Revealing Revelation – True Apostasy

08Feb11

The sixth trumpet ends with a very depressing and tragic comment that is sometimes overlooks since it doesn’t have the “supernatural” and graphic imagery of the previous passages. It is connected with the sixth trumpet and leads the way to the seventh trumpet and the bowls that follow.

Rev 9: 20The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands nor give up worshiping demons and idols of gold and silver and bronze and stone and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk, 21nor did they repent of their murders or their sorceries or their sexual immorality or their thefts.

The actions of the Jews within the city even after the great famines, the eating of their own children and the coming horrific destruction at the hands of the world’s most powerful and prolific army, is borderline disturbing as the record of history shows.

Josephus describes those final months by noting the inhabitants of the city constantly embracing the next “Messiah” that came along. They ignored the obvious soon coming disaster and rather believed the charlatans and false prophets in their midst. Note the stunning passage from Jospephus.

“…they searched the common sewers and old dunghills of cattle…When the Romans barely heard this, their compassion was aroused; yet the rebels, who saw it also, did not repent, but allowed the same distress to come upon themselves…” (Wars V:13:7)

This should literally bring to mind Paul comments in the Epistle to the Romans.

Rom 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

24Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen…

28And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.

Here is a picture that matches both the historical record and the promise from the passage in question that there would be no repentance, not would they turn from their idolatry, murdering, thievery and sexual immorality.

This sets this event in stark contrast to their previous dealings with oppressive enemies and captors. The children of Israel did as God commanded and they were released from bondage in Egypt. They repented in Babylon and returned to build a more beautiful and spectacular Temple and city under the guidance of Ezra and Nehemiah. And even under the conquest of Antiochus Epiphanes they repented, returned to the Lord and shook off the yoke of their oppressors.

In this case, though, there is no repentance. No turning from idolatry and wickedness. Their hearts were hardened and they exchanged the truth of God for a liar and false prophets, false Messiahs and false expectations of delivery.

This echoes the words of Christ as He departed the Temple for the last time and announced it desolate. This is the picture of true apostasy; one in which there is no repentance nor hope for repentance.

Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!

38See, your house is left to you desolate.

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