"Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God's wrath remains on him." (John 3:36) The first time Jesus came He came as the Savior of the world, the Suffering Servant and rejected King riding on a donkey. The second time Jesus comes, He will come as the Righteous Judge of all with eyes like flames of fire riding on a white horse. (Rev. 19) In this life we can only scratch the surface of knowing God's incomprehensible mercy to save all who receive Him, and His incomprehensible wrath for all who reject Him. As we see here in Revelation 16, people will not repent and be saved even in the midst of cataclysmic judgment, but instead curse God and refuse to give Him glory. Only those who repent can escape God's judgment, and those who don't repent in this life are eternally unrepentant and thus eternally damned. (Luke 16:19-31; Heb. 9:27) This chapter reveals the holiness of God and His righteous wrath, and the hardness of men's hearts like no where else in Scripture. Tell your loved ones to repent now before it is too late. "I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2)
Please read Revelation 16. (Revelation 16 is chronologically followed by Revelation 19. Chapters 17 and 18 describe in more detail the destruction of "the great prostitute "(the false religious system) and Antichrist's empire.)"Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth.
"The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast (Antichrist) and worshiped his image." It seems that these seven angels got their orders at one time and that these seven bowls of judgment are poured out in rapid succession – maybe even in a few weeks or even days. Since they are very similar to God's judgments in Egypt (Exodus chapters 7-12) and the trumpet judgments (Revelation chapters 8-11), there is no reason to take them any way but literally versus symbolically. The "ugly sores" are much like the "festering (oozing) boils" seen in Ex. 9:10-11 and in Job. Note that it will not come upon the remaining Christians, but only on those who have the mark of the beast.
"The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died." Again this is similar to the trumpet judgment and the judgment in Egypt (Ex. 7:14-21). ["All marine life dies immediately. Coagulated blood is death-dealing and emits an unbearable stench." KJV Bible Comm. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994]
"The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. For they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve." Now all the water necessary for life is polluted with blood, and to survive they have to drink the blood-saturated water (v.6). Here in this chapter we see an angel praising God for His righteous wrath (see vv. 5-7).
"The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him." We see how God is taking His gifts of nature (sea and sea-life, water, and now the sun) and using them for instruments of judgment. Some say this could be from a full scale nuclear war (Hal Lindsey) but it certainly won't come from global warming (as if man can control nature; Psalm 135:6-7) but from "global scorching" as my friend Steve Griffith calls it. Note that they didn't repent but cursed God instead and refused to give Him glory – the very purpose for which God created us. (Isa. 43:6-7, 21) It seems to me that these judgments are not corrective but punitive as no one repents from this point on to the end. When they took the mark of the beast (14:9-11) they sealed their fate. The more a man hardens his heart to God, the harder it gets toward God.
"The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains (from the scorching sun) and their sores, (boils from the first bowl judgment) but they refused to repent of what they had done." The throne of the Antichrist seems to mean his entire anti-Christian world empire. Again this seems to mean literal darkness as in Egypt (Ex 10:21-23) and not just spiritual darkness which goes without saying. The unrelenting pain of the boils and the burns from the sun have driven the lost to "gnaw their tongues." This phrase is not seen in the Scriptures any other place and shows the increasing intensity of God's wrath toward the unrepentant. Yet again we see them curse God and refuse to repent.
"The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East." (See Isa. 11:15; today the Euphrates River is literally now able to be completely "dried up" as predicted for the End Times because of the $32 billion Anatolia Dam Project in southeastern Turkey.) "Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon (Satan), out of the mouth of the beast (Antichrist) and out of the mouth of the false prophet. They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon." The unholy trinity (looked like frogs – unclean animals) now deceives and persuades all the kings of the East (China, India, Japan) and the kings of the whole world to fight against God. This 1,800 mile long river which has blocked the advancement of the enemy will be dried up. This occurrence seems to be when all the nations will turn against the saved remnant of Jews and saved Gentiles. (Ps. 2:1-3; Ezek. 38-39; Mt. 24:24-25; Zech. 14:1-5 ) The 144,000 Jews and the two witnesses along with all the saints, have been boldly preaching the gospel and calling men to repent, and all the world unites against them. The battle of Armageddon seems to be more of a campaign and series of battles than one final conflict, and culminates in the Har (mountain) Megiddo (means "to slaughter"). ["In 6:15, 16, the kings of the earth recoil in fear before the judgment of the Lamb. Here the kings are willing to wage war against God. The difference seems to be their confidence in the power of the beast (Antichrist), since they reason, "Who is able to make war with him?" (13:4). KJV Bible Commentary. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1994]
"Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed." This is a picture of believers being clothed in Christ's righteousness and unbelievers being naked (unsaved/unclothed) and thus to be cast away. With the increasing deception, the Lord Himself tells His people to be alert for His soon return. (Matt. 24:42-44)
"The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne,(God's voice) saying, "It is done!" Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city (Jerusalem) split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible." This earthquake is worldwide and is described as "severe, great and tremendous." It literally levels the earth; not only the "great city – Babylon The Great"- (this may be the renewed and restored city of Babylon where the Antichrist may set up the capital of his world empire; it is being rebuilt today) but every city across the world; New York, L.A., Atlanta, London, Paris, Rome, Athens, etc. It also levels the mountains and "every" island seems to sink into the ocean. (See Rev. 18:21) In the vision John sees that 100 pound hailstones "fell upon men" (the largest ever recorded is 2 pounds). ["Everything that man has built will crumble before his eyes. Quite literally the whole world will collapse around him, yet he will persist in thinking he is still the master of his own fate without any need for God." Charles Ryrie] And then Christ will return to consummate human history as we know it and establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth! (Revelation 19-20:10) Until He comes, Len and Kristen
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