Introduction to Chapter 16
Revelation 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
Christ returns with the armies of Heaven to establish the Millennial
Kingdom. (Rev. 20;1-7)
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.
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)
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)
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 bowls 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.
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.
Foul and loathsome
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,
“If 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 14:9-10
The loathsome 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.
It became blood…
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.
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.
Ten Plagues on
Waters turn to
Blood Exd. 7:19
mingled with Blood, 1/3 of trees burned, all green grass Rev 8:7
Sore on those who
receive the Mark Rev 16:2
Frogs Exd. 8:5
thrown into the sea became blood, 1/3 of creatures died, 1/3 of
ships Rev 8:8
Sea became blood
every living creature died Rev 16:3
Lice Exd 8:16
falls and 1/3 of rivers and springs of water made poisonous Rev
Springs become blood Rev 16:4
Flies Exd. 8:21
1/3 sky without
light, Sun, moon & stars Rev 8;12
Sun burns mankind
from Abyss Rev 9:1-11
Kingdom of the
Beast filled with darkness Rev 16:10
Boils Exd. 9:8
Four angels at
Euphrates released, 200 million Demon Horsemen, 1/3 mankind is
killed Rev 9:13-19
dried up, 3 frog like demons gather man to Armageddon Rev 16:12
Heavy Hail Exd.
9:18 Fire & Hail Exd.9:24
Great Earth quake
and cities fell, and Great city was divided into 3 parts, Hail
stones Rev 16:17-21
Locust Exd. 10:4
Darkness over the
land Exd. 10:21
Firstborn Exd 12
Rivers and springs
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:
righteous, O Lord,
who is and who was and who is to be,
You have judged these things.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
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.”
Rivers and springs of
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 waters….In
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.
You have 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.
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 will receive.
Scorch men with fire…The
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.
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.
They blasphemed the name
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 repent….
to 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 victorious.
Darkness on kingdom of
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 beast…
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;
1. The darkness is a
foretaste of the eternal darkness the dwellers of the earth will taste for
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
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 recompense
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. Jeremiah 51:6-7
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
They gnawed their
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.
They blasphemed the God
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.
Did not repent….The
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
Euphrates dried up
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 of the earth
and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of
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, Armageddon.
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.
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
With, the 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.
2. The kings from the
East are coming in alliance for a final satanic assault against the Creator.
The frogs like demons
lend support to the second viewpoint, since they go out and deceive the
kings of the earth, to gather them.
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
unclean spirits proceed from the un-holy trinity.
The mouth of the dragon
The mouth of the beast
The mouth of the false prophet
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.
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,
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
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.
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
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
At the 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
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:
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
In 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
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
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 Megiddo. Zech 12:10-11
The 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
Great Hail stones
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.
Poured out his bowl into
the air… When
the 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 great
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.
Great Babylon 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.
Great hail 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.
Men blasphemed God…Even
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).
3:1 "For behold, in those days and at that time, When I bring back the
captives of Judah
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.
3:9 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.
3:10 Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' "
3:11 Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around.
Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord.
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.
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."
3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day
of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.
3:15 The sun and moon will grow dark, And the stars will diminish their
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.
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."
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.
shall be a desolation, And Edom a desolate wilderness, Because of violence
against the people of Judah, For they have shed innocent blood in their
3:20 But Judah
shall abide forever, And Jerusalem from generation to generation.
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
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.