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Friday, September 07 2012

Introduction:

Last week we saw the Joy and celebration of them who got the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God (Rev.15:2) They sang high praises to God, and His Lamb, for giving them the grace to overcome. We also saw the Angels with the seven golden vials full of the wrath of God ready to release the wrath of God (Rev.15:7). Our emphasis last week was on the content of their songs. It was pure praises and worship directed to God (Rev.15:3,4).

 

This week we shall study the effects of the wrath of God on the earth as the Angels were releasing the seven last plagues.

 There is a great deal of similarity in the judgments of the trumpets (Rev.8&9) and bowls. In both, the first series deals with the earth (Rev.8:7 with 16:2), the second series deals with the sea (Rev.8:8-9 with 16:3), the third series deals with the rivers and fountains of water (Rev.8:10-11 with 16:4), the fourth series deals with the sun (Rev.8:12 with 16:8), the fifth series deals with darkness (Rev.8:12 with 16:10), the sixth series deals with the Euphrates (Rev.9:13-14 with 16:12), and the seventh series deals with lightning, thunders, and earthquakes (Rev.11:19b with 16:17-21).

 

1)      The First Bowl: Painful Sores (Rev.16:1,2)

And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God on the earth. And the first went, and poured out his vial on the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore on the men which had the mark of the beast, and on them which worshipped his image.

This bowl resulted in "loathsome" (evil) and "malignant" (painful) sores. Can you imagine if you had a case of terrible sores over your entire body? You would be unable to walk, sit, or lie down without pain. Such will be the case during the tribulation for those who experience these sores.

 

It is important to see that these sores break out "on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image." This plague and those that follow are not the expression of God's wrath against sin in general, nor are they punishments for individual wrongdoing. The judgment comes from God because of the world's allegiance to God's supreme opponent. Since these people received the Antichrist's mark (Rev.13:16-18; 14:9-10). They begin to pay the penalty for their allegiance.

 

2)      The Second Bowl: sea turns to blood ( Rev.16:3)

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

The Greek text here is very graphic. Literally it reads, "And it (sea) became blood as of a dead man," i.e., like a dead man wallowing in his own blood. Every living thing (sea creature) in the sea will die. Imagine all the world's oceans and seas turning to blood "like that of a dead man." In the second trumpet judgment, one-third of all sea life perished (Rev 8:8-9). The emphasis here is greater with the phrase "every living thing in the sea died." The stench alone would make most people want to die.  It will wreck fishing and it is bound to affect ocean navigation, transportation and shipping. Quite frankly, this is far beyond our comprehension.

 

3)      The Third Bowl: inland waters turn to blood (Rev.16:4-7).

And the third angel poured out his vial on the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.  And I heard the angel of the waters say, You are righteous, O Lord, which are, and were, and shall be, because you have judged thus.  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have 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 your judgments.

Not only are the world's oceans and seas affected, so are the fresh bodies of water ("the rivers and the springs"). Even these "became blood." This resembles the first Egyptian plague where the Nile River and its tributaries were turned into blood and all the fish died (Exod 7:14-21). There will be no fresh water to drink on the earth. During this period of judgment, fresh water to drink will be more valuable than oil! After all, people cannot exist long without any water to drink.         

 

"The angel of the waters" literally refers to an angel who has jurisdiction over the waters of the earth as one of the varied ministries of angels. As the one in charge of this area he makes an important statement vindicating the holiness of God and setting forth the reason for this judgment (vss. 5-6).

These apostate and rebellious people have slain and shed the blood of believers, thus, just as the saints receive rest and reward for their faith, so these will receive punishment fitting the nature of their crimes. They have only blood to drink. They have been blood thirsty?now they get their fill. This gives us another indication that during the Tribulation the shedding of the blood of believers will be without parallel in history.

Two principles can be found in Rev.16:6-7: First, the world will one day pay for its treatment of believers (Rom 12:19). They rejected those who preached, and offered them the "water of life." God judges them for it by turning their water to blood. Second, because the world rejected the blood that brings forth life (Jesus), God poured out blood that brings forth death. The lesson is clear: reject what the blood of Jesus gave to save you and you will perish for eternity.

4)      The Fourth Bowl: the sun scorches people (Rev.16:8-9)                                

And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which has power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

The fourth trumpet judgment darkened the sun (Rev.8:12), but this judgment increases the sun's intensity. God will increase the intensity of the sun's heat and light rays to such a degree that it will scorch and burn the skin of men. Some scientists claim we are not experiencing global warming while others maintain the earth is cooling off. Both are in for a surprise (1 Cor. 1:25).

"And men were scorched with fierce heat and they blasphemed the name of God." This again demonstrates two things: (a) men clearly recognize the source of the plagues, but (b) they will have become so hardened in their souls they refuse to repent. They will have reached the point of no return. This was clear when they took the mark of the beast.

This hardening of the soul (or heart) poses a warning for all of us. Anyone who becomes negative toward the Lord, grows indifferent to His Word, and ignores the convicting ministry of the Holy Spirit, can begin to harden his heart and become more and more callused  (Heb. 3:7; Eph. 4:17-19). One way we can see such a condition developing in our lives is by the way we murmur and complain or look for "pity parties" among our friends. This is a sure indication that the heart has become somewhat hardened (Heb. 3:7-19; with 1 Cor. 10:5-10. Note particularly verse 10.)

 

5)      The Fifth Bowl: the Beast's throne in darkness and pain (Rev.16:10-11). 

And the fifth angel poured out his vial on 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

 The bowl is poured out "upon the throne of the beast. This is the land beast of Revelation 13 who will receive his power from Satan and who will become the object of man's worship. Neither Satan nor this Beast can alleviate this judgment. This will clearly illustrate that there is only one hope, the Eternal God and Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ whom the world has by-in-large rejected; the One who alone is the Light of the world. What irony strikes here (John 1:3-5, 9-11)!

This is just a preview of the hell that is to come (Matt 8:12; 13:42). Those who reject Christ will spend eternity in darkness. But this ultimate fate is unnecessary. Hell was not prepared for humans. It was prepared for the Devil and his angels (Matt 25:41).

 

Contributor: Alex Alajiki

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 08:54 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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