Revelation Chapter 16:1-21: The Final Wrath Of God- The Bowl Judgements

The 7 bowl judgements which emanate from the seventh trumpet are the second and last series of God’s wrath meted out on the Dragon-Beast and their supporters: indeed anyone with the mark of the beast. The living wicked earth-dwellers are the object of God’s wrath. The believers have been raptured to Heaven prior to the breaking of the seventh seal, when the back-to-back sign was given in the sun, moon and stars. The woman, the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel, the other Jews who survived the first six trumpets have been shepherded to Azel where they are protected from the the wrath of God. The ministry of the two witnesses is over. They have been resurrected and taken to heaven after they have been murdered on the last day of the 70th week at the expiry of their ministry. It must be understood that there are some on Earth at this time who have not taken the mark of the Beast nor are they believers in Jesus Christ as we are today. These are not the object of God’s wrath. They will however be affected by it. Those of them who survive the wrath of God must be processed further through the sheep and goat judgement in order to be admitted into the New millennium. The seven bowls are administered by seven avenging angelic reapers. The bowls used here are shallow saucers which permit easy discarding of the contents. From the time the seventh trumpet is blown on the 5th day of the 30-day reclamation period, there remaineth but 25 days to the battle of Armageddon. So these seven bowls must be poured out on the inhabitants of the Earth in quick succession. It will be very horrible. Finally God’s patience and longsuffering have run out. God has given man long time to repent, he would not, but rather grew worse, deceiving and being deceived(2 Tim.3:13).

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying to the seven angels, Go your ways and pour the vials of the wrath of God upon the Earth.

The revelator heard a great voice out of heaven. Whose voice it is, we are not told. It is probably the voice of the Son to whom God the Father has committed all judgement. It could be also the voice of the Father Himself. In the chronology of end time events, the son is in heaven at this time. The phenomenon of omnipresence is the prerogative of the Trinity. I personally do not think it matters much which one of the two whose voices it is, the Father or the Son. It may well be the voice of the Holy Spirit. Whatever is the case, the outcome is the same. The voice commanded the seven avenging angels to go their ways, and pour out the wrath of God upon the Earth. Go your ways implies that these seven avenging angelic beings are given separate missions in different locations and target different objects of God’s wrath.

The First Bowl(2): Suppurative Cutaneous Eruptions.

And the first went, and poured out of his vital 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.

The first went, and poured his vial upon the Earth. The result was instantaneous. There fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them who worshipped his image. Although this bowl was poured out upon the whole Earth, the effect was selective. It targeted those who had the mark of the Beast-antiChrist and those who worshipped his statue no matter where they were. This is the phenomenon of double reference. Those who worshipped the statue of the Beast whether publicly or in the privacy of their homes also had the mark. It may be there were some who were chipped just for economic reasons, but never really believed in the worship of the Dragon-Beast. The outcome is the same. They will face the wrath of God. These noisome and grievous sores what are they? In the special branch of medicine called dermatology and venereology, they are many diseases that could present with noisome and grievous sores. They could be Suppurative eruptions, mucocutaneous or venereal diseases. Some translations render it malignant sores. Malignant sores or ulcers are cancerous. They take years to develop following exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, x-irradiation from nuclear bomb blasts, and non healing ulcers from physical injuries. Considering the short period in which the bowls are poured out, these sores develop in a matter of hours and days. Since they are so painful, they are most probably malignant. They may start with vesicles which coalesce to form bullae. They rupture leading to malignant ulcers. Survivors of the nuclear bomb blast at Hiroshima and Nagasaki developed ulcers which were malignant.

This is an epidemic of sort, manifesting as painful sores, a consequence of the first bowl. There are historical precedents in the Bible in the plagues of Egypt and Divine afflictions of the Philistines when they violated the Ark of Covenant after defeating the Israelites in battle(Ex.9:8-12; 1 Sam.5:6-12). There is really nothing new under the Earth. This kind of disease is not new. What is new however is that it would be of epidemic proportion though selective in targeting those who bear the mark of the Dragon-Beast and those who bow before his image whether secretly or openly. It is obvious the beast-marked worshippers are the target. “Men” is used here in generic sense. Humanity in general is view. That would include men and women, boys and girls, any beast-marked worshipper of whatever age. I do not think however that those who have not reached the age of sin consciousness, the age of the knowledge of sin and evil would be held accountable.

The Second Bowl(3): The Polution Of The Salt Water Sources.

