The Merchant’s Tears

Reading Time: 15 minutesI was discussing this weekly with a friend, and remember saying something like:

“Id like to do something regarding prophecy contained in Rev 17-18 for this week. I want to show the connection between The Old Testament, and The New Testament, and how they both contain the very same gospel message. After all, I reasoned, “it cant possibly be one method of salvation for some people, and yet another way, for other people.”

The Storm Of The Merchant’s Tears

“And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore:” (Rev 18:11)

Rev 18:11
Rev 18:11

According to what I have been reading this week, Nehemiah, amongst others, show how the very same things we are told would be “signs” of the imminent return of Christ. There are some parts of Nehemiah that almost sound like tomorrow’s head lines. We also see this in Daniel and Revelation. One of the reasons that I always say “the Bible is more up to date than next week’s news.”

“One of the ‘tricks’ here will be to use nothing but Scripture. We have all too often been socialized into saying “Spurgeon” or “EGW,” or many other names every time we talk about “Bible prophecy.” And that’s coming from someone who uses such books all the time. It has to be Scripture, all the way. Not scripture, plus someone else.

One of the first things that any Bible inquirer will see is how that the Book of Revelation is NOT chronological in nature, or intent. One quick example would be “the sea of glass,” as mentioned in the introductory scenes of the seven last plagues, (see Rev 15). This “sea of glass” shows that even then during such a time as it describes therein, God’s people are remembered by Him. But, this same “sea of glass” is also mentioned in Rev 4:6. And a little research reveals that Rev 4:6 takes place “before the throne in heaven.” There is nothing in scripture to suggest that this “sea of glass” somehow changes locations, which can only mean that God’s people do receive at least a part of their “reward” in heaven!

Rev 22:12 reveals how Jesus reflected upon the same point:

“Behold I come quickly and my reward is with me…”

I can well-imagine how the merchant’s tears (Rev 18:11) would turn into howls of despair when they see the reward that they actually did miss out on, and when they see what kind of “harvest” they have reaped in the whirlwinds of the second coming.

The Revelation Of The Merchant’s Tears

“And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more: The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble, And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men.” (Rev 18:11-13).

In the description of the first of the seven last plagues, (Rev 16:2) we can see the exact timing of the merchant’s tears. Because this plague is “poured out” (without mixture), upon those who already have the “mark of the beast,” and who “worship his image.” This is the very work that the Three Angel’s Message” is warning us against now. But the real story here is Jesus. Not “the mark of the beast.”  The Bible accounts of prophecy always show how Jesus walks alongside His people throughout all of this prophecy, and more, and is nothing short of miraculous. (Rev 12: 10-11, Rev 14:6-12, 1 John 1:1-3). And its not even the things that happen to us that are the miracle. WE are the miracle! (2 Cor 5:17)

Jesus promises to always be with us, “even unto the end of the world.” (John 14:16,18). People keep trying to make Bible Prophecy to be more about “history” so called, rather than HIS-Story, and this is what Bible prophecy is all about. The main point of all Bible prophecy is “Christ and Him crucified,” (Gal 6:14), and when we, God’s people, smarten up and stop trying to use “history” to “prove” something in scripture, we can know that we are not then following “the Bible only” rule that our forefathers have taught. We avoid the entire mess of competing versions of history by using only the Bible to explain prophecy and to show why prophecy is about Jesus. Could this be why the very first verse in the book of Revelation makes the following announcement:

“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:” (Rev 1:1)

ALL prophecy is “The revelation of Jesus Christ.”

Once we accept that all prophecy is “the revelation of Jesus Christ,” then the only “conspiracy theory” any of us will need is the one in Rev 14

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication. And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.” (Rev 14:6-13)

No history is really essential to understand this message. And yes, while it is “three angels” that deliver this message; it is still, collectively, just one message. NOT three separate ones. By separating each message one from the other, we too often end up over or under-emphasizing one of them. There is a growing crowd that tends towards what I have coined as “beast watching,” and this is exactly what happens when we over-emphasize one of those three parts of the three angel’s MESSAGE.

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During the times of this prophecy, as it takes place, as horrible as some of it is, all we will need to remember is Luke 21:13 “it shall turn unto you for a testimony.” (think Rev 12:10-11). Luke 21:15 is our hope, and our promise for these tough times coming up:

“I will give you a mouth and wisdom which ALL your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.”

One of the troubles we have are some pastors who have developed “evangelism” ministries and have turned that into a commercialized business entity, and some of them make pretty good money at it, including a few of our own. Its not always “wrong” to make money, but the whole situation begs the question:

“How many of us will be amongst “the merchant’s tears?” Will we be one of those crying merchants?”

Never Alone In The Final Crises

Jesus promises:

“I will NOT leave you comfortless. I WILL come to you.” (John 14:18)

What Is The Definition Of Power?

It is the ability to direct or to influence other people’s behaviour, and/or a course of events. This is what “the merchants,” “the kings of the earth,” and “the priests” all have. They can alter the very course of our lives; even our livelihoods, in a heart beat. At the click of a mouse. THAT is power. (in an earthly sense).

One of the very encouraging things I noticed about “the three angel’s message” is how it is derived/alluded to in Pslams 96:1-13; while both passages reflect upon John 12:20-23, especially verse 23.

Psa 96:2  Sing unto the LORD, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day. Psa 96:3  Declare his glory among the heathen, his wonders among all people. Psa 96:4  For the LORD is great, and greatly to be praised: he is to be feared above all gods. 


Joh 12:20  And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: Joh 12:21  The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Joh 12:22  Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus. Joh 12:23  And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified.

Consider that Rev 14:6-12 is all about “Fear God and worship He who created,” but when we give more attention to “the beast” of Bible prophecy, what is it that we are fearing then? Yes. We are embracing the fear and panic of the one who does the opposite of creating! At that very critical moment in Bible prophecy, when we are specifically called to worship He who created, to “fear God and to give ONLY Jesus glory, we can know by the signs of the times how that we are not far from the times of Rev 3:10, or Rev 18:11.

The “mark of the beast” (Rev 14:9), represents the dragon’s name and ideology. (Rev 13:16-18, Rev 16:2, Rev 19:20). This “mark” is obviously NEVER going to be something that we can be forced into. We will have the option of choosing/receiving the mark. People will ask for it. people will want it and view it as a way to “save the world.” One Bible scholar, Sigve Tonstadt, writes in one of his books:

“The mark [of the beast] doesn’t stand alone. It is the counter-point to the seal of God, as introduced in the sequence of the seven seals. (Rev 7:1-3).”

When this “hour of judgment” in the message of the first angel from Rev 14 is understood within the parameters of “The Revelation of Jesus Christ,” (Rev 1:1), then the “history” almost doesn’t matter. And this is very important to know that all we need is scripture to explain it’s own prophecy. It would seem reasonable to make this conclusion because almost everyone has their own version of history. Much in history books is activist in nature, and most of them demonstrate some sort of biases towards a group or cause which does not always follow HIS-Story as contained in scripture.

That very critical moment in the three angel’s message portrays to us much more than history is capable of, exactly what is at stake in the ongoing crises and mayhem in the world today. The Bible is always more up to date than next week’s news!

A really major point here is that on the very eve of Satan’s nastiest work; God seals His servants “on their foreheads.” ( And the call of Rev 14:7 has its impregnable foundation bricked in by the language of Exodus 20:11 which is a portion of God’s Ten Commandments.

Bible’s Historical Preamble To The Merchant’s Tears

Nehemiah 5:1-5

The prolonged period of working, watching, fear, and weariness inevitably led to trouble among the people in Jerusalem. There were three groups of complainers, each introduced with the phrase that there were those who said. The first group had large families, and did not have enough food to eat. The second group had large mortgages to pay; but then they could not affordt to even buy food. The third group had huge taxes to pay, and had been forced to mortgage their land, and even to sell their children. While hunger, shortages, taxes, and money were the immediate results of the people’s circumstances, none of these were at the very heart of the problem. The people’s basic problem is clearly pinpointed in the words against their Jewish brethren.

The people were not just simply complaining about the existing poverty and high takes; but they were also grumbling about each other. In Neh 5:1 “the people” refers to the poor; “the brethren” refers to the rich rulers. (Neh 5:7). In short, the events depicted here in Nehemiah were a class conflict. Upper Class, so called, and lower class. According to textual evidence, the poor people had mortgaged their lands and vineyards, and houses. They had borrowed money, ; and in some cases, even sold their sons and daughters into slavery. From a legal perspective, there were two problems here:

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1) USURY: lending money and charging interest on that money

2) SLAVERY: It was not wrong for a Jewish person to lend money, with interest, to a non-Jewish person, (Deut 23:19-20). Nor was it wrong for a Jewish person to lend money to a fellow Jew. However, it is interesting to note how that the law of the day did indeed, prohibit “usury,” (Exodus 22:25). Interest rates were exorbitant and could easily lead a person into poverty, and enslavement. And this leads into the second problem. According to the law of Moses, a Jewish person could hire themselves out to someone; but just not as a slave. (Lev 25:35-40).

Lev 25:36  Don’t charge them any interest on money you might loan to them. Respect your God and let those from your own country live with you. Lev 25:37  Don’t charge them interest on any money you lend them. And don’t try to make a profit from the food you sell them. Lev 25:38  I am the LORD your God. I brought you out of the land of Egypt to give the land of Canaan to you and to become your God. Lev 25:39  “If anyone from your own country becomes so poor that they must sell themselves to you, don’t make them work like slaves. Lev 25:40  They will be like hired workers and visitors with you until the year of Jubilee. 

In the last days, certain history can be seen as repeating itself and incrementally pushing a frightening situation of a class war between rich and poor to previously unseen heights of horror and deprivation. I once had a job that required me to be downtown in a large city every night traversing the dark, sometimes dangerous alleys of a major big city. I saw people sleeping on the side walks in minus 30C weather. And yet, it would not be hard to find one person, who alone could help every homeless person. Such people have so much money, there is nowhere to spend it all. Yet the so called “economy” supports the kind of system that just smiles and over-looks the plight, the financial and moral terrorism that they themselves are bringing upon millions of people.

One Christian writer writer puts it like this:

The agencies of evil are combining their forces and consolidating. They are strengthening for the last great crisis. Great changes are soon to take place in our world, and the final movements will be rapid ones. {CCh 37.2}

Already, We Are Seeing Massive Harbingers Of Such Times To Come.

The condition of things in the world shows that troublous times are right upon us. The daily papers are full of indications of a terrible, world-wide conflict in the near future. Bold robberies, and all manner of other sordid crimes are of frequent occurrence. Strikes are common. Thefts and murders are committed on every hand. People possessed of demons are taking the lives of men, women, and little children. People have become infatuated with vice, and every species of evil prevails. The enemy has succeeded in perverting justice and in filling our hearts with the desire for selfish gain, and fear. (F.E.A.R.) False.Evidence.Appearing.Real.

“Justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.” Isaiah 59:14.

In the great cities there are multitudes living in poverty and wretchedness, well-nigh destitute of food, shelter, and clothing; while in the same cities are those who have more than heart could wish, who live luxuriously, spending their money on richly furnished houses, on personal adornment, or worse still, upon the gratification of sensual appetites, upon liquor, tobacco, and other things that destroy the powers of the brain, unbalance the mind, and debase the soul. The cries of starving humanity are coming up before God, while by every species of oppression and extortion some people are piling up colossal fortunes.

We know that the Bible assures us that people will reap what they sow. The time of trouble coming upon the entire world, (Rev 3:10), and the rich merchants living luxuriously upon the earth, and making slaves of the poor, will reach a tipping point where they will not have anywhere to turn, nor will they be able to sell any of their fouled merchandise which, in effect, creates more poverty and misery. Right now, its not “the economy,” nor is it “our economy,” it is their’s. When there is a “recession” it often effects the bottom line of “the merchants,” but it all too often hurts the poor to the point where they are, in effect, slaves, either that or the stress of whats being exacted upon them, simply kills them.

Bible prophecy depicts a time when the greedy, cruel merchants who control the “kings of the earth” and rule over millions, subjecting them to all manner of atrocities in the (apparently legal) crushing weight they call “the economy, will no longer be able to ravage the poor to increase their collossal fortunes, which are now so huge that there is nothing for them to spend it on: folks, the Bible says that “Babylon’s” days are numbered. Keep trusting in Christ. Keep lifting up our Saviour to a dying world that they too may live:

Rev 18:11  “And the merchants of the earth will cry and be sad for her. They will be sad because now there is no one to buy the things they sell— Rev 18:12  gold, silver, jewels, pearls, fine linen cloth, purple cloth, silk, and scarlet cloth, all kinds of citron wood, and all kinds of things made from ivory, expensive wood, bronze, iron, and marble. Rev 18:13  They also sell cinnamon, spice, incense, frankincense, myrrh, wine, olive oil, fine flour, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, carriages, and slaves—yes, even human lives. The merchants will cry and say, Rev 18:14  ‘O Babylon, the good things you wanted have left you. All your rich and fancy things have disappeared. You will never have them again.’ Rev 18:15  “The merchants will be afraid of her suffering and will stand far away from her. They are the ones who became rich from selling those things to her. They will cry and be sad. (ERV)

Nehemiah Was A Man Who Took A Strong Stand against the merchants of the world’s commerce back in his time.

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Perhaps, the church could use a Nehemiah today?

In Nehemiah 5:6 we read:

“I became very angry…”

Nehemiah’s first response to the sins of the Jewish people was outright anger. And in his anger Nehemiah bluntly challenged the crimes being committed against the poor. He was a fierce advocate for the poor. It is OK when deliberate disobedience to the word of God provokes an angry response, an indignant response towards the sin; but not towards the sinner!

In Neh 5:7-10, after getting so angry at the sins of the Jewish people, (Neh 5:6), Nehemiah spent some time in serious thought. He then directly confronted the guilty people. The term “rebuked” is often used by the prophets to speak of legal cases brought against guilty persons, (Neh 13:11), and after rebuking the guilty parties privately, Nehemiah confronted them in public with the very same charges. There were two main issues at stake here:

(1) “fear of God” (Neh 1:5)[see also Rev 14:6-7] Neh 1:5 echoes the same idea as found in Rev 14:6-7.

(2) “the reproach of the nations” When Israel, a nation called by God, stopped honouring and obeying Him, it became a major scandal because God’s name was being dishonoured. (Neh 6:6)[see also Rev 14:8] Prophecy foretells how that Christians are and will be “the reproach of nations.”

Friends, this IS the three angel’s message, in verity, as recorded in the Old Testament and New Testament Scriptures! The Warning Message” should be that “JESUS IS COMING SOON.”

Three Angel’s Message Today

We need to make this message about Jesus, for the simple reason, that is what the Bible does! Its NOT about “beasts” or “Popes” or the like at all. Its all about Jesus, who cared enough to face the horrors we deserve, that we might be imbued with the joys He deserves. The story of The Merchant’s Tears is a shocking account of the apparent peace in the churches, while wrapped in the blankets of what we today call “the economy.” BUT, this professed peace within the body of Christ during our current tortuous “economy” may be a harbinger of some of the dreadful terrors of what is soon to come. As some of the stark pages of prophecy inform us; the Church; and the providence of God, create the perfect “recipe” for the “perfect storm.”

Culminating in Rev 3:10 and Rev 22:17 .

In a terrorized world of forced “community standards” there is no question that we, the church, have grown complacent, and by our non-actions, we intimate to the world that we are all too ready to be very comfortable and approving of the financial terrorism, and the frightening intellectual desperation surreptitiously piled high onto us  at every turn by the crying merchants. Right now they are crying for more. Much more. Bible prophecy says they will soon cry because there is none.

But, this lukewarm response of the church has indeed formed a veil of sorts right before everyone’s eyes. Bible prophecy indicates that this “veil” will be torn in half and become useless. If our church wants to be the Relevant Church, and not the Remnant Church; they will surely end up as the latter by default, just because “thats what Jesus would do.” My friends, my brethren, the lifting of such a heavy veil needs to shape our prayer, and our relationships with Christ, with one another, because the scripture proves itself, not just on the basis of our “history” or our “understanding,” but as a force that quite literally “moves the world.”

Christ declares, “I, if I be lifted up, will draw all people unto me.” If the cross does not find an influence in its favor, it creates an influence. Through generation succeeding generation, the truth for this time is revealed as present truth. Christ on the cross was the medium whereby mercy and truth met together, and righteousness and peace kissed each other. This is the means that is to move the world. {LHU 230.3}

There is earnest work to be done. All that we need means for, is to show the deep, abiding love of Christ to the world, that people may enter our doors and feel loved, accepted, included; and above all: the presence of Christ in the people. This is the only way that all of our “ministry” can be all for the glory of God. I would present before you Christ and him crucified. Give him your heart’s best affections. Give him your intellect; it belongs to him. Give him your talents of means and of influence; they were only lent to you for improvement. Jesus laid aside his robes of royalty, stepped down from his eternal throne, clothed his divinity with humanity, and for our sake became poor, that we through his poverty might become rich.

Are we talking here about being rich in money? in lands? in bank-stock?– No! We are talking about securing eternal riches! “the blessings of The Lord maketh rich; and He adds no sorrow to it..” (Prov 10:22). NO REGRETS with Jesus!

Jesus came to earth to lift up the fallen. To save those who know and love Him. (John 17:3). With his human arm he encircles the race, while with his divine arm he grasps the throne of the infinite, thus connecting finite humanity to the infinite God, and uniting earth to heaven.

Jesus said in Rev 2:21

“…I gave her space to repent…”

and while He was speaking to The Church In Thyatira, His Words endure unto this our generation: what are we doing with this “space” that Jesus also proffers to His Church?

The Church of Christ is to be that “secure space” for His truth; we are to be THE Relevant Church of Bible Prophecy, which offers an alternative to the “free” market place of religions.

Till The Storm Passes By

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