Damon staggered along the alley, gasping for breath, his heart pounding in his ears. He vomited into the fetid pool that lay beside the alley wall, his body trying to rid itself of the terror he felt in every fibre of his being.
He had not been in the Colosseum, but even from half a mile away, he had smelled the blood as the screams of the dying had been submerged under an orgy of bestial laughter. Those sounds would never be erased from his mind. He spat bile as he tried to rid his mouth of the taste and smell of the dying. He kicked the wall. He punched the crumbling stones until his fist bled. And then he sank to the ground, sobbing with uncontrollable anguish. He had wet himself with fear, and now the stains blended with his vomit and the filthy, back-alley puddle
into which he had collapsed.
How long he lay there, semi-conscious, was hard to tell. His mind, delirious with fear and cold, raced with images of animals, swords, and the screams of the dying.
In his delirium, he saw the face of Antonia, sweet and beautiful, radiant with the dreams of their future life together.
He reached towards that beautiful face and as he did, it began to bleed. Huge strips of flesh fell from it, turning to sand. In his dream, he tried to cry out, screaming for the madness to stop, but a crowd pressed in on him, laughing and jeering, as Antonia’s face finally dissolved into dust and blew away in the wind.
It was dark, very dark, when he felt the hand gently shake his shoulder. He awoke, tensed with fear, and would have lashed out with his fists if he’d had just one ounce of strength left.
But every flicker of energy had drained out of him, and like Antonia’s face, seemed to have blown away with the wind. It was the gentle hand of Pontus. In the soft glow of the lamp in Pontus’ hand, their eyes met. As if in answer to an unspoken question, Pontus whispered, “I know. Come . . .”
Revelation: a simple, powerful message of hope – Ray Barnett
Littleman Publishing interpretation, etc
Revelation: a simple, powerful message of hope – Ray Barnett – Contents
Chapter 1: Keys to understanding Revelation
Chapter 2: An exercise in apocalyptic thinking
Chapter 3: Keys to understanding Revelation continued
Chapter 4: A story told in opposites
Chapter 5: Revelation chapter
Chapter 6: “I know your deeds . . .”
Chapter 7: The glory of the Lamb
Chapter 8: The scroll and its seals
Chapter 9: The Gospel at work
Chapter 10: Let the earth be warned! Part 1
Chapter 11: Let the earth be warned! Part 2
Chapter 12: The Son, the serpent and the saints
Chapter 13: The dragon’s war
Chapter 14: The end of the rival kingdoms
Chapter 15: The seven last plagues
Chapter 16: The fall of Babylon
Chapter 17: The King rides to victory
Chapter 18: The end of the serpent
Chapter 19: Back to the beginning
Revelation: a simple, powerful message of hope – Ray Barnett – The seven last plagues Revelation chapter 16:1-21
This next scene shows us the bowls of wrath. Throughout Revelation, wrath is associated with the end. The “day of wrath” is the day of final judgement. The use of the word in association with these plagues could be a suggestion to us that what we are about to read is right at the end. That concept is strengthened when we realise that the things we read about in the bowls are the same in nature as what we read about in the trumpets. The difference is in the magnitude of their power and effect. Where the trumpets were warnings to an impenitent earth, the bowls are the wrath of God poured out.
Just as the trumpets ended in the final judgement, so too do the bowls. Once again, we are taken through a vision that brings us to the end. Once again, we see that this book is not a series of scenes laid end to end chronologically, but a series of overlapping scenes. You will also notice a similarity to the plagues of Egypt. These make them images with which we are familiar. Were we to look back through our Bibles for the most graphic season of the wrath of God poured out upon a nation and the gods they served, it would be the period of the plagues in Egypt. It was a period when the gods of the people were powerless to save them, but also a period when the people of God were spared. It is most fitting that God uses Egypt-type images to speak of his wrath poured out upon all the nations of the earth.
Right through history, when nations and civilisations have come under the direct judgement of God, they have remained hardened in their hearts. Here now, the whole earth faces the plagues, and the whole earth remains unrepentant. With these bowls, the wrath of God comes at the end. When the seventh bowl is poured out, the final judgement comes. There is no more time.
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