And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became like the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

The second bowl targets the seas. The waters of the seas shall be turned into blood. This also is not new. There is a historical precedent in the Bible in the first plague of Egypt(Ex.7:14-25). Remember that the wise men of Egypt, the magicians, were able to reproduce and duplicate this plague. Here, no one would try that. Remember that at the breaking of the sixth seal, men understood that God meant business. He is about to punish the world for their evils. No one is ready to argue any more. The disputers of this age, the wise men of the world, the mighty men, the high and the low, philosophers of all persuasions, the Kings and the nobles and the commoners, the rich and the poor peasants shall hide themselves in the dens and rocks of the mountains, inviting the rocks and the mountains to bury out of the sight of Him that sitteth on the throne(Rev.6:15-17). Here no one is contesting with God. The humanists, the evolutionists, the religious bigots and the Islamic jihadists and the terrorists, and the intolerant Hindus dare not rear up their ugly heads in those days. In those days the loftiness and haughtiness of man shall be brought low, only The True GOD of Israel shall be exalted in that day. Men shall enter into the caves and hide in the rocks for fear of the Lord and the glory of His Majesty(Is.2:10-22). The mean man boweth, and the great humbleth himself- to worship the Dragon-Beast and his Statue; therefore forgive them not(Is.2:9). Forgiveness is no more. The mercy of God has ceased, because it has run its course. This is the time for the punishment of the living wicked earth-dwellers.

The sea shall be turned into blood. The sea here is blanket term for all salt water sources, salt water lakes, the seas and the oceans. The blood of a dead man is incapable of supporting life. The blood is the only aspect of the dead body that cannot be used for transplant or transfusion purpose. The blood of a dead man does not flow; it is not oxygenated. All the oxygen in the seas will be used up. The seas would become very toxic to marine plants and animals. The specific gravity of blood and water are different. The blood will not support ocean going vessels, ships and boats. This would spell doom to all forms of life in the seas, the oceans and the salt water lakes. Does any one have doubts that this would be a disaster when every living thing, and all men in the ships in the oceans and seas and salt water lakes perish at once, and there is nothing anyone can do about it? Although the wrath of God targets the worshippers of the Dragon-Beast, it is obvious that anyone who does not have the mark of the Sea-Beast and the number of his name, who happens to be in the the oceans, the seas and the salt water lakes at that time would be a victim. He is at the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Third Bowl(4): The polution Of The Fresh Water Sources.

And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

Here the third bowl targeted the fresh water sources: the rivers and fountains of waters. There is no need to repeat the outcome. The results are the same as in the second bowl judgement. Whatever that is in the rivers and fountains of waters that had life died. It would be as it were in Egypt in the days of Moses. Men would dig everywhere to find fresh water to drink. Thank God this would not last long, lest everyone would die of dehydration. Considering there remaineth but 25 days to Armageddon from the sounding of the seventh trumpet, this plague would last a few days, but the result shall be devastating as is the second bowl.

The Doxology By The Angel Of The Waters(5-7).

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. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements.

And I heard the angel of waters say. We are not told who this angel is nor his regalia, other than that he is the angel of waters. Is he one of the seven bowling-carrying angels? We are not told. The judgements of the second and third angels affected the waters, but he is probably not one of these two angels. He is probably a higher angel in charge of both the fresh and salt water sources. His praise and worship is directed towards He who was and is and shall be. This is most probably the second person of the Trinity, Jesus the Son of God. This phrase is not referent to the Father. Besides, he added: because thou hast judged this. This clinches it ; for the Father had committed all judgement to the Son. As we have pointed out several times, God the Father is Spirit. He does not have a physical body. He cannot rule the Earth directly. He must of necessity do so indirectly, through a human and earthly representative, an Adam. The first man is of the earth earthy: the second man is the Lord from the heavens(1 Cor.15:47). The title deed of the Earth which the first Adam lost is regained by the the last Adam, the second Man who is the Lord Jesus the Christ, the Son of God who is also the Son of Man. He praised God the Son for His judgment which was just and meet. God’s judgement was weighed and balanced, commensurate with the iniquities and atrocities of the perpetrators, the Dragon-Beast and the living wicked earth-dwellers who worshipped the sea-beast and his image. They are worthy of this sort of punishment, inasmuch as they have shed the blood of saints and prophets. If the church had been raptured seven years before the start of the 70th seven of Daniel’s, there would have been no saints and prophets whose blood would have been shed by the living wicked earth-dwellers. God is just. These men and women have shed blood. Therefore God hast given blood to drink. They are worthy of this sort of punishment because God is God of justice: there is no unrighteousness with Him.

