Introduction to Chapter 16
reveals God’s judgments on the earth in the 2nd half of the
tribulation. This period is known as the Great Tribulation. With these
judgments, the wrath of God is complete. At the close of the 7-Bowl judgments,
Christ returns with the armies of Heaven to establish the Millennial
Kingdom. (Rev. 20;1-7)
Chapter 16 is introduced in Chapter 15, there we first see the seven angels
emerge from the Temple in Heaven with the seven plagues. Their appearance
in 15 follows John’s vision of those who had victory over the kingdom of the
Beast by their martyrdom. He sees those who died because they refused to
receive the mark or worship Antichrist, they sing the song of Moses and the
Lamb, in Heaven, before the throne, they are victorious.
Chapter 16 takes place after the world has been given a choice. Those on
the earth have the choice to receive the mark, worship the Beast and live or
refuse and die. God supernaturally aides humanity by sending three angels
to warn of them about the choice they are being forced to make. Many on
earth choose Christ and death, rather then worship the Beast and his image;
they are seen in Heaven before the throne, on the crystal sea. (Rev. 15:2).
Others choose the easier route, and worship Antichrist and receive the
chapter takes place after a period of decision on the earth. Most on earth
have made their decision, those who chose Christ died, some are in hiding,
only to emerge after Christ's return.
During this period, Israel is supernaturally protected in the wilderness of
Judea. Those who followed the warning of Christ in Matthew, fled into the
wilderness following the Abomination of Desolation, when the Mt. Olives
split opened for their escape. (Matthew 24:16-20, Revelation 12:14,
Zechariah 14:5) Here in the wilderness, Israel comes to the knowledge of
Christ, realizing Jesus who was crucified by their descendents was in fact
Israel’s Savior and only hope. As the armies of the earth gather toward the
hills of Megiddo, (Armageddon) Israel calls out to Jesus Christ as their
Messiah, who returns with armies of heaven. (Rev. 19:15-21)
At this point, those alive on the earth are mostly followers of Satan,
working through the Antichrist and False Prophet. The great multitude in
Revelation chapter 7 gathered before the throne, from all the nations, are
those killed for their faith. (Rev 7:14) After the earth has made its
choice, God begins the judgments of wrath by commanding the angels to pour
out the bowls on the earth. The seven bowl judgments complete God’s wrath on
the earth. Following the 7th bowl, Christ returns with angels
and saints and establishes the Messianic Kingdom (Rev. 19:15-21) also known
as the Millennium. (Rev. 20:1-7) Those killed for their faith receive their
resurrected bodies and rule with Christ in His kingdom along with the
returning saints. (Rev. 20; 4, Matthew 19:28-29)
The Bowl judgments stand in contrast to the seven trumpet and seal
judgments. The Bowl judgments are not meant to move humanity into decision
but are a demonstration of God’s wrath. For example, the 2nd
trumpet judgment effected one third of the sea, the second bowl judgment
effects the whole sea causing all sea life to die. The Abomination of
Desolation also separates the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. The first bowl
judgment is against those who worshipped the beast and his image by
receiving the mark, placing the timing of this judgment in the second half
of Daniel’s 70th week, following the Abomination of Desolation.
I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and
pour out the
of the wrath of God on the earth.”
Then I heard….The
voice is probably God’s, since it comes from the Temple and no one at this
point, is allowed into the Temple of God, until His wrath is complete. (Rev.
First Bowl-Loathsome sores
the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and
loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who
worshiped his image.
wound, especially a wound producing discharge pus) The first taste of God’s
wrath falls on those who choose to reject the angelic warning in the 14th
chapter. The taste of wrath was not to produce repentance but to produce
suffering. Revelation teaches their no hope of repentance of those who turn
to and worship the Beast, his image and receive the mark.
a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice,
anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on
his forehead or on his hand, 10he himself shall also drink of the
wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of
His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the
presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation
sore is an oozing wound tormenting the individuals who choose to worship the
Beast. This sore could very well be the result from untested technologies
imposed on those who will submit to the Beast. This would be a plausible
explanation to those living at time. In actuality, its God’s wrath against
those, who persecuted His people.
Second Bowl-Sea became blood
the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a
dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
On the sea….(Gr.
Thalassa…Sea, derived from hals meaning salt, salt sea) can mean
Mediterranean or the Oceans. Here the meaning is probably oceans; God’s
wrath is poured out on all humanity. In contrast to the second trumpet
judgment (Rev. 8:8) where 1/3 of the sea became blood and 1/3 of the
creatures died, here all the sea becomes blood and all the creatures died.
Both sea water and blood have the same content of salt. The sea becoming
blood reflects the condition of mankind, like a dead man. This is a
judgment of wrath not one to turn men toward repentance, but to punish those
who are at war with God. God, the source of life, the source of blessing
both on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) withdraws life from the sea.
