I. Introduction. The opening video has a very realistic view of what life will look like when God unleashes His Bowl judgments of His anger on a sinful and unrepentant world during the, “yet to come,” great tribulation. As we look into the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation, there are key factors that must be considered. The seven bowl judgments, that are discussed in this chapter, have often been compared to the seven seal and trumpet judgments, especially to the trumpet judgments. There is similarity between the trumpet and bowl judgments. In both the trumpet and bowl judgments, the first in the series deals with the earth, the second with the sea, the third with rivers and fountains of water, the fourth with the sun, the fifth with darkness, the sixth with the Euphrates River, and the seventh with lightnings, thunders, and a great earthquake. The principle is often overlooked, however, that similarities do not prove identity. A careful study of the seven bowl judgments, as compared to the seven trumpet judgments, will expose significant differences. The first four trumpet judgments deal only with one-third of the earth, while the bowl judgments seem to be worldwide in application and much greater in intensity. Therefore, the bowl judgments follow the trumpet judgments and come out of, and make up, the seventh trumpet. The judgments that are described in the trumpet and bowl announcements follow in rapid order; they all will be completed within a short timeframe, toward the end of the great tribulation. The bowl judgments, which are the peak of God’s Holy dealings with an unholy earth, lead to the second coming of Christ, who is our Lord and Savior.
A. Series Title. Israel In Revelation.
B. Video Title: The Seven Bowls.
C. Article Title: End Times 29, Revelation 16:1-21, The Bowl Judgments.
D. Article Focus: Matthew 24:21, “For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will again.”
II. Text. Revelation 16:1-21.
A. The Bowls of Wrath
1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”
2 So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and a harmful and painful sore afflicted the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.
3 The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying, “Righteous are You, the One who is and who was, O Holy One, because You judged these things; 6 for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” 7 And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
8 And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given power to scorch people with fire. 9 And the people were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
10 And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain, 11 and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.
12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east.
B. Har-Magedon (Armageddon)
13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the entire world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and people will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.
C. The Seventh Bowl of Wrath
17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl upon the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, “It is done.” 18 And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since mankind came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. 19 The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. 20 And every island fled, and no mountains were found. 21 And huge hailstones, weighing about a talent each, *came down from heaven upon people; and people blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because the hailstone plague *was extremely severe.
III. Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”
IV. Sources of Information can be found in my Page, “About Sources.”
V. Comments. Revelation 16:1-21.
A. 16:1. The loud voice from the temple is likely the voice of God, since no other heavenly being could enter the heavenly temple “till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed” (15:8).
B. 16:2. The effect of the first bowl being poured out is a terrible sore upon all who had the mark of the beast (13:16, 17).
C. 16:3. The second bowl turns the sea into blood, as did the second trumpet (8:8). However, only a third of the sea was affected by the trumpet (8:8, 9). This bowl brings about the death of every living creature in the sea.
D. 16:4. The third bowl, like the third trumpet (8:10), targets the rivers and springs of water. This time, however, the impact is worldwide (compare 8:10, 11), and the water sources turn to blood instead of just becoming “bitter” (see 8:11).
E. 16.5. The angel of the waters is probably the same angel who poured out the third bowl (v. 4), and not a separate figure. Because God is eternally righteous, His judgment of the inhabitants of the earth (v. 10) and their violent, unrighteous works is completely just.
F. 16:6. God forces the unrepentant (v. 9) unbelievers who have shed the blood of God’s people to drink blood in order to avenge the deaths of the martyrs, as some of them requested in 6:10.
G. 16:7.” altar.” The personified altar echoes the words of the angel, reinforcing the truth that God is just in all judgment (Rev 19:1-2. Gen 18:25. Ps 51:4. Rom. 3:4).
H. 16:8. The fourth bowl is reminiscent of the fourth trumpet in its effect on the sun (8:12). But in this plague, the sun’s heat is intensified instead of diminished.
I. 16:9. “they did not repent.” Amazingly, sinners (see vs 11 and 21) will still refuse to repent and instead blaspheme God, Who is the One that they know has caused their afflictions.
J. 16:10. “throne of the beast.” This refers to either Antichrist’s actual throne, or his capital city, but extends to all his dominion. Regardless of where the darkness begins, it eventually covers Antichrist’s entire kingdom. “full of darkness.” Worldwide darkness is elsewhere associated with the judgment of God (Isa 60:2. Joel 2:2. Mark 13:24-25). “gnawed their tongues.” A futile attempt to alleviate the pain from their sores, the drought, and the fierce heat.
K. 16:11. “blasphemed the God of heaven.” A sign of their continued loyalty to Antichrist and their anger at God for the cumulative miseries brought about by the first 5 bowls. “God of heaven,” a frequent OT title for God, appears in the NT only here and in 11:13. “their sores.” The lingering effects of the first bowl are the chief cause of their blasphemy.
L. 16:12. With the water of the river Euphrates completely dried up, invasion from the east would be much easier. The kings from the east have been understood as the Parthian armies that menaced the eastern half of the Roman Empire, though any powerful force from Asia would fit the wording of this verse.
M. 16:13. “the dragon.” Satan. “the beast.” Antichrist (Rev 13:1-10). “the false prophet.” The lieutenant (Rev 13:11-18). The dragon; the beast; the false prophet. The “unholy trinity,” composed of Satan (the dragon, 12:3); the Antichrist (the beast, 11:7), and Antichrist’s associate (the false prophet; 13:11). The antichrist, a political leader; the false prophet, a religious leader.
N. 16:14. “the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.” The war will consist of several battles, beginning with antichrist’s campaign into Egypt (Dan 11:40-45) and including a siege of Jerusalem (Zech 14:2), as well as the final battle at Armageddon (vs 16).
O. 16:15. A call to surviving believers to watch and be alert. The clothes of a guard caught asleep on duty were taken from him, leaving him naked and disgraced.
P. 16:16. “Armageddon.” The Hebrew name for Mt. Megiddo, 60 miles north of Jerusalem. The battle will rage on the nearby plains, site of Barak’s victory over the Canaanites (Judg 4), and Gideon’s victory over the Midianites (Judg 7). Napoleon called this valley the greatest battlefield he had ever seen. But the Battle of Armageddon will not be limited to the Megiddo plains; it will encompass the length of Israel.
Q. 16:17 The seventh bowl is the climax of all of Revelation’s judgments. It is done: This is God’s final act of judgment before Christ comes.
R. 16:18. As in the case of the final seal and the seventh trumpet (8:5; 11:19) the final bowl judgment is introduced by the sound of voices, thunderings, lightnings, and a great earthquake. The earthquake is declared to be greater than any previous earthquake. The earth literally convulses as the times of the Gentiles come to an end. The voices, thunders, and lightnings are the prelude to the earthquake which is the express judgment from God.
S. 16:19. There does not seem to be any clear evidence that Jerusalem is destroyed with the judgments which overtake the earth at the end of the great tribulation. Babylon, however, according to Scripture, is destined to be completely destroyed. It is clear in that Babylon is the special object of the judgment of God, expressed graphically in the statement “to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” Here the word for “wrath” is orge„, a strong word often related to thymos which refers to divine anger. This is the final judgment of this wicked city. The fact that the judgment is an earthquake seems to indicate that a literal city is in view, and that the judgment results in its physical destruction. The time is just prior to the second coming of Christ.
T. 16:20. This powerful earthquake will radically alter all the earth’s topography, preparing it for the coming kingdom age, of the millennial reign of Christ (See Rev 6:12–14; Isa 40:4-5; Jer 4:23–27).
U. 16:21. Hail falling from heaven, with each stone weighing about 75 pounds (a talent), would be unparalleled in destruction (see Mt 24:21).
A. A time is coming when all born again believers in Christ will be caught up in the air from the earth, and will be taken to Heaven by Christ (John 14:2-6). At that point in time, the earth will be inhabited only by people who have no intimate relationship with Christ; they will very soon come under the persecution of the antichrist and the judgments of God in the time of tribulation. The tribulation will consist of Seal Judgments (Rev 6:1-8:6), Trumpet Judgments (Rev 8:7-9:21), and Bowl Judgments (Rev 15:5-16:21). All judgments will be poured out on the earth, through Christ and angels, 6:1, 8:1-6). The judgments will become more severe as they are poured out on the earth, “to test those who dwell on the earth (Rev 3:10)”. As Christ’s caught up believers are in Heaven with God, those unbelievers who will be left behind on earth will experience pain and death, with only the last bowl judgment to end their torment. Those left behind earth dwellers will become increasingly more hostile to God’s calling on them to come to saving faith in Christ (Rev 16:11), with their eternal destination yet ahead of them at the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:15), where they, and all unbelievers of all times, will be cast alive into the lake of fire where they will be tormented forever and ever (Rev 20:10).
B. The preceding scenario paints a very grim eternity for anyone who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior. The truth of the lake of fire awaits anyone who does not know Christ as Lord and Savior. The way out of the lake of fire is to never be put in it. The formula for such avoidance is found in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” Romans 8:1 adds comforting words, “Therefore there is now no condemnation at all for those who are in Christ Jesus.” To believe in Christ is not to merely acknowledge Him, or to have church membership, but to have an intimate relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior, per John 17;3,” And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Belief in Christ is an individual responsibility, one that will lead to eternal life with Christ. Unbelief in Christ is also an individual responsibility, one which will result in eternal suffering. For anyone who doesn’t know Christ as Lord and Savior, “It’s your choice.” It’s as serious as a heart attack!
VII. Video details. The Seven Bowls. REVELATION STATION. This video is a segment from ‘THE GREAT TRIBULATION SERIES’. The series is a FICTIONAL montage comprised from movie clips in which is edited into a high intensity storyline. The series is entirely BASED off events prophesied in ‘THE BOOK OF REVELATION’ and elsewhere in the Bible.
VIII. God’s love for Israel can not be denied. Isaiah 14:1. When the Lord has compassion on Jacob and again chooses Israel, and settles them on their own land, then strangers will join them and attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
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