As we continue with the bowl judgments that began in chapter 15, you must remember that they are from God, not by either man or Satan. They are issued upon the earth during the reign of the Beast and they cover a very brief period of time. Notice, also, as we said last week, that these judgments are for the Jews, not for the Christians. Remember that we know that because it is all about the temple, the tabernacle, and the testimony as all three refer to the Jews and not the church.
Notice, also, the similarity between these judgments and God’s judgments upon Egypt through Moses.
Let’s begin with Rev 16:1 And then I heard a mighty voice shouting from the Temple to the seven angels, “Now go your way and empty out the seven bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.
v. 1 – This chapter begins with a connecting verb—AND, or some versions say THEN. This clearly connects this chapter with the previous chapter 15, so this is a continuation of chapter15.
Whose voice is heard. – God the Father. Why? It comes from the Temple where the throne of God, the Father is located. Jesus, the Son, does not yet occupy the throne. Now, who is in charge here? The Father or the Son? Remember way back in chapter 5 where Jesus was the only One found worthy to open the 7-sealed scroll. His opening of the seals ushered in this entire series of sevens. Jesus is in command to the end of this book. This is His judgment upon a world that rejected Him. The Father has committed all judgment to Him. BUT Jesus, Himself said that only the Father knew the hour. Now the Father says, “It is time”. There will be no more delay. The hour has come, and the Order is given.
v. 2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshipped his image.
Each angel has his turn. Each angel leaves his place and executes the judgment as he is commanded. He leaves heaven and pours a judgment bowl of wrath upon the earth. The first bowl is quite interesting. These sores are worse than leprosy, or even cancer. Compare this to the 6th plague in Egypt. It is the same type of sore or “boil”. (See Exodus 9:9-12)
NOTE THIS: Moses told the Israelites that the same type of plague would come upon them if they did not turn to God. Look in Deuteronomy 28:15. “But it shall come to pass, if you will not harken unto the voice of the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes which I command you this day; that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.”
Then further down in Deuteronomy, He names them. Look at Deuteronomy 28:27. The Lord will smite you with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, (that’s hemorrhoid’s) and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof you cannot be healed.
According to verse35, these diseases were incurable. “The Lord shall smite you in the knees, and in the legs, with a sore botch that cannot be healed, from the sole of your feet unto to top of your head.” The sores are only on those who received the mark of the beast.
Is it, perhaps, an allergic reaction to the mark?
2nd angel – v, 3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died.” More severe than that of the 2nd trumpet of Egypt, only 1/3 of the sea was blood then, (see Exodus 7:20-25). Here, it is the total sea.
“As the blood of a dead man” is an interesting phrase. Blood is the token of life. Leviticus 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood”. Blood of a dead man has no life in it.
3rd angel v. 4The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. Like the 3rd trumpet. But, again more severe. Then only 1/3 was affected, now all is affected.
Revelation 16:5-6 Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged;
V. 6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve:
This is poetic justice with a vengeance.
v. 7 And I heard the altar respond, “Yes Lord God Almighty, true and just are Your judgments” The altar evidently refers back to the saints under the altar who have been praying for justice all this time. And here, their prayers are answered.
v. 8-9, the 4th angel. v. 8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. v.9 They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues but they refused to repent and glorify Him.
This sounds like nuclear war to me. But caused by God. He can split the atom, too. He can also peel back the ozone layer as well.
Luke 21:25 says “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth, destress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring.
There is a lot in the Old Testament about this scorching heat. Deut. 3:24; Isaiah 24:6.
Isaiah 42:25; Malachi 4 :1. In spite of all this, men blasphemed God. The human heart is incurably wicked.
v. 10-11 – 5th Angel
10. The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony.
11. and cursed the God of heaven because of their pain and sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
“Throne of the beast” makes it clear that the first Beast of chapter 13 is a man. He also represents a kingdom. You cannot have a king without a kingdom. This is a strange darkness. Notice as the sun’s wattage is increased, it grows darker instead of lighter. The heat is greater and the light less.
Look at Exodus 10:21, 22 for the similarity. Look at what the Old Testament prophets had to say about this coming darkness. Isaiah 60:2; Joel 2:1,2,31. Then in the New Testament we find Mark 13:24.
‘They chewed their tongues from their pain” Imagine the intensity of the suffering.
Two indisputable facts are evident here:
1. God is in charge
2. Men will not repent
v.12- 6th angel
v12 the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.
Where have we seen this before? Only then they were just gathering. Now they move. The great river in the Bible is the Euphrates, just as the great sea is the Mediterranean. This great river was the cradle of man’s civilization. Looks like it will also be the grave for man. It is also the border between east and west.
Verses 13 and 14 is an interlude between 6th and 7th bowls. But it won’t be a quiet one or even an uneventful one. I’ll leave you with that for next week. I will be coming to you from New York’s Long Island where I will be visiting my daughter & grandchildren.
Stay is God’s shadow and read ahead to what is coming next. Love, Maggie