This could be a chemical reaction, which started from the asteroid, which
turned 1/3 of the Sea into blood. Here the reaction spreads to the rest of
the oceans, killing all oceanic life. Depriving the earth of a major source
of food and nourishment, God withdraws life in the ocean.
Plagues on Egypt
turn to Blood Exd. 7:19
fire mingled with Blood, 1/3 of trees burned, all green grass Rev
on those who receive the Mark Rev 16:2
Burning mountain, thrown into the sea became blood, 1/3 of creatures
died, 1/3 of ships Rev 8:8
became blood every living creature died Rev 16:3
Burning star falls and 1/3 of rivers and springs of water made
poisonous Rev 8:10-11
and Springs become blood Rev 16:4
sky without light, Sun, moon & stars Rev 8;12
burns mankind Rev 16:8
Livestock died Exd. 9:2
Locusts from Abyss Rev 9:1-11
Kingdom of the Beast filled with darkness Rev 16:10
angels at Euphrates released, 200 million Demon Horsemen, 1/3
mankind is killed Rev 9:13-19
Euphrates dried up, 3 frog like demons gather man to Armageddon
Hail Exd. 9:18 Fire & Hail Exd.9:24
Earth quake and cities fell, and Great city was divided into 3
parts, Hail stones Rev 16:17-21
Darkness over the land Exd. 10:21
of Firstborn Exd 12
Third Bowl-Rivers and
springs become blood
the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and
they became blood. 5And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous,
The One who is and who
and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
it is their just due.”
I heard £another
from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous
are Your judgments.”
springs of water…..Like
the first plague on Egypt, and the third trumpet judgment the source of
fresh water for much of the earth became blood. Whether this is blood like
in color and texture or actual blood is unknown until that day. The point
God is making with man is not mercy but judgment. God is repaying the
inhabitants of the earth, for their treatment of His people who are now in
Angel of the
the same way God has assigned his saints to specific geographic areas.
Angels are in charge of parts of the physical realms. An angel is in
charge of water, to guard and protect it from demonic activity or
interference. The angel gives his approval to the judgments on fresh water,
a necessity for life.
They shed the
blood of saints and prophets…..The
persecution and murder of the saints is the purpose of the wrath poured out
on man. The trumpet judgments were designed to turn man toward God, to
allow humanity to see their dependence on God. The bowl judgments are
designed to show the righteousness of God’s judgment. Even here, the
judgments are only a foretaste of God’s eternal wrath and judgment.
Those who are on the earth at this point, are mostly those who worshipped
the Beast, and received the mark. The believers, except for those in
hiding, and Israel hidden in Judean wilderness, are in heaven, killed by
those who God is now about to pour out his wrath on.
given them blood to drink…With
the death of many of the saints, God judges the world and causes them to
suffer. One of the purposes that come out in these judgments is to
demonstrate the hardness of the heart of man. That despite all these
judgments man becomes angry, infuriated at God.
Bowl- Humanity scorched
the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him
to scorch men with fire. 9And men were scorched with great heat,
and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and
they did not repent and give Him glory.
On the sun…
The sun, the source of light and warmth, is magnified and giving man a taste
of the coming heat in the lake of fire, which those who have chosen Satan
heat from the Sun brings out the true nature of those who worship the Beast
and his image. There is no remorse or contrition in the face of the heat
from the Sun. Mankind’s reaction will be the same in eternal hell, with this
judgment and the one to come his heart will not soften toward God. For this
reason we are twice told in this chapter men did not repent.
Without the supply of the ocean waters and drinking water, the situation for
the earth’s inhabitants begins to look very bleak. Now added to their
dilemma, is the scorching heat from the sun. Out of this judgment, God
demonstrates the character of those facing judgment.
blasphemed the name of God…
Rather then seeking mercy, the earth inhabitants rebel further, verbally
assaulting God in heaven. God demonstrates the hardness of man’s heart and
his own righteousness with these judgments. His wrath is falling on those
who persecuted His people.
They did not
think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel
compunction):—repent.) The heart of remaining humanity has no desire to
repent, they see God as their enemy. They have staked their eternity on
Satan, the antichrist and false prophet. Their only hope is for Satan to be
Fifth Bowl-Darkness on
kingdom of the Beast
the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his
kingdom s became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of
the pain. 11They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their
pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
Throne of the
The rebuilt city of Babylon, the capital of antichrist’s kingdom is filled
with darkness. Egypt faced a similar plague in the days of Moses. The
fourth trumpet also brought darkness to 1/3 of the earth. The purpose of
the darkness over the kingdom of the Beast could be for several reasons;
darkness is a foretaste of the eternal darkness the dwellers of the earth
will taste for all eternity.
