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Revelation 16 – the 7 Bowl Judgements

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Revelation 16 – It is done!

A Human Perspective

Revelation 16 describes God venting His wrath on mankind who refuse to repent. How devastating are His judgments? After the Seal and Trumpet judgments, how many people are still alive on planet earth?

Many of the judgments trigger life-threatening consequences, yet the Bible does not mention specifically how many are killed with the exception of the 4th Seal and 6th Trumpet.

  • In 2022, the world population stands at 7.9 billion.
  • The 4th Seal (Rev 6:7-8) kills 1/4 of the earth’s population.
    • 5.9 billion remain.
  • In Revelation 9:15, 18, with the 6th trumpet, another 1/3 of mankind is killed.
    • Only 3.9 billion remain – less than 50% of the starting figure, and the Bowl judgments are yet to be released.
    • This is a best-case scenario – many, many others die because of these judgments.

The Wrath of God

Revelation 16 records the second half of the 7-year Tribulation often known as “The Wrath of God” – Revelation 16:1 “…’ Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath (thumos) of God.'”

There are two Greek words that are translated “wrath” –

  • orge – a settled condition of mind which is less sudden but more lasting in its nature, and
  • thumos – an outburst of anger from inward indignation.

In John 3:36 we read “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath (orge) of God abides on him.”

In Revelation, the wrath of God has finally grown to “thumos.”  Used 8 times in Revelation, the wrath of God is now triggered.

The 7 Bowl judgments

Because of the fragility of man, none, ultimately, will survive God’s judgments. Look at God’s wrath in light of the following maxims.

The Rule of Threes in survival training states the following:

  • You can survive three minutes without breathable air.
  • You can survive three hours in a harsh environment (extreme heat or cold (hyperthermia and hypothermia)).
  • You can survive three days without drinkable water.
  • You can survive three weeks without food.

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.

This is what Satan did to Job – Job 2:7 “So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and struck Job with loathsome sores from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”

What was done to one righteous man is now done to all unrighteous men.

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. 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; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.” And I heard the altar saying, “Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

This is righteous vengeance? Deuteronomy 32:35 “Vengeance is mine…” Romans 12:19 “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath (orge) of God, for it is written, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

This judgment is similar to Moses and Pharoh when Moses, through God, turned the Nile into blood – Exodus 7:20 “Moses and Aaron did as the Lord commanded. In the sight of Pharoh…he lifted up the staff and struck the water in the Nile, and all the water in the Nile turned into blood.”

Who is the “altar saying…” in Revelation 16:7? Probably Revelation 6:9-10 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

8 And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given power to scorch people with fire. 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.

More than simple sunburn, this could result in third-degree burns.

Why the continued blaspheme and refusal to repent? There’s actually a biblical explanation.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Contrast 2 Thes 2:9-12 to 2 Corinthians 4:4 “…the god of this age (Satan) has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”

Whereas God continues to give mankind chance, after chance to repent 2 Peter 3:9 “…not willing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” this is a time of God’s wrath where He is executing judgment on non-believers – they are past the point of redemption. Denial arrives at a point of no return,

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.

What kind of darkness was this?

  • In Exodus 10:21, we read of the 9th plague, “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, a darkness to be felt.” 
  • Exodus 10:23 continues They did not see one another, nor did anyone rise from his place for three days…”  (Note: after three days one cannot survive without water.)

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.

The Kings from the East will attack Jerusalem. Why Jerusalem?

In any crisis, mankind must find someone to blame, throughout history, who better to blame than the Jews?

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.

The “unclean spirits like frogs” are simply a sign of demon possession.

The great and final battle of the Tribulation where Christ’s Second Coming with His army (angels and saints) on white horses strikes down the nations with the sword of His mouthRevelation 19:11-15. Contrast this to what comes out of the mouths of the dragon, beast, and false prophet.

Har (mount) Megiddo (God sows) is the fertile breadbasket of Israel which is fourteen miles by sixty-seven miles or about 1,000 square miles. Many battles have been fought here and the cities around Armageddon have been destroyed and rebuilt 15 times throughout history while Megiddo itself has been built, destroyed, and rebuilt some twenty times. Ten miles across from Megiddo is a small town called Nazareth. Armageddon is simply the rally point for the final battle, the target is Jerusalem.

It is important to look at prophecy through the eyes of Israel. In Zechariah 14:1-3 we read “Behold, the day of the Lord is coming…for I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem…Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle.”

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 (orge). 20 And every island fled, and no mountains were found. 21 And huge hailstones, weighing about a talent each (about 100 pounds or the size of a baby hippo), came down from heaven upon people; and people blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because the hailstone plague was extremely severe.

“With the sword of His mouth, Christ puts down the army of nations, and with lightning, earthquakes, and hailstones, He vents His wrath on the remaining non-believers dwelling on the earth.

When will all this come about?

It is playing out, right now, in front of our very eyes. The world is quickly turning towards globalism vs. nationalism. A necessary prerequisite in order for the very first Seal Judgement to materialize – Revelation 6:2 “Then I looked, and behold, a white horse and he who sits on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out overcoming and to overcome.”  This directly describes the Anti-Christ who takes over the world without opposition. This is also described in Daniel 9:27.

Another indication of the impending wrath of God is Isaiah 3:4 “I will give children to be their princes, and babes shall rule over them.” As Amir Tsarfati of BeholdIsrael.org stated in a post:

“Look around at our world and you will see that an uneducated teenage girl has become the voice of climate change, roaming bands of young, lawless thugs have taken over huge portions of major cities, indoctrinated university students have all but silenced any conservative voices, and Marxism and Socialism are the heroes of the day in their minds.”

Yet another indication is Isaiah 11:11 “It shall come to pass in that day That the Lord shall set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people who are left, From Assyria and Egypt, From Pathros and Cush (Ethiopia), From Elam and Shinar, From Hamath and the islands of the sea.” Very simply, Jews are returning to Israel in record numbers never before witnessed.

Will you be part of the group that has already been raptured to be with the Lord always (1 Thessalonians 4:17) or will you continue to deny Christ and suffer His wrath?

Hebrews 10:31 is appro pro “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

Yet for those who believe in Jesus, we have his comfort – 1 John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Maranatha – “Come, Lord Jesus” Revelation 22:20.

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