The praise and worship rendered to God by this adoring angel is chorused and affirmed by another angel, out of the altar. We are not told which of the altar it is other than he is identified simply as the angel of the altar. He is probably a high ranking angel who guard the altar of God. It is probably out of the second altar of incense from under which the fifth seal matters cried out to God in supplication for vengeance. Remember Daddy told them to wait for a little while until their brethren who were to be killed as they were was completed. Now the full complement of the saints to be martyred is history. The church have been raptured to Heaven. God is now pouring out His wrath on the beast-marked adorers and worshippers of the Dragon-Beast who are the persecutors of the saints and the prophets. How gracious is our God? These slain saints were taken care of by the angel of the altar of incense who ministered to them whilst they waited the vengeance of God on their murderers. The angel of the altar, like those he ministered to was expectant, and now praises God for the fulfillment of His promises and His faithfulness, righteousness and justice. Even so Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements. He is The God of faithfulness, without injustice; true and upright is He(Deut. 32:4).

The Fourth Bowl(8 & 9): Solar Burns And Dehydration.

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 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.

And the fourth bowl-carrying avenging angle poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given him to scorch men with fire. The Sun is 93 million miles (approximately 200 million km) away from the Earth. Scientists tell us that this is the perfect distance at which it supports life on the planet Earth. If it were any closer the Earth will melt away; if it were any farther, the Earth would be frozen into one massive solid rock. How would this angel scorch men with fire. This would be probably through solar flares and coronal mass ejection(CME), which send electromagnetic pulse(EMP) waves to to Earth. This would not only scorch men with fire but also disrupt electronic communications, incapacitate power grids, paralyze life generally by disrupting all electronic communications. It would be impossible to send e-mails, make phone calls, browse the net, drive cars, pilot aeroplanes and ships etc. Aircrafts in space would literally fall off the sky. Vehicles in motion would malfunction, leading to catastrophic accidents all over the World. Drones, smart cars, smart aircrafts, smart cities, and anything else that operates through Artificial Intelligence and algorithm in the net will fail. Whatever that is left of the navies and airforces of the nations from the second and third bowls, if any at all, shall be paralyzed by the electromagnetic pulse attack from the Sun.

When men are scorched with fire, there would be severe solar burns. Although it does seem however, that the aim is not primarily to scorch men to death, some would die from severe burns and dehydration, both of which could lead to electrolyte imbalance. The survivors would not repent but would rather blaspheme the name of God who hath power over these plagues; and repented not to give Him glory. This is the effect of repeated sining on the heart and soul of man. Repetition of sin leads to searing of the heart and mind, the cicatrization of the soul that renders the sinner impervious to penitence even when the opportunities abound. In pharmaceutical parlance, sin is a cicatrizant; it favours and causes the scaring of the soul. Does anyone have doubts that sin ensnares and enslaves the soul and hardens the heart and deadens the conscience? These men have sinned beyond repentance; no magnitude of mercy or punishment would bring them to repentance. In a bald language, their hearts and minds are seared, frozen. Their faces are set as it were towards Hell. They would rather curse God than repent.

The Fifth Bowl(10 & 11). Solar Eclipse Over The Seat Of The Beast.

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. And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

And the fifth angel poured his vial over the seat of the Beast-antiChrist; and his kingdom was full of darkness; they gnawed their tongues for pain. The fifth bowl plague is focused on the kingdom of the Beast-antiChrist and his seat of power. We have seen this pattern in the seal and trumpet judgements the first four seals were different from the last three seals. The common denominator in the first four is the wrath of Satan. The common denominator in the last three the wrath of God. Here the first four bowls are directed towards anyone with the mark of the Beast anywhere in the world. The last three are directed towards the Beast-antiChrist and His kingdom. This cutting off of the rays of the sun is directed towards the 8th and final Beast Empire and the Seat of government of the Beast-antiChrist. At the middle of the 70th seven, the antiChrist transferred his headquarters to Jerusalem. So we expect the effect of the fifth bowl judgement to be worst in Jerusalem and its environs. The rays of the sun are totally cut off over the designated areas, producing extreme low temperatures. This will in turn lead to extreme cold leading to frost bites and chilblains. These are very painful clinical conditions. Under extreme temperatures, blood supply to the vital organs, the brain, the heart, the liver, the kidneys and adrenals are maintained, leading to impaired blood supply to the extremities. The extremities are also more frequently exposed to cold, leading to coagulation of blood in the blood vessels of the extremities, and thromboembolic phenomena. The dead tissues in the extremities may become gangrenous. There probably would be snowstorms leading to power failure, roadblocks. Some would be trapped in their houses and cars and offices unable to exist. All these in the midst of horrible darkness. Telecommunications would be virtually impossible. There could be network failures, televisions and radio receptions would be poor or virtually nonexistent. It would be difficult to provide emergency services like medical emergencies and rescue operations. Since these bowl judgement last a few days, temperatures may normalize but men would be left with painful sores from from frostbites, chilblains and gangrene and perhaps digital auto-amputations. Like in the previous plague, they would not repent of their deeds, but rather blasphemed God for their pains and their sores. Does anyone have doubts that sin ensnares and enslaves the soul and hardens the heart?