I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the
sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will
be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:11-12
2. The darkness could allow any in hiding in the kingdom of the Antichrist
to escape the coming destruction of “New Babylon” under the cover of
darkness. (Jer . 51:6)
6 Flee from the midst of Babylon, And every one save his life! Do not be cut
off in her iniquity, For this is the time of the Lord's vengeance; He shall
7 Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord's hand, That made all the earth
drunk. The nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged.
3. The people of this kingdom will not repent or seek forgiveness while they
are still alive and on the earth. This judgment demonstrates the hardness of
darkness along with oozing sores from the first bowl, lack of water, lack of
food and scorching heat are taking their toll. The response of man is one
of war not repentance. In agony, humanity gnaws at their tongues but they
refuse to repent cry out for mercy.
blasphemed the God of heaven…
Again, those on earth respond in blaspheming God. The righteousness of
God’s wrath demonstrated by its recipients, for the second time humanity
shakes their fist toward heaven, and blasphemes God’s name.
second time this point is made. This point is repeated twice for emphasis,
so the reader understands that even if humanity could repent, they would
the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates and its
water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be
prepared. 13And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming
out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of
the mouth of the false prophet. 14For they are spirits of demons,
performing signs, which go out to the kings
the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great
day of God Almighty.
I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his
garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew,
On the great river Euphrates….
Drying up a river might not seem like a plague, but what follows is the
point. The gathering of the Earth for the final battle in the land of
Israel is the issue. This is the second time the Euphrates plays a role in
the book of Revelation. In Revelation 9, we see four powerful angels bound
at the river who are released and head an army of 200 million demon horsemen
in the close of the 1st half of the Tribulation. This results in
the death of 1/3 of mankind. Here we see the Euphrates River as a barrier
to the kings of the East.
Kings from the east might be prepared…
Why does a way for the kings of East need to be prepared? There has been
debate concerning this verse. Are the kings from the east coming to help the
kingdom of the Beast or for war with the kingdom of the Beast? In Daniel 11,
before the middle of the tribulation, the Antichrist wars with the east and
north, defeating them and consolidating his world power.
shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the
precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow
at his heels. 44But news from the east and the north shall
trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and
annihilate many. 45And he shall plant the tents of his palace
between the seas and the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his
end, and no one will help him. Daniel 11:43-45
calamities in the world at this time, including lack of food, water, and
darkness surrounding the throne of the Beast (New Babylon), what is the
reason the east advances toward Israel?
There are two
schools of thought from the futurist view on this point.
1. The kings
from the East are coming in opposition to the Beast after his kingdom is
made vulnerable by all the judgments, with his kingdom in darkness, an
invasion might seem right. To repay the Beast for the destruction he waged
on them. (Daniel 11:44)
2. The kings
from the East are coming in alliance for a final satanic assault against the
like demons lend support to the second viewpoint, since they go out and
deceive the kings of the earth, to gather them.
I saw three unclean spirits like frogs….If
there is any opposition to the satanic kingdom these demonic forces
resembling frogs from John’s view of the spiritual world are designed to
The unclean spirits proceed from the un-holy trinity.
The mouth of the dragon
The mouth of the beast
The mouth of the false prophet
For they are spirits of demons, performing signs…The
method used to turn any rebellion into an alliance is through signs and
wonders performed to convince the kings to join the battle with the Beast.
Satan seems to give the armies of the Earth hope they can defeat the armies
of God. Satan is again repeating an old tactic used before when 1/3 of the
angels rebelled against God, thinking they could defeat Him. Here man
thinks he can defeat God in a Satan inspired deception.
Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches….
Why is a warning and blessing placed here? Jesus’ warning is located
several places in scripture,
Matthew 24:43, Luke 12:39, 2 Peter 3;10 and Revelation 3:3. The warning is
to those who are not watching; to them Jesus comes like a thief in the
night. To those not watching, their nakedness and shame will be exposed.
This warning applies the pre-tribulation and tribulation saints. . But the
blessing of being clothed is offered to those watching. Those who wait and
look for the master’s return will be blessed.
you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief
in the night. 3For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden
destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they
shall not escape. 4But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so
that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5You are all sons
of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. I
The temptation in the tribulation will exist for many of the new believers
to sin. Imagine feeling like you are the only survivor of your family. You
along with other survivors may be tempted to engage in some sinful
activity. Adultery and premarital sex will be a temptation in the
tribulation period for believers as it is in our own day. Jesus, does not
want the tribulation saints, those who find Christ in the midst of the
trial, to get lax and make excuses to sin.
They gathered them together….The
“they” is the demonic forces sent from the un-holy trinity to the kings of
Earth. The armies of man are being gathered to a location fight against
The Greek is
a transliteration of the Hebrew har Megiddo, literally, “mountain of
Megiddo.” Megiddo is first mentioned in Joshua as one the cities conquered
by Joshua (Josh 12:21). Later Megiddo became a chariot fortress city for
Solomon. There also, the righteous king Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Necho 2
kings 23:29 who had come to aid the Assyrians against Babylon.
plain before the armies of the world will gather. What will be the reason
for their gathering? How this fits into God’s end-time plan is subject to
speculation. The armies of the Antichrist defeated Israel at the middle of
the tribulation. He then installed the Abomination of Desolation on the
Third Temple. A portion of Israel flees into the wilderness to escape.
