Chapter 16

 

The Seven Bowls of God's Wrath. v1 - 21.

 

1. "Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."  

 

A great voice that came from the presence of God commands the angels to empty their seven bowls on the earth.

 

 

The First Bowl:  Ulcerated Sores. v2.

 

2. "So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image."

 

The first of the plagues to be poured out on the earth causes foul and painful ulcerated sores to break out on all those who have the mark of the beast. They are now bear the marks of divine wrath.  This was the sixth plague that God sent to judge the Egyptians (Exodus. 9:8 - 12).

 

 

The Second Bowl:  The Sea Turned to Blood. v3.

 

3. "Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died."  

 

The second angel empties his bowl on the sea which turns it to blood like the foul, ill-smelling blood of a corpse. Every living thing in the sea dies.

 

 

The Third Bowl:  The Waters Turned to Blood.  v4 - 7.

 

4. "Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood."

 

The third angel pours his bowl on the rivers, springs and all the water sources which are turned into blood. "Thus the streams of life and the sources of well-being were destroyed." (Tatford).

 

5, 6. "And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, the One who is and who was and who is to be, because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due."

 

As the bowl was poured on the waters, John heard the angel who was in charge of the waters say that the Lord, the Eternal One is righteous in this act of judgement, for those who had killed the saints and prophets had received what they justly deserved - for now they must drink blood to survive.

 

7. "And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgements."

 

A response from the altar echoes the sentiments of the angel.   Yes, Lord God Omnipotent, your judgements are true and right.

 

 

The Fourth Bowl:  Men are Burned by the Sun. v8 - 9.

 

8. "Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire."

 

The fourth bowl is poured on the sun, increasing its heat to such an extent that it burns the people.

 

9. "And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory."

 

Although severely burnt by the fiery heat the people did not repent or give God the glory. Instead they blasphemed His name (His being) for sending these plagues on them. They cursed God, accusing Him of causing their distress instead of realising that their own wickedness was to blame for this judgement.

 

 

The Fifth Bowl:  Darkness. v10 - 11.

 

10. "Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain."

 

Divine judgement draws nearer the Anti-Christ as the fifth angel empties his bowl on his throne, the Anti-Christ's centre of power, although it does not yet personally touch him. His kingdom was plunged into gross darkness bringing confusion, disorder and distress (see Ex. 10:21 - 23). So terrible was this darkness that men "gnawed their tongues in anguish" (physical and mental pain). NB: This is the only place in Scripture where this expression is found.  

 

11. "They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds."

 

Although they suffered such pains and sores they did not repent of their wickedness but continually cursed God.

 

 

The Sixth Bowl:  Euphrates Dried Up. v12 - 16.

 

12. "Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared."

 

When the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the river Euphrates it was dried up, making it a road for the armies of the eastern nations as they march toward Israel. (See map above.)

 

13. "And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet."

 

Three demonic spirits are sent out from the evil trinity of  Satan, the Anti-Christ and the false prophet. John can only describe them as having the grotesque appearance and foulness of frogs.

 

14. "For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."

 

These miracle-working demons incite the rulers of all the nations of the world to unite as one to fight against the Almighty God on the day that He has appointed.

 

15. "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."

 

Since this gathering is a sign of Christ's coming, a voice suddenly breaks through from heaven. It is the voice of Christ giving warning to the saints of the Great Tribulation period. He will come as unexpectedly as a thief; those who watch for His coming, remaining loyal and faithful to Him will not be ashamed in that day.  

 

16. "And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon."

 

The three demons gathered all the armies of the world to a place called Armageddon in Hebrew -- the Mountain of Megiddo, the assembly-point.

 

 

The Seventh Bowl:  The Earth Shaken. 17 - 21.

 

17. "Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!"

 

The final bowl is emptied into the air by the seventh angel and a mighty voice comes from the throne in heaven saying, "It is finished" i.e. the outpouring of God's wrath on the earth. "This is the last stroke, before the Saviour descends to battle." Tatford See Rev. 19:11.

 

18. "And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth."  

 

As a result of the outpouring of the bowl into the air, there were the sound of voices, the flashing of much lightning and the crashing of  mighty peals of thunder. There was an earthquake of such magnitude as had never occurred since the creation of man.

 

19. "Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath."

 

The earthquake split the mighty city of Babylon into three parts by chasms and all the cities of the nations collapsed in heaps of rubble. The time had come for the sins of Babylon to be punished in the fierceness of God's wrath.

 

20. "Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."

 

The islands were destroyed (possibly submerged) by the earthquake and all the mountains were flattened down.

 

21. "And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great."

 

Combined with all this there was an incredible hailstorm each hailstone weighing about 95lbs or 43 kilograms; As this fell on the people they blasphemed and cursed God.

Revelation 16 Bible Study

 

The Pentecostal Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians

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