The Sixth Bowl(12-14): The Desiccation Of The Euphrates River.

And the sixth angel poured out his vital upon the great River Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 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. For they are the spirits of the 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.

The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the River Euphrates. The result was dramatic. The waters of the River Euphrates was dried up, that the way of the kings of the East may be prepared. As we pointed out earlier, whether this would be an engineering feat accomplished entirely by human ingenuity is difficulty to say. But there is a historical precedent. During the siege of Babylon by the Medopersian army in 538 BC, one of the generals under Darius the Mede, named Gobirus diverted the upper waters of the Euphrates River into lateral channels. The Babylonians were caught by surprise as the Medopersian army marched into the walled city state of Babylon whilst Belteshazzar and his high officials were banqueting. This happened exactly according to the handwriting on the wall seen by the vice-regent Belteshazzar and interpreted by Daniel the prophet, an exile from Judah(Dan.5). Considering the rapidity with which the bowls are poured out, there does not seem to be much time for this kind of engineering feat to be accomplished. On the other hand , considering the advancement in modern technology, it is quite feasible. That the way of the Kings of the East may be prepared. Besides the 8th and final beast empire, there are other kingdoms in existence at this time. The kings of the East may include China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and perhaps Japan, etc. Due to ideological and religious differences, they are at loggerheads with one another.

Verse 13 says, I saw three spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are the spirit of demons. The Greek word “daimone” translated devils in KJV is better translated demons. The devil is “diabolos.” There is only one devil but many demons. These three unclean spirits are the spirits of demons, working miracles. The Bible acknowledges here that these evil spirits can work miracles. Miracles are not always from God. They sometimes, come from the Devil and his demons. So, we must have the gift of discerning of spirits to distinguish between the two. They go to the kings of the Earth, and of the whole world to gather them together to the battle of the great day of God Almighty. The Kings of the Earth include the Beast-antiChrist, the ten kings of his ten nation confederation, the kings of the East, the king of the South and the king of the North. As we have explained earlier, what happens here is that these kings of the Earth and of the whole world, who have differences, myriads of them, huge differences-ideological, philosophical, political etc- shall put aside their differences, and unite to fight Christ at Armageddon, because their kingdoms are under threat from external heavenly aggression. Christ has reclaimed God’s rule over the Earth. He is about to retake physical possession of the Earth when He defeats the kings of the Earth and their armies at Armageddon.

Admonition To Be Watchful(15).

Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and the see his shame.

In verse 15, Christ interrupts the narrative to give a word of warning. Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garment, lest he walk naked and the see his shame. To whom is this warning directed? There are two ways of looking at it. The first is that the warning is directed to the readers of this scroll who have opportunity to repent before the eschatological day of the Lord, in order that they may not face the wrath of God. Here the reference to Jesus coming as a thief would be in relation to the rapture. The coming of the Lord to rapture the true saints would be as thief, sudden and unexpected to the unprepared. It is not unexpected to the saints who have been prepared. The other way would be to look at it in chronological order, in relation to the ones living at the time of the eschatological day of the Lord who had not taken the mark of the beast. Giving literal interpretation of the trumpet and the bowls, it is beyond human comprehension that anyone on Earth would continue to resist God’s rule and authority. In chronological order, it would be incorrect to refer the phrase behold I come as a thief to the rapture. The conclusion that it refers to the rapture fails to appreciate not only the context, but the historical nature of the usage of this phrase.