According to Zechariah, 1/3 of Israel survives the tribulation and enters
8 And it shall
come to pass in all the land," Says the Lord, "That two-thirds in it shall
be cut off and die, But one- third shall be left in it:
9 I will bring
the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And
test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer
them. I will say, 'This is My people'; And each one will say, 'The Lord is
my God.' " Zechariah 13:8-9
Zechariah, we see an end time picture of Israel being super naturally
empowered by the Lord fight against the armies of the Earth immediately
before the return of Christ.
LORD will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of
David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater
than that of Judah. 8In that day the LORD will defend the
inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day
shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God,
like the Angel of the LORD before them. 9It shall be in that day
that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against
Jerusalem. Zech 12:7-9
I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the
Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they
pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only
son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. 11In
that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at
Hadad Rimmon in the plain of
surviving armies and people of the earth are gathered to Israel,
specifically to Megiddo to meet the King of Kings. The moving of humanity
is at the behest of demonic forces, corralling men, on earth like cattle to
a confrontation with Jesus Christ.
Seventh Bowl-Great Hail
the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came
out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And
there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great
earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men
were on the earth. 19Now the great city was divided into three
parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered
before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
20Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone
about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of
the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
his bowl into the air…
wrath proceeding from the 7th Bowl is completed Christ
returns with the armies of saints and angels. The loud voice is most likely
God’s voice in the Temple. Since when the cloud filled the Temple no one was
permitted in the Temple till the bowls of wrath were complete. (Rev 15:8)
There was a
events of this final bowl of wrath proceeds as the armies of the Earth are
arriving or headed toward Jerusalem. An earthquake un-equaled in the
history of mankind destroys all the cities of the earth, including rebuilt
Then a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone and threw it into
the sea, saying, "Thus with violence the great city Babylon shall be thrown
down, and shall not be found anymore.
was remembered before God…”New
Babylon the economic center of the world is divided into three parts. This
happens immediate before its complete destruction covered in chapter 18.
from heaven fell upon men….As
the armies of the earth are gathered, and people run from the earthquakes
hailstones weighing 135 pounds (1 talent) fall on mankind.
at this point with these horrendous judgments on mankind, the oozing sores,
death in the oceans and fresh water, the scorching heat, the unbearable pain
in darkness and an earthquake unlike any ever in the history of the world,
men decide to curse God rather then repent. Here again God is demonstrating
the righteousness of his Judgment against hardness of man.
The book of Joel, chapter 3 pictures this end time gathering of the nations
against Israel in the land of Israel. Joel calls, event the “Valley of
decision” (Joel 3;14) because people have made the choice to go to war
against their creator. They feel they are assembling for war (Vs. 9), but
actually they assembling for judgment(Vs. 12).
JOE 3:1 "For
behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the captives of
Judah and Jerusalem,
JOE 3:2 I
will also gather all nations, And bring them down to the Valley of
Jehoshaphat; And I will enter into judgment with them there On account of My
people, My heritage Israel, Whom they have scattered among the nations; They
have also divided up My land.
Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty
men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up.
JOE 3:10 Beat
your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak
say, 'I am strong.' "
Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause
Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
JOE 3:12 "Let
the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For
there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.
JOE 3:13 Put
in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the winepress is
full, The vats overflow-For their wickedness is great."
Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the
Lord is near in the valley of decision.
JOE 3:15 The
sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their brightness.
JOE 3:16 The
Lord also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The
heavens and earth will shake; But the Lord will be a shelter for His people,
And the strength of the children of Israel.
JOE 3:17 "So
you shall know that I am the Lord your God, Dwelling in Zion My holy
mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, And no aliens shall ever pass
through her again."
JOE 3:18 And
it will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with new
wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of Judah shall be
flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from the house of the Lord And
water the Valley of Acacias.
"Egypt shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of
violence against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in
JOE 3:20 But
Judah shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
JOE 3:21 "For
I will acquit them of the guilt of bloodshed, whom I had not acquitted; For
the Lord dwells in Zion."
In verse 18,
we read about the kingdom of Messiah, which follows this end time battle.
New wine flows from the mountains and the hills flow with milk. Jerusalem
shall be holy and blessed, a clear indication of the Messianic age to
follow, the battle of the nations assembled in the valley of Jehoshaphat, is
a reference to the event known as Armageddon. When the nations of the earth
assemble against Israel and are defeated by Jesus Christ, Israel’s Messiah,
at his second coming.