296) Woe 3 – Vials of Wrath Poured Out Upon The Ungodly

“And the seventh angel sounded...And I saw…seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.” (Revelation 11:15, 15:2, 16:1)

The Greek word φιάλη (phiálē) is translated in the King James Bible as “vial”. We can recognize its transliteration from the pronunciation of the Greek word.

But this doesn’t mean that two thousands of years later our transliteration applies. Is it a larger object like bowl as translated in other Bible versions, or a small cylinder used to secret a strong medicine or poison? Since this Greek word is found only in this circumstance in Revelation, we can’t visualize it by seeing how it’s used in another setting in the gospels or letters.

We are forced to drill down into the word itself. Etymology. According to  Beekes, the root word άλη is found in σκυτ-άλη (staff, stem, handle) and γύ-αλον (hollowed space). OK., that’s no help. Still a variety of applications.

Drilling down further to hit pay dirt, Beekes states this word is probably from Pre-Greek. That explains its broad and divergent applications developed over time, requiring us to search ancient uses of this word. In order to understand what the Greek word φιάλη (phiálē) means, we have to place it in its most ancient historical and cultural context.

The Pre-Greek substrate (or Pre-Greek substratum) consists of the unknown pre-Indo-European language(s) spoken in prehistoric Greece before the coming of the Proto-Greek language in the Greek peninsula during the Bronze Age

For instance, the name of the mount Parnassos in Greece has been interpreted as the Luwian parna- (‘house’) attached to the possessive suffix -ssa-.

some pre-Greek loanwords still remain incompatible with Indo-European phonology while showing certain recurrent patterns that set them apart from other languages. This likely indicates that “one language, or a group of closely related dialects or languages” was the source of another, possibly earlier, layer of pre-Indo-European loanwords in the region.

I’ve pulled out just the essential points of this academic treatise, not to hide anything that contradicts my train of thought, but to get to the point.

Which is, the word pronounced phiálē in Classical Greek and vial in English comes from the most ancient times when the gods ruled men who were obsessed with survival by placating them.

In other words, sacrificial rites.

We can logically deduce that John’s original audience understood the implement named φιάλη. Not only was it a common feature in the world at large, the Jews themselves had continued to practice their own version of sacrificial rites until they at destruction of the temple in 70 AD.

We can also logically deduce that previous Hebrew scripture continues to elucidate mysteries to newcomers to the law of Moses, so that’s where we should look for the form and function of φιάλη.

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, sayingAccording to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it…thou shalt make the dishes…spoons…and bowls.” (Exodus 25)

Spoons. That’s what fits the entire spectrum of meanings for φιάλη – a handle with a hollowed out space for handling small amounts.

The examples shown are spoons used for ritual use in India today. Given their use in serving up expensive spices, it fits that they have the shape of a measuring spoon rather than a shallow hollow for sipping liquids.

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A large number of ordinary objects produced especially for the god have been used in the daily worship of divine statues. The most complete and best described rites were those practiced in ancient Assyria and Egypt and those still observed in the Vaishnavite temples of southeastern India. Such objects are identical in form to those ordinarily in domestic use…bowls, cups, and pitchers…pots and flasks for salves and perfumes…

In the case of YHVH’s table service, the spoons are used to transfer sweet smelling incense from its storage container to the censer for burning.

“Take you censers…And put fire therein, and put incense in them before the LORD…Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense.” (Numbers 16:17,46)

Like Korah and his groupies, the early Christian church assumed this function from YHVH’s anointed Levitical priests.

Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” (Jude 1:10-18)

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“And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle…And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped…

of the souls and transformed immortal bodies of God’s saint.

” For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our LORD Jesus Christ,” (I Thessalonians 5:9)

And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs…

“And the LORD said unto Cain…What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:9-10)

For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.” (Isaiah 26:21)

“that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.” (Matthew 23:35)

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.(Revelation 14:14-20, 16:1)

YHVH is the Singularity, remember?

Every force that the Adversary has thrown at him, including and especially the life forces of his saints – get that! – has not been wasted as destruction of mass or chaos but has been absorbed back into the Singularity.

There is some critical mass like in an atomic bomb, only in this case the number of the remnant of believers, at which YHVH unleashes holy terror onto the Adversary and his gruesome creatures. And also as in an atomic bomb, the power of the universe is packaged small.

All it takes is a teaspoonful scattered with a flick of the wrist.

Now do we get it? The literary φιάλη (phiálē) is the perfect imagery of the immense power at YHVH’s disposal! Note how much less effort was expended by YHVH than by the Adversary, and how much more damage was inflicted from the vials than from the Adversary’s reactions to the trumpet calls to war.

And the first through seventh angels each poured out his vial:

  1. upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
  2. upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
  3. upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
  4. upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
  5. the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
  6. And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared…And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
  7. And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done…and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” (Revelation 19:11-16)

The armies in heaven include God’s resurrected so now immortal followers who went through boot camp on earth. You can’t seriously think that anyone who quailed at the idea of being scorned by friends and family, or losing a job, let alone losing their mortal existence, could possibly be recruited to follow the Power of Creation into battle?!

The most important motif of God’s “teaspoons” of wrath in Revelation is us!

By ourselves we are as small and insignificant as a vial.

  • “God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise;
  • and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
  • And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen,
  • yea, and things which are not / mortally dead to bring to nought things that are / hyperdimensionally eternal. (I Corinthians 1:27-28)

John’s message to us in Revelation is that WE – united with Almighty God – can take EVERYTHING that the Adversary throws at us KNOWING that OUR CREATOR AND SUSTAINER IS SHOWING OFF HIS POWER THROUGH US!

Be strong and of a good courage…be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee…This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success…Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Joshua 1:6-9)

 

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