REVELATION 15 - 16
THE BOWL JUDGMENTS POURED OUT
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Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
This is a new vision. Following the vision of the removal and judgment of unrighteous Jews, John now sees another sign which he says was great and marvelous. Seven angels appeared having the seven last plagues. These angels will carry out the final series of judgments in the Great Tribulation for in them, he says, the wrath of God is complete.
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image [NU omits: and over his mark] and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: ’Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested.’
Dr. McGee points out that this final outpouring of the wrath of God begins in Heaven with a choir! And, the choir members are the saints from the Great Tribulation. They have harps and they are singing both the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. What an amazing group this is! The fact that they possess harps indicates that they are Church-like and their hybrid song (the song of Moses plus the song of the Lamb) demonstrates they are made up of both Jews and Gentiles. What a glorious combination and mixture of people these Tribulation saints will be. And, since we find them here in Heaven, it is obvious that they are people who were martyred by Antichrist because of their faith in Christ. Yet, it is said they have the victory. How so? Well, they aren’t dead, are they?! Nor, are they sad by any means. In fact, they are singing up a storm! Jesus’ words from John 11:25b-26, come to mind
He who believes in me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?
Also, his words from Matthew 10:28,
And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
The day these brothers and sisters were put to death on Earth must have seemed the blackest day of their lives. But, immediately afterward, they found themselves in the most joyful, glorious and wonderful situation and place imaginable. Furthermore, they are all present to witness the Lord’s sending forth of his seven angels to pour out the final wrath of God upon the very ones who had put each of them to death down on Earth. No wonder they are singing.
There are several things about these martyrs here that are worth noting:
First, they are seen holding the harps of God. These are the same instruments of praise that the elders were holding back in chapter 5. At this point in time, these Tribulation Saints will also have been given harps. Like the Church, they too were saved by faith in Jesus Christ and thereby have the right to sing the Song of the Lamb.
Second, they are standing on the fiery and glassy sea before God’s Throne. May I say to you, only people who have acquired the imputed righteousness of Christ will ever be able to stand unharmed on that most holy and fiery ground. If an unredeemed sinner were to attempt to stand there, he would melt like wax in a blast furnace. As you have it in Psalm 1:4-5,
The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
Third, they are singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. They can sing both of these songs because they are a mixed crowd of both Jews and Gentiles. The combination of those two Biblical songs produces a hymn about all that God has ever done for the people he has chosen for himself. The song of Moses is found in Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32. The Song of the Lamb, we heard sung back in 5:9-12. The final stanza of these two great songs climaxed with the words, Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the saints! Who shall not fear you, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before you, for your judgments have been manifested. And all the people said? "Amen!"
After these things I looked, and [NU omits: behold] the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
Heaven's temple is referred to fifteen times in Revelation. It is the real temple of which all the ones down on Earth were only copies and mere shadows. This is a very Jewish scene here. God is about to pour out his wrath on the earth on behalf of his Jewish people, you see. Make no mistake about it ... the Tribulation is all about a Deliverer coming out of Zion (Rom. 11:26; Ps. 14:7) to save his covenant people, the Jews. The prophet Zechariah, speaking of that day, is very pointed. He says,
For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘He sent me after glory, to the nations which plunder you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. For surely I will shake my hand against them, and they shall become spoil for their servants. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me. Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion! For behold, I am coming and I will dwell in your midst,‘ says the LORD. Many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and they shall become my people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And the LORD will take possession of Judah as his inheritance in the Holy Land, and will again choose Jerusalem. Be silent, all flesh, before the LORD, for he is aroused from his holy habitation! Zechariah 2:8-13
In Genesis 12:3, the Lord said to Abraham,
I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Have you been watching the news lately? On every front, the Jewish people continue to be under attack by their enemies. Here, in our passage, we read that a day in world history will come when God will take vengeance on the enemies of his people. It will begin shortly after the Rapture of the Church ... reach its peak with the Bowl judgments ... and be capped off by the arrival of the Deliverer, the Lord Jesus Christ himself, who will summarily judge and execute all of the enemies of his chosen people. I repeat, after the Lord takes his Church out of the world, the Tribulation that follows will be primarily about the purifying, saving and delivering of God’s covenant chosen people ... the Jews.
Coming back to the text, John saw seven angels receive from the hands of one of the Living Creatures seven bowls full of the wrath of God. These angels are different from the seven angels of the Trumpet judgments. The seven Bowl judgments fall under the seventh Trumpet. After the distribution of the seven final bowls full of the wrath of God, we read, The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. During the time when these final judgments are being poured out, God's undivided attention will be upon his wrath. This is why Heaven's temple will be filled with smoke and glory and power and no one will be able to enter it during that time.
THE FIRST BOWL
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the [NU adds: seven bowls] of the wrath of God on the earth.’ So 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 worshipped his image.
I take this loud voice to be the voice of Christ Jesus. He is the appointed and sole Judge of all the earth. As Peter told Cornelius in Acts 10:42,
And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is he who was ordained by God to be Judge of the living and the dead.
Now, since Christ simply commanded the angels to go and pour out their bowls, it follows that these judgments will occur in rapid succession and without pause. These are the final judgments of the Great Tribulation and the lead in for the Lord's Second Coming.
When the first angel poured out his Bowl, a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshipped his image. You will remember that the recipients of this judgment were graphically warned by an angel about the dire consequences of receiving Antichrist's mark back in chapter 14. Having ignored his warning, they must now suffer the consequences of their obstinacy. These last plagues continue to parallel those produced through Moses in the Exodus from Egypt. This one parallels the fifth plague on Egypt. As you have it in Exodus 9:8-10,
So the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ’Take for yourselves handfuls of ashes from a furnace, and let Moses scatter it toward the heavens in the sight of Pharaoh. And it will become fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.’ Then they took ashes from the furnace and stood before Pharaoh, and Moses scattered them toward heaven. And they caused boils that break out in sores on man and beast.
THE SECOND BOWL
THE SEA TURNED TO BLOOD
Then 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.
You will remember that a third of all sea life was destroyed as the result of the second Trumpet judgment (8:8-9). All remaining sea life will be exterminated by the second Bowl judgment. The target of this destruction is tragic. That which God so lavishly created on the fifth day, he will utterly destroy on this day. I can't help but think of how pleased the Lord was on the day that he made all the plethora of sea life for man’s pleasure and benefit. We read in Genesis 1:20-23,
Then God said, ’Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.’ So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, 'Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.' So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
All remaining sea life will perish at the pouring out of the second Bowl ... all because of man's stubbornness and rebellion.
THE THIRD BOWL
ALL FRESH WATER TURNED TO BLOOD
Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: ‘You are righteous, [NU omits: O Lord] the One who is and who was [NU adds: the Holy One and omits: 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. [NU omits: For] It is their just due. And I heard [NU omits: another from] the altar saying, ’Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.’
When the third angel poured out his Bowl, all remaining fresh water on the earth was turned to blood. From that time on, Earth-dwellers will have to drink blood to stay alive. Back in chapter 6:9, at the fifth Seal, the martyrs under the altar cried out to God, How long, O Lord, holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth? Now, their question is being answered. The day of that vengeance has come. This Bowl is Christ’s chosen vindication on behalf of all of his saints and prophets of all time whose blood was shed at the hands of the wicked. His avenging angel cries out, You are righteous … For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets. Then the altar itself, that place where so many blood sacrifices for sin had been offered, cries out as well saying, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments. By the end of the first three Bowl judgments, all of the waters on Earth will have been turned to blood. This Bowl parallels Moses’ first plague.
Thus says the LORD: ‘By this you shall know that I am the LORD. Behold, I will strike the waters which are in the river with the rod that is in my hand, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that are in the river shall die, the river shall stink, and the Egyptians will loathe to drink the water of the river.’ Then the LORD spoke to Moses, ‘Say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt, over their streams, over their rivers, over their ponds, and over all their pools of water, that they may become blood. And there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in buckets of wood and pitchers of stone.’" And Moses and Aaron did so, just as the LORD commanded. So he lifted up the rod and struck the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh and in the sight of his servants. And all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. Exodus 7:17-20
May we step aside here for a moment? All of unsaved mankind, as well as everything else we see around us on Earth today is scheduled for judgment. John 3:36, says,
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.
Second Peter 3:7, says,
But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. (KJV)
God's wrath simmers today. But, the day will come when it will overflow and be poured out on man and his perceived "Mother Earth" alike. People find this very hard to accept, but it most certainly will come. False and insipid preaching from many pulpits has, no doubt, fueled a good deal of the delusion and false security about this. People have been told that God is all “sweetness and light” and that he would never punish anyone! But, the Bible tells a far different story. It is true that God is love (First John 4:4), but he is also righteous and holy … and he has promised vengeance on all unbelievers and persecutors of his people. You can take it to the bank, there will be retribution on all those who hate God and God’s people and who have flatly rejected God’s love offered to them in his Son. As you have it in Second Thessalonians 1:7-9,
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
The implications of that scripture are enormous. It means that men and women have the opportunity, the capacity and the responsibility … to know God. And, if they do not respond, they will be held accountable for it.
THE FOURTH BOWL
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And 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.
Isaiah also prophesied this judgment saying,
Therefore the curse has devoured the earth, and those who dwell in it are desolate. Therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left. Isaiah 24:6
Malachi spoke of it as well.
'For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,’ says the LORD of hosts, ’That will leave them neither root nor branch.’ Malachi 4:1
Notice how men will react when this judgment comes. Will they say, “uncle?” Will they turn? Will they repent? No. Rather, we read they blasphemed the name of God and did not repent. Hard, aren’t they? Note, however, that the opportunity for them to repent still exists. Even at this late hour, God’s hand of mercy is still clearly being extended. Therefore, we must conclude that these judgments are still remedial. The door will still be open for men and women to be saved … but they will have none of it. This judgment will parallel the seventh plague on Egypt.
And Moses stretched out his rod toward heaven; and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and fire darted to the ground. And the LORD rained hail on the land of Egypt. Exodus 9:23
THE FIFTH BOWL
Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
This judgment confirms that the Bowl Judgments will come in very quick succession because it tells us that Earth-dwellers will be still suffering from the results of the first Bowl’s sores when the fifth Bowl is poured out upon them. Back in 8:12, at the fourth Trumpet, a third of the nights and days were darkened. Now, utter darkness will spread out over the face of the earth, twenty-four seven. This judgment will parallel the ninth plague of Egypt.
Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Stretch out your hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.’ So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. Exodus 10:21-22
We read here that men did not repent of their deeds. God's tender mercy is still being extended. It will still be available for any who want it.
THE SIXTH BOWL
THREE DEMON GATHERERS GO FORTH
Then 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. And 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. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings [NU omits: of the earth and] of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
When the sixth angel pours out his Bowl, the hornet’s nest of Antichrist's followers will be more than ready to storm back in great anger. However, notice that it is not their anger that will send Earth-dwellers racing to the Holy Land. Rather, it will be because of God's sovereign call. The sixth Bowl will release three demon spirits who will motivate wicked Earth-dwellers to march to war against the Lamb in the land of Palestine. Let's look at it a bit closer. When the sixth Bowl was poured out, John says:
…the great river Euphrates, and its water [were] dried up. The vast bulk of the world’s population lies to the east of Israel. Countless multitudes in China, India and other Asian nations reside there. At the pouring out of the sixth Bowl, the entire Euphrates river, north to south, will be dried up for hundreds of miles so that these swarming masses of humanity can march unabated into the holy land without so much as getting their feet wet. As I read this, I thought of our own military's battles in Iraq. Many of those battles were centered on critical and strategic bridges over this same river. That war certainly clarified the importance of God's move here to dry it up.
…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. Fascinating. Satan, Antichrist, and the False Prophet will each vomit forth, as it were, an unclean spirit. Then, these demonic spirits will go out to coerce and deceive the nations. Someone has called these spirits the unholy trinity. They will go out to the nations of Antichrist’s kingdom to bring their armies to Palestine. Once again, God will use the Devil and the Devil’s own to do his will.
At this point, the account of the sixth Bowl judgment is suddenly interrupted by the Lord's voice. I believe he interrupts because, timewise, we are at the very door of his coming. Suddenly, he booms out, Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. This final warning comes from Christ himself. It is also found in the gospels where Jesus taught about the Tribulation and the beginning of his kingdom on Earth. Those passages are often greatly misunderstood and misapplied because Jesus was not speaking about the Rapture ... he was speaking about his Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. In those scriptures, Jesus taught it was imperative that his covenant people, the Jews, be ready to meet him at his appearing or they would lose out on eternal life and his Kingdom. The Jews who are ready, however, he says will enter into the joy of their Lord. Those who are not ready will be rejected and lost forever.
In Matthew 25, for example, we find two parables, the Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Talents. Both are directed squarely at the Jews who will be living at the time of Christ’s Second Coming. In the parable of the ten virgins, Jesus said there were ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were prepared for the bridegroom's coming, having acquired oil for their lamps. Five others, however, were slothful and were not prepared for his coming. They had made no effort to acquire oil for their lamps. Suddenly, at midnight, they all heard the voice of the bridegroom coming. The five who were ready, met him gladly and went away with him to the wedding, but the five who were unprepared went off to see if they could find oil somewhere. Jesus ended this parable saying,
Afterward, came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. Matthew 25:11-13 (KJV)
His teaching is clear. When he appears at his Second Coming, only those Jews who are prepared to meet him will gain entrance to his Kingdom. This is the same theme as the parable of the talents. There, the unprofitable servant who hid his talent and did nothing to prepare for his Master's return, was in a world of trouble! Of this man, Jesus said,
And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 25:30 (KJV)
The Lord has bestowed a tremendous amount of gifts, talents and resources upon his people, the Jews. And, one day, he will surely hold them accountable for them. As you have it in Romans 9:4-5,
Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen.
If they are caught at their Messiah’s Second Coming having done nothing with these great blessings and advantages and having not even received God's great gift of salvation offered them by faith in his Son, Christ Jesus (Romans 6:23), their fate will be outer darkness. The voice of Christ that interrupted the sequence of the Bowl judgments exclaimed, Behold, I am coming as a thief. This is the last warning in the Word of God to his covenant people, the Jews. At that point in Earth’s history … the hour will be very very late. Christ will be standing at the very door. And, when he appears, all who are not prepared … will be lost forever.
…And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. This Hebrew word, Har means mountain. Armageddon then, means Mountain of Megiddo. The combination of these two words is only found here in the Bible. The ancient town of Megiddo guarded the main entrance to a great valley located in the plain of Esdraelon. The Old Testament Hebrew name is, Jezreel. This great plain cuts the central range of Palestine into two parts and runs all the way from Galilee in the north to Samaria in the south. It has been the site of many battles, both related and unrelated to Jewish history. Several passes enter this valley making it easily accessible. It is here that the great climactic battle of history will occur. Here, godless Satan-instigated men will attempt to take on the Lamb of God. It would be of value to look at some key scriptures that predict this great imminent battle of Armageddon. The prophet Joel spoke of it in amazing detail saying,
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.’ 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. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations. 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. The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will diminish their brightness. 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. 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. Joel 3:9-17
Jeremiah spoke of this as well, saying,
Therefore prophesy against them all these words, and say to them: 'The LORD will roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he will roar mightily against his fold. He will give a shout, as those who tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth. A noise will come to the ends of the earth; for the LORD has a controversy with the nations; he will plead his case with all flesh. He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says the LORD. Jeremiah 25:30-31
Who is this who comes from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah, this One who is glorious in his apparel, traveling in the greatness of his strength?; ‘I who speak in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is your apparel red, and your garments like one who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with me. For I have trodden them in my anger, and trampled them in my fury; their blood is sprinkled upon my garments, And I have stained all my robes. For the day of vengeance is in my heart, and the year of my redeemed has come. I looked, but there was no one to help, and I wondered that there was no one to uphold; therefore my own arm brought salvation for me; and my own fury, it sustained me. I have trodden down the peoples in my anger, made them drunk in my fury, and brought down their strength to the earth. Isaiah 63:1-6
We learn from these scriptures that, although the battle of Armageddon will begin in the north at Mount Megiddo, it will run to its final conclusion far to the south at Bozrah, the ancient site of the chief city of Edom. At the conclusion of the conflict, Christ will return from there with his glorious garments stained red with blood.
THE SEVENTH BOWL
A WORLDWIDE EARTHQUAKE
ACCOMPANIED BY IMMENSE HAILSTONES
Then 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!‘ And 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. Now 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. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And 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.
Because of the rapid succession of the Bowl Judgments, while the armies of Earth are in the process of gathering to Armageddon, the seventh angel will pour out his final Bowl striking the earth with a worldwide earthquake of mammoth proportions. It will utterly destroy Babylon, Antichrist’s capital city, as well as all the rest of the cities of his worldwide empire. The utter annihilation of Antichrist’s precious "Babylon" by the seventh Bowl judgment will be seen in further detail in chapter 18.
When the Lord Jesus returns to Earth, as set before us in chapter 19, the armies of all the nations will have arrived to do battle with him. Timewise, when the seventh angel pours out his Bowl, immediately thereafter Christ will descend from Heaven upon the armies gathered at Armageddon. That is why, when this seventh Bowl was poured out, John says a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done’. This is the same Greek word that Jesus uttered on the cross when he said, it is finished (John 19:30). It is the word, Γέγονεν (tegonen). The remedial judgments of the first six Bowls will be capped off with one last great punitive judgment when God’s angel pours out his seventh Bowl. Let’s examine this all-important and final judgment a bit closer. The central part of the seventh Bowl judgment will be a worldwide earthquake as never before experienced by mankind. Our text says, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
In the for what it's worth department, there are four earthquakes foretold in the book of Revelation. They are as follows:
1. The earthquake that will occur at the breaking of the sixth Seal (Rev. 6:12)
2. The earthquake that will occur at the breaking of the seventh Seal when the angel takes fire from the brazen altar and casts it down upon the earth (Rev. 8:5).
3. The earthquake that will occur at the resurrection of the two witnesses. It will knock down a tenth part of the city of Jerusalem (Rev. 11:13)
4. And, the granddaddy of them all here ... the great earthquake that will occur at the pouring out of the seventh Bowl (Rev. 16:18)
No Richter Scale will be able to measure this final earthquake. The text says the cities of the nations fell and great Babylon was remembered before God. The pouring out of the seventh Bowl is the coup de grace for Antichrist’s Babylon and his dictatorial world system. Babylon, along with all the rest of the cities of Earth, will be smashed to piles of rubble by the earthquake of the seventh Bowl judgment. The devastation at this time will be unimaginable. We read here that the islands will sink and every mountain on the face of the earth will be leveled. On top of that, we read that with fierce rage the Lord will cast one hundred seventeen pound hailstones upon the remaining blasphemous people below. This is not the first time God has cast such hailstones on his enemies, by the way. When Joshua and the armies of Israel were conquering the Promised Land, a king named Adonizedec, king of Jerusalem, gathered an army of confederate kings against them. We read, in Joshua 10:11,
And it happened, as they fled before Israel and were on the descent of Beth Horon, that the LORD cast down large hailstones from heaven on them as far as Azekah, and they died. There were more who died from the hailstones than the children of Israel killed with the sword.
Isaiah, quoting the Lord, also prophesied about the hailstones of the seventh Bowl...
Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place. Isaiah 28:17
The pouring out of the seventh Bowl will completely abolish Antichrist's kingdom (and glorious capital, Babylon) on Earth.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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