In John 10:10, the thief cometh to steal, kill and to destroy. This is the purpose of the thief. However there is another issue related to the coming of the thief, his modus operandi(how he operates). The day of the Lord comes suddenly and unexpectedly. In 1 Thess.5:2, the Apostle Paul indicates that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night. Paul indicates that the point at issue in the usage of the figure of speech is suddenness. The image of a guard having disrobed and fallen asleep, who is then caught napping by the captain of the guard, awakened by surprise and forced to parade naked is very clear. The point is obvious: the Lord will suddenly appear, and the unprepared would suffer a great disaster. For the kings of the Earth and their armies, the only way to prevent a disaster is to stay away. If they come, they die. This application applies only to those who are not beast-marked. For those who are beast-marked, they will die whether they come or not. Anyone with the mark of the beast will eventually be executed.

The Gathering At Armageddon(16).

And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Verse 16 tells us that they were gathered to a place called in the Hebrew tongue Har Megiddo or Mount Megiddo or in the Greek tongue Armageddon which is Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Har Megiddo. This is a literal geographical location. It is a hill in the Jezreel valley(Hebrew), the the valley of Esdraelon(Greek). It is bounded in the northeast and southeast by mount Gilboa and mount Tabor respectively. It is a natural battlefield. Napoleon said so when he visited the sight.

Who did the gathering? Considering that the three spirits like frogs which convinced the Kings of the Earth to gather at Armageddon come from the Devil, the sea- beast and the false prophet, it is Satan who did the gathering. But ultimately God is in sovereign control, and nothing can happen but that which He permits. Now, these armies have commanding officers. No army matches at the command of invincible spirits. It is the commanding officers at whose orders the armies match that the evil spirit will possess who then give the orders to match.

The Seventh And Final Bowl(17-21). The War Of Armageddon.

And the seventh angel poured out his vital into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done. 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. And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nation fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 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.

And the seventh angel poured his vial into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne saying, it is done. The son has vacated His Throne in the temple in heaven. This voice from the temple in heaven, from the throne is the voice of the Father. He said, it is done. Verse 18 says there were voices, thunders and lightnings. We are not told where these voices came from. But since the scene is the Throne Room of the temple in heaven, it most likely the usual occupants of the Throne Room, the four beasts who are closest to God, the twenty and four elders, an innumerable company of angels and the innumerable multitude consisting of redeemed humanity. The sounding of these voices in heaven, the lightening and the thunderings resulted in a great earthquake on Earth, so great that there has not been any like it since the advent of man upon the Earth. This earthquake was so mighty and so great. This great and mighty earthquake brought about the division of the great city into three parts. Remember that the judgement is now concentrated on the Dragon-Beast kingdom and the seat of his government but also sends ripples to the ends of the Earth. Therefore the great city is Jerusalem which the Dragon-Beast had made his international headquarters(Dan.11:45). The cities of the nations also fell. This is a bit ambiguous and imprecise. We must understand however that this is as a result of the great and mighty earthquake. So there must be a collapse of the cities of the nations. This is the final plague. Apart from the effect being devastating on Jerusalem, the seat of government of the Beast-antiChrist, it is also devastating on the cities of other nations, the seat of governments of the kings of the kingdoms of the Earth. This should not be a surprise inasmuch as death is decreed for the unrighteous wicked. Besides, Babylon came into remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. If Babylon were Jerusalem, would it be proper to say it came into remembrance before God after it has been divided into three parts by the great and mighty earthquake? I doubt very much. The judgement of Babylon is recorded in chapters 17 & 18. Chapter 17 emphasis the religious aspect of the city whilst chapter 18 the commercial aspects. The city of Babylon will never again gain political prominence and dominance, but Babylon remains a universal ideal. Every island fled away and the mountains were not found. This great and mighty earthquake devastated not only the cities of the nations but the islands of the seas and the mountains. Whilst islands shifted positions, the mountains were leveled. These devastations would allow God to renovate and restore the Earth for His millennial reign. In the midst of these devastations is heavy rainfall and snowstorms. Hailstones are falling from heaven, skyrocketing to the Earth, about the weight of a talent each, about 100 lb or 33.33 kilograms in weight. Whatever has life it hits is crushed to death. It is incredulous how the armies of the nation were able to gather at Armageddon for the final showdown in the midst of these devastations and hailstones. It is by the workings of the three spirits like frogs from the mouths of the Dragon, the beast and the false prophet. In the kingdom of darkness, these frogs are some of the highest demons in the satanic hierarchy. And again because the Lord has purposed and permitted it. The descent of Christ with His armies from the heavens to do battle at Armageddon with the kings of the Earth and their armies, is recorded in Rev. 19.

Avraham Shallom.

Published by midgdal

I believe the saints will go through the Great Tribulation before being evacuated from the Earth in the rapture.

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