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The Book of Revelation

Chapter 16

The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath, Revelation 16:1-14

A summerized and frightful description of the procedure in God’s judgment on a rebellious and God-hating race follows. Evil and wickedness has displayed itself in some of the most horrendous sins imaginable! God has promised to judge and condemn ALL unsaved evildoers. The time has come!

Rev. 16:1 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. (KJV) John hears a mighty Voice shouting from the Temple to the seven angels, "Go your ways and empty out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the Earth."

Don’t ever forget that Jesus is in complete charge of ALL that happens. He is in command from the beginning to the end of this awesome Book. He shall march to victory! ALL power, majesty and glory belong to Him! He will now send out the last 7 angels to bring these last 7 “plagues” upon the Earth. NO more intervals, NO more delays! God’s judgment on a Christ rejecting world is here! The bowl judgments are God’s final and complete judgments on the Earth’s inhabitants. The end has come!

There are many similarities between the bowl judgments and the trumpet judgments (Rev.8:6 through11:19), but there are 3 main differences:

  • (1) these judgments are complete, whereas the previous judgments are partial.
  • (2) The trumpet judgments still gave unbelievers the opportunity to repent, but the bowl judgments do not.
  • (3) Mankind is indirectly affected by several of the trumpet judgments but they are directly affected by ALL the bowl judgments.

It may be hard for man (including some Christians), to believe God will pour out His Holy wrath on a God-hating world, and completely destroy the world as we know it; but my friend, that is exactly what will take place in the Great Tribulation. Believe what God states!

Rev. 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial 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. (KJV) The first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl over the earth. Horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.

When each angel’s turn comes to deliver his “bowl” or vial (plague), he leaves Heaven and executes God’s judgment by pouring out his particular bowl of wrath. The first angel seems to engage in germ warfare. The 1st bowl is similar to the 6th plague in Egypt (the boil, Ex.9:8-12). Moses prophesied that Israel would indeed come in contact with such a plague as the 1st angel carries (Deut,28:27,35). This prophecy has yet to be fulfilled.

If you notice; this plague besets only those with Satan’s number. There is a similarity in the plagues in Egypt. Israel was exempt from a total of 6 of the 10 plagues (Ex.8:22; 9:4,11,26; 10:23; 11:7). God always watches out after His own! God’s faithful ones have gone through a very trying time; not being able to buy or sell in any way, but now all those who had enjoyed all the priveleges of the mark will be judged by God in these final plagues. NOT one shall escape! Everyone who accepted the mark of the devil will be experience this plague! God will NOT miss a one! So, just what is this plague? “Noisome” means foul smelling, offensive, harmful to the health, noxious or fatal. “Grievious” means excruciating, agonizing, distressful, painful, etc. These ugly, malignant, destructive sores will be rotton and incurable; worse than anything we can ever imagine.

Rev. 16:3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. (KJV) The second angel poured out his bowl upon the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. Everything in the sea died.

This plague relates to the 2nd trumpet (Rev.8:8), where only 1/3 of the sea (salt water) became blood. But here in the 2nd bowl, the total sea becomes as the blood of a dead man. Everything in the sea dies! I don’t know about you, but I sure am glad I won’t be there!

Rev. 16:4-7 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. [5] And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. [6] For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. [7] And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. (KJV) When the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, they became as blood. John heard the angel who had authority over all water saying, "You are just in sending this judgment, O Holy One, who is and who always was. For Your holy people and Your prophets have been killed, and their blood was poured out on the Earth. Now You have given their murderers blood to drink. It is their just reward." Then John heard a voice from the altar saying, "Yes, Lord God Almighty, your punishments are true and just."

The 2nd bowl judgment affects the salt water. The 3rd bowl judgment affects fresh water. This 3rd bowl is similar to the 3rd trumpet judgment (Rev.8:10). There only 1/3 of the water was turned to blood. Here, it will be ALL rivers, springs and fountains of fresh water. TOTAL water supply will be cut off! People CANNOT live without water! The angel of the waters must be a particular angel who is in charge of all the world’s water supply. We have seen 4 angels in charge of the winds (Rev. 7:1), this angel controls the water. Is the 3rd angel who has the 3rd bowl judgment the angel of the waters? I’d want to say yes, it is. He adds a brief comment, declaring God is absolutely right, holy and just in bringing this judgment. There is a striling resemblance here. This plague is a calamity! There is NO other water source anywhere! This 3rd bowl paralells the 1st plague in Egypt (Ex.7:17-25). “Another out of the altar" could mean another angel, or it could refer back to the opening of the 5th seal (Rev.5:9-10), to the martyred saints crying out “How long, O Lord” before judgment? Too, it could actually be the altar itself speaking in praise of God, who executes true and right judgments. What is important here is, praising God!

Rev. 16:8-9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. [9] And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory. (KJV) When the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, it caused it to scorch everyone and everything with its fire. All were burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the Name of God, who sent all of these plagues. They did not repent and give Him glory.

Jesus predicted signs in the sun during the Great Tribulation Luke 21:25). Moses too, had something to say (Deut.32:24). Also Isaiah the prophet (Isa.24:6; 42:25). Malachi also prophesied about this plague (Mal.4:1). This 4th bowl will reveal heat from the sun that will be unmerciful! Today people are so used to air conditioning, they cannot tolerate heat above 80 degrees. With shortages of energy due to rationing and God’s judgments, there will be NO air conditioners! The sun will intensify its heat and scorch the Earth and the people! God had offered chances to repent but the people refused (Rev.9:20-21; 11:7; 14:6-7). Instead of repenting, (saying God is right and you are wrong), and turning away from their sin, these people will “blaspheme the Name of God,” the ONLY One who has power over these plagues. Yet even with the terrible things they will go through, and with their knowing God is in control, they refuse to repent, refuse to turn to God for mercy, but blaspheme God instead! Only in Rev.11:13, after the earthquake in Jerusalem, do any of the people ever give glory to God. This reveals the human heart is desperately wicked (Jer.17:9). The few who remain faithful to God need not fear this plague (Ps.121:6).Terrible physical pain and suffering follows the pouring out of the first 4 bowl judgments. . . with more to come!

Rev. 16:10-11 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, [11] And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. (KJV) When the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, his kingdom was plunged into total darkness. His subjects chewed their tongues in anguish, but they cursed the God of Heaven for their pains and sores, and they refused to repent of their evil deeds.

The seat or throne of the first beast of chapter13th makes it clear this is a man. But Antichrist is more than a man. He is a kingdom. He’s a king in charge of the whole world! You cannot have a kingdom without a king. This plague attacks the very heart of the headquarters of Antichrist. So, what is this 5th plague? It is total darkness. Have you ever been in one of those caverns where after you travel so far in a tram, they stop and turn off the headlights? The darkness is unreal! There is NOT a speck of light anywhere! You cannot see anything! The feeling is awful! The Old Testament prophets also have something to say about this plage of darkness (Isa.60:2; Joel 2:1-2,31; Amos 5:18; Zeph.1:14; nah.1:8). Jesus also predicts it (Mark 13:24). The suffering will be devastating, for this darkness carries with it a supernatural terror that intensifies the agony of the already suffering people. Apparently the darkness just aggrivates the already excruciating pain and the results of judgment are magnified. This 5th bowl judgment is similar to the 9th plague in Egypt (Ex.10:21-23). Evil has reached the height of madness when a way out is offered and it is completely rejected! Again, these wicked people will NOT repent of any of their deeds. God offers mercy, and again they reject Him, blame Him for their pain and sores, and again they curse and blaspheme Him. Three times now, John tells us they refuse to repent (Rev.9:20-21; 16:9,11). Repenting time is over for them. Don't let repenting time be over for you!

Rev. 16:12 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. (KJV) When the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great Euphrates River, it dried up so that the kings from the east could march their armies across without any trouble at all.

The Euphrates River is a natural protective boundry against the empires to the east (Babylon, Assyria, Persia, etc.) It is too deep to ford, and too wide to go around. It is about 1800 miles long, flowing from the mountains to the Persian Gulf. The Euphrates has always been a natural boundry between Israel and the Roman Empire. When the 6th bowl of God’s wrath is emptied, this great river dries up, and is no longer a boundry or barrier; the border between the east and west is gone, opening up the way for the “kings of the east” to march to the battle of Armageddon. If it dried up, nothing could hold back invading armies. The armies from the east symbolize God’s unobstructed judgment. These armies are God’s enemies. The great dragon (Satan) will collect ALL his forces, making one last desperate struggle before all is lost. The majority of the world’s population is in the east, and have or want very little of the true Gospel of Christ. They will choose to back Antichrist. With hundreds of millions in this army, pouring into Palestine, the blood will be as deep as the horse’s bridles (Rev.9:16; 15:20).

Rev. 16:13-14 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. [14] For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (KJV) John saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs leap from the mouth of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These so-called miracle-working demons caused all the rulers of the world to gather for battle against the Lord on that great judgment day of God Almighty.

There is always an interlude (break) between the 6th and 7th features of each series of seven (chapter 7, seals; 10-11:14, trumpets). This parenthetical information gives us more details on the upcoming events. These two verses do that too. This is Armageddon (Har-Magedon) by the waters of Meggido (Jud.5:19; Eze.38:8-21; 39:2,4,17; Zech.12:11). It is NOT just a single battle like a lot of people think. This is a full blown WAR! It probably will be trigered by Russia coming down from the north, in the middle of the Great Tribulation (Eze.38 & 39). It will continue about 3 1/2 years, until the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (Rev.19:11).

We are finally introduced to the ‘unholy trinity’ (trinity from Hell, in these verses: Satan, Antichrist and the False Prophet. They work together to force the nations of the world to go against Israel. EVERY nation in the world will eventually go up against Israel (Zech.12:2-3). These “unclean spirits” are demonic, sent forth by the unholy trinity to attempt to abolish God from the Earth. Satan hates God with a passion, and hates all that He stands for. He will try to destroy all God’s plans and purposes. But, let us remember that God made a Promise to Abraham and all those who followed him, and God CANNOT lie (Titus 1:2). ALL (everything) that God promised shall be fulfilled! Count on it! There are some churches today that say God is through with Israel. Don’t you believe this! That is totally and absolutely WRONG! None of God’s Promises to Israel have ever been abolished or annulled! The Jews are still God’s people, no matter what any so-called church or white supremacist group thinks (Zech.2:8). God loves Israel!

The Seventh Bowl of God’s Wrath

Revelation 16:15-21

Rev. 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. (KJV) Beware! I will come as unexpectedly as a thief! Blessed are all who are watching for me, who keep their robes ready so they will not need to walk naked and ashamed.

In the midst of all that John is seeing, he now hears some Words from our Lord, announcing His Coming, and pronouncing a blessing on all who “watch” and are faithful to Him. It seems that during all the awful judgments, there are a “few” (Mat.7:13-14) who do turn to Jesus in submission and loyalty. God is gracious, merciful and ready to receive and rescue any and all who turn to Him, any time, any place! Christ will return unexpectedly and unnannounced at the Rapture (1 Thes.5:1-6), so we must be ready when He returns. Our Lord Jesus will NOT come as a “thief” in the night to the TRUE church (God’s children), for they will be ready and looking for Him. But, the Lord Jesus will definitely come as an unexpected “thief” to all the unbelievers in the world, after the church is raptured. Prepare yourself by committing yourself to God, living a life that is pleasing to Him, and standing firmly against and resisting any and all temptation (Jam.4:7).

Rev. 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. (KJV)
All the nations armies gathered together to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew.

The location where the battle of Armageddon will take place is near the city of Meggido, southeast of the modern port of Haifa. It is a strategic location near a prominent international highway leading north from Egypt through Israel, along the coast, and on to Babylon. Meggido overlooked the entire plain southward toward Galilee and westward toward the mountaind of Gilboa. “He gathered them together. “ WHO is HE? Is it God Himself! Or is it Satan and his dynamic duo? If it is not God, it is God authorizing Satan to do it! Sinful people will unite to fight against God in a final display of rebellion. In today’s times, many are already united against Christ and His people. Be bold and persistent in your stand for Christ; as you battle against sin and evil. Don’t give up, for you are fighting on the winning side!

Rev. 16:17-18 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. [18] And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. (KJV) When the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, a mighty shout came from the throne of the Temple in Heaven, saying, "It is finished!" The thunder crashed and rolled, and lightning flashed. And there was an earthquake greater than ever before in human history.

The 7th and last angel poured out the judgment from out of his bowl. This verse says the “great voice” came “from the throne” so it is God! God the Father? God the Son? I think it is Christ. He states: “It is done.” Just as Jesus cried out: “It is finished” (John 19:30) when He completed our salvation, so now He states that judgment has now been completed (Rev.21:6). ANYONE can have a ‘finished’ redemption just by accepting it; but if you refuse it, only judgment and eternal Hell await.

Into the air” means the atmosphere; no specific location. Jesus controls all space, and He is getting ready to come through it. “Voices, and thunders, and lightnings” (Rev.6:12-17) means intense noise and global disorder usher in the arrival of the end. “A great earthquake” will be unequaled to anything this world has ever known! It shall shake the entire Earth. People who have been through earthquakes have seen nothing to match this one that shall come!

Rev. 16:19-21 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. [20] And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. [21] And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great. (KJV) Jerusalem was split into three pieces, and cities around the world fell into heaps of rubble. God remembered all of Babylon's sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. Every island disappeared, and all mountains were leveled. Then there was a terrible hailstorm, with hailstones weighing almost 100 pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. Again the people cursed God because of the hailstorm, which was a horrible plague.

The “great city” is Jerusalem. This horrendous earthquake upends and spilts the city into 3 parts. ALL the cities of the world will fall. “Babylon” is specifically mentioned again. In Rev.14:8, we are told she would fall. God does NOT lie! She shall fall! The next two chapters will give us the details about her collapse and death. The downfall of Babylon was finished. The triumphant church in Heaven saw it and rejoiced; and those faithful to Christ, in conflict on Earth saw it and became triumphant. God remembered the great and wicked city; though for some time it may have seemed as though He had forgotten her idolatry and wickedness. All that seemed most secure was gone by her ruin.

Every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” This is a tremendous statement! Can you even begin to imagine God’s power??? It is far beyond my comprehension! EVERY island dissappears! ALL the mountains move out of their place and come tumbling down! This earthquake is world-wide, not in just one location. EVERY island, ALL mountains are effected in the entire world! But, God’s judgment is not over yet! Now, on top of all this, there is a world-wide hail storm! Can you imagine a world-wide hail storm? I was caught out in a hail storm once, with stones that were golf ball size. They pounded me and my horse before I could get to shelter. My husband’s horse had never bucked, ever! He bucked that day. That storm was nothing compared to hail stones weighing 100 pounds!

If you remember, there are 3 important features in chapters 15 & 16:

  1. God’s Holy righteousness.
  2. God’s Holy wrath.
  3. Man’s response.

So, what is man’s response to this judgment? They have been blaspheming God in previous judgments, and refusing to repent (Rev.9:20-21; 16:9-11). Well, they have NOT changed their hearts and minds! Here they “blasphemed God” again! Men and women blasphemed God! The most horrific judgments that can befall them, will NOT bring these evil people to repentance. They are so hardened against God by His righteous judgments, that it is certain of their sure and everlasting destruction (2 Thes.1:9). The people KNOW that these judgments come from God, because they curse Him for sending them. Yet they still refuse to recognize God’s authority and power, and refuse to repent of their sins. Christians should not be surprised at the hostility and hard hearts of unbelievers. Even when God’s power is fully and completely revealed, many (MOST) will still refuse to repent. Rejecting the Gospel is shutting your heart to God, and letting yourself wide open for the “big lie” (2 Thes.2:11-12). Every time you reject Jesus, your heart becomes a little harder. Have you been ignoring God? Turn to Him (or back to Him) NOW before your heart becomes too hard to repent. So many people are falling for anything and everything that comes along. And, my friend, it you stand for ‘nothing’ you will fall for anything! Why not stand for Jesus? He will help you stand for what is right, and keep you from giving in to false doctrines.

Book of Revelation

Ch.1. . Ch.2 . . Ch.3 . . Ch.4 . . Ch.5. . Ch.6 . . Ch.7 . . Ch.8 . . Ch.9 . . Ch.10 . . Ch.11 . . Ch.12 . . Ch.13 . . Ch.14 . . Ch.15 . . Ch.16 . . Ch.`17 . . Ch.18 . . Ch.19 . . Ch.20 . . Ch.21 . . Ch.22 . . Special Comments

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