Revelation Prophecy – Chapter 16

What happens to the earth as a result of the vial Judgments?

I. Video Data.  John Ankerberg Show. Dr. John Ankerberg,  (M. Div., D. Min.), (Dr. Jimmy DeYoung (M. Div., Ph. D., 1940-2021). Notice that Dr. DeYoung uses the correct title, “Campaign of Armageddon,” as opposed to the often used, “Battle of Armageddon.”

II. Introduction. 

Dr. C.I. Scofield (D. D.; 1843-1921) Scofield Study Bible (1909, 1917, 1937, 1945, 1984, 1998, 2002, 2006, Editor, C.I. Scofield, Editorial Revision 1967 Committee Members: Charles L. Feinberg, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., John F. Walvoord, Th. B., Th. M., Th. D.).

A. The seven bowls of wrath. B. Parenthetic: Armageddon.

III. Overview.

The following views of different highly respected theologians discuss the outpouring of the bowl (vial) judgments of God on the earth during the second half of the Tribulation. Yet, the “earth dwellers” do not repent. Earth dwellers are those who will be left behind from the Rapture (1 Thes 4:16-17). Earth dwellers identified (Rev 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10; 13:8; 13:14; 17:8). Earth dwellers not repentant (Rev 16:9; 16:11; 16:21).

A. Dr. Kendell H. Easley (M. Div.; Ph. D.) The Book of Revelation, Holman New Testament Commentary.

John witnesses the brief, but intense, scenes of the seven bowls of wrath being poured out on the earth.

B. Dr. Paige Patterson (B.A., D.D., D.D., Th. M., Ph. D.) Revelation Commentary, The New International Version, The New American Commentary. 

In rapid succession the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out on the earth. The crass rebellion of the human heart is displayed through these tragedies; men do not repent.

C. Dr. John Phillips (D. Min; 1927-2010) Revelation Commentary. 

A world ruined by man, and a world ruled by Satan, has been described. Now, the time has come for the world to be rescued by God. Down into the arena of human affairs He comes, shortening the days and making a swift, sudden end of the Beast and his hideous strength. The vials, shallow bowls used in the temple worship, are filled now with wrath and are swiftly out-poured.

D. Dr. Daniel Green (Th. D., D. Min.) The Moody Bible Commentary.

1. First Bowl – Painful sores (16:1-2); 2. Second Bowl – The sea turned to blood (16:3); 3. Third Bowl – Fresh water turned to blood (16:4-7); 4. Fourth Bowl – A scorched earth (16:8-9); 5. Fifth Bowl – Darkness (16:10-11); 6. Sixth Bowl – Demonic assault; 7. Seventh Bowl – Worldwide devastation (16:17-21). 

E. Dr. Robert L. Thomas  (Th. M., Th. D.; 1928-2017). Revelation Commentary.

1. First Bowl: Incurable sores on the Beast worshippers (16:1-2). 2. Second Bowl: Death to all sea life (16:3). 3. Third Bowl: Transforming of all fresh water into blood (16:4-7); 4. Fourth Bowl: Scorching of all through the sun’s intensity (16:8-9); 5. Fifth Bowl: Darkening of the Beast’s kingdom (16:10-11); 6. Sixth Bowl: Preparation for the doom of earth’s kings (16:12-16); 7. Seventh Bowl: The destruction of Babylon (16:17-18:24).

F. Dr. Charles L. Feinberg (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D.,, Ph. D., 1909-1995).

1. Six Vials of Judgment are seen in Rev 16:1-12:

a. Command to empty the vials (16:1); b. Plague on the earth (16:2); c. Plague on the sea (16:3); d. Plague on the rivers and waters (16:4-7); e. Plague on the sun (16:8-9); f. Plague on the beast’s seat (16:10-11); g. Plague on the Euphrates River (16:12).

2. Preview of Armageddon (16:13-18).

3. The Seventh Vial (16:17-21):

a. Plague on the air (16:17-18); b. The fall of Babylon (16:19);  Nature in upheaval (16:20-21).

G. Dr. John F. Walvoord  (Th. B., Th. M., Th. D., 1910-2002) Revelation Commentary.

Chronologically, this chapter is close to the time of the second coming of Christ, and the judgments described fall in rapid succession. There can be no doubt here, not only that the series reaches on to the time of the end, but that the whole of it is to be placed close to the same time. Daniel indicated that these closing days of the Tribulation will be a time of world war (Dan 11:36-45). World events are now pictured by John as coming to their climax. Chapter 19 of Revelation follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.

H. Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost (Th. B., Th. D.; 1915-2014) Things To Come, 1958, p 363.

The third series of judgments, which complete the outpouring of divine wrath, are the vials (Rev. 16:1-21). Although four of these vials are poured out on the same areas as the trumpets, they do not seem to be the same judgments. The trumpets begin in the middle of the tribulation and depict events during the entire second half of the week (Daniel’s 70th week). The vials seem to cover a very brief period at the end of the tribulation, just prior to the second advent of Christ. These bowls seem to have particular reference to unbelievers, as they undergo the special wrath of God (16:9, 11), and have special reference to the beast and his followers (16:2).

IV. Verse Examination. Revelation Chapter 16, NASB, Link pasted from Bible Gateway.

Revelation Chapter 16 NASB 1995

Dr. Charles C. Ryrie (Th. M., Th. D., Ph. D., 1925-2016). Ryrie Study Bible.

A. 16:1. Though there are similarities between the bowl judgments and some of the trumpet judgments in chaps. 8-9 there are differences as well, the bowl judgments being more intensive and extensive. Thus, it is best not to see the bowls as repeating the trumpets but as a distinct series of judgments following the trumpets.

B. 16:2. “a loathsome and malignant sore.” LIt., foul and evil sore. Probably, a plague of ulcers. The brief descriptions of these last seven judgments (vv 2-12, 17-21) may suggest that they occur in rapid succession upon a world already battered and bloodied.

C. 16:3. “every living thing in the sea died.” (see 8:9). Imagine the stench and disease that will accompany this event.

D. 16:4. Though drinking bloody salt water would be toxic, drinking bloody fresh water, though disgusting, would not be. 

E. 16:6. “They deserve it .” I.e., they deserve to drink blood because they shed the blood of saints and prophets.

F. 16:8. Side effects of this scorching heat will drastically affect the climate, possibly including excessive evaporation and melting of the great ice areas of the world.

G. 16:9. “they did not repent.” See verse 11 and 9:21. 

H. 16:11. “their sores.” I.e., those referred to in verse 2.

I. 16:12. “the kings from the east.” Lit., the kings from the rising of the sun. The armies of the nations of the Orient will be raided in their march toward Armageddon by the supernatural drying up of the Euphrates River.

J. 16:3. “the dragon.” Satan. the” beast.” Antichrist (13:1-10). “the false prophet.” the lieutenant (13:11-18).

K. 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 (v. 16). 

L. 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.

M. 16:16. “Har-Mageddon,” or Armageddon. Lit., Mount of Megiddo, near the city of Megiddo at the head of the plain of Esdraelon. This area was the scene of many OT battles, notably those of Barak with the Canaanites (Judg. 4) and of Gideon with the Midianites (Judg. 7).

N. 16:19. “The great city.” Either Jerusalem (11:8; cf. Zech. 14:4) or Babylon (18:2).

O. 16:20-21. The topography of the earth will be drastically changed, and unbelieving survivors of the hailstorm will curse God instead of turning to Him.

V. Summary.

Dr. Orville J. Nave, Nave’s Study Bible, 1978 (D.D., LL. D., 1841-1917). Orville J. Nave (Editor). Anna Seamans Nave (Editor).

In this sixteenth chapter of Revelation we considered: The seven angels in succession pour out their vials of wrath upon the earth, and great plagues follow thereupon.

VI. My Bucket List shows the references, of people and documents, that I use when I write my articles.

VII. My Websites To Follow. Eternity Equipping The Saints Website Israel Website Israel, History And Prophecy


Author: Equipping

You may contact me by emailing me on my site's email address, as follows: The Church is the Church, and Israel is Israel. The Church did not replace Israel, and is not spiritual Israel. In the New Testament, “church” and “Israel” are mentioned as being separate entities. In the New Testament “church” is mentioned 112 times; Israel is mentioned 79 times; both are mentioned as being separate entities The Kingdom “has not yet come,” and will not come until the Jewish bloodline of Israel accepts God’s chosen king (Deuteronomy 17:15), which will take place at the end of the Tribulation when the nation of Israel faces decimation and calls on Messiah, Christ, in faith, to save them (Zechariah 12:10). Individual salvation is of the Jews (John 4:22), and comes through Christ (John 14:6). Things are discussed in this website that relate to God’s creation, from “eternity to eternity,” and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, “Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: “God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: “No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans.” The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything else that may relate to the Bible..

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