Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 49. Evil Let Loose

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Quiet Talks by Samuel Dickey: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation: 49. Evil Let Loose

TOPIC: Gordon, Samuel Dickey - Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation (Other Topics in this Collection)
SUBJECT: 49. Evil Let Loose

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Evil Let Loose

The second view runs through chapters eight and nine. Chapters ten and eleven to the close of verse thirteen make a distinct parenthesis. And then this view is picked up again at eleven, fourteen, and runs to the close of that chapter. But this final bit in chapter eleven is merely a connecting link with what comes later. Practically the whole of this view is in chapters eight and nine.

It closes with an earthquake, so connecting it with the final event in the first view. It begins with a period of prolonged silence, which would seem to answer to the hush in the great volume of praise in the first view, when the Lamb takes the sealed roll. So it carries us back to the same starting-point as there.

There is first a striking scene before the throne, where John sees a golden altar. On this there is being offered incense, which is said to be added to the prayers of all the saints. Incense and prayers rise together before God. Then an angel pours some of the fire of this prayer-altar into the earth, and a storm follows. So these two views, first and second, have another common starting-point, the beginning of a storm.

This is a very suggestive scene. The prayers of all the saints, both in earth and heaven, have a decided restraining influence over evil down on earth at the present time. At the close they will become a decisive influence in the cleaning-up process on earth, and the bringing in of the new order.

Then follows a fourfold description of distressing events on earth, which are caused by fiery influences coming out of the heavens. The language used seems to make clear that it is through a loosening out of the powers of evil that the tribulation comes.

In the picture language of the vision, "a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea," with injurious results to water, to life, and to shipping. A mountain is a common figure in the Bible for a great ruling power. So Israel is called by Isaiah. [Note: Isa_2:2.] The seventeenth chapter of Revelation speaks of seven kingdoms as seven mountains. [Note: Rev_17:9-10.] In Jeremiah, Babylon, which is spoken of repeatedly and typically as being the embodiment of evil and of opposition to God, is called: "O destroying mountain... which destroyest all the earth, (I) will make of thee a burnt mountain." [Note: Jer_51:25.] It speaks here also of "a great star, [Note: Rev_8:10, see also Rev_9:1; Isa_14:12-15.] burning as a torch," that fell upon the rivers and makes them bitter as wormwood. These two things seem to suggest clearly that the great hurt done to sea and vegetation, to all life, and through the obscuring of the heavenly lights, is a result directly of the powers of evil having been loosened out.

The long restraint upon evil through the presence of the Holy Spirit in the Church is now withdrawn in the withdrawal of the Spirit. His withdrawal is practically an answer to the tacit prayer both of world and Church. That prayer is being answered. The "One" who restraineth has been withdrawn. This it is that makes the tribulation on its negative side. The awful character of the demons from the pit is so utterly beyond human experience up to that time that there seem no adequate words to describe them.

The Gospels are full of the awful activity of demons on earth in possessing men. In our own land there is not wanting plenty of evidence of men horribly possessed by demons. In the older countries of Europe this experience is much more marked. But it is in heathen lands that it is most marked, where even the very air seems charged with evil forces, as though these unseen demons swarmed about.

Yet all this sort of thing is now under restraint. What it will mean to have that restraint withdrawn, and the horrid hordes here described free to do as they will, no imagination can depict. This is well called the first woe, and an awful woe it will be. Mercifully there is a time limit set on this demon activity.

Following this comes the loosing out of another horde of demons, as difficult of description, and yet more terrible. They seem countless, yet there is a limit to their numbers. The supreme Hand is never wholly withdrawn. These have power to kill as well as to torment. This is the second woe. It is most strikingly noticeable that neither of these things has influence to make men penitent.

The last item of this view is given in chapter 11:14-19. The announcement is made that the sovereignty of the world is transferred to our Lord and His Christ. The temple of God is seen open, and some further action takes place, but the detail of it is reserved for another view. Such is the terrible sight in the second view of the tribulation time. Evil is loosened out, apparently unrestrained, and yet under restraint. This it is that makes the tribulation on its positive side.

The parenthesis in the description of this view has been spoken of. It runs through chapters ten and eleven to the close of verse thirteen, and contains two chief things. The first is a little group of three items. There is a fresh description of our Lord Jesus as He is seen standing with one foot on the sea and the other upon the earth, and holding a little open book. Then seven thunders roar out. John is about to write, but is told not to. That terrific storm coming is far greater than can be told. Then comes the solemn declaration that there will be no further delay, but that at once shall be finished up this terrible time of judgment. Then follows a personal word to John. These three items make up chapter ten.