The Apocalypse – Chapter 16 – Part 1
Now we reach Chapter 16 of the Book of Revelation or Apocalypse. To know what the final end of days