains and to the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:15-16).
The fact that many stars are falling confirms that all kings an rulers will lose their power. Instead of strutting on the world stage, politicians and kings will hide under the rocks and caves. Those who have trusted in politicl power will be filled with fear.

As the empire of man is nearing its last gasp, the governments of the world will collapse and evaporate. When human governments stop functioning, the people be ready for godly justice administered by wise judges applying God’s law. Then Jesus will truly be King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
The kingdom of the world
has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ,
and he will reign for ever and ever (Rev 11:15).
The kingdoms of the world will disappear and be replaced by the Kingdom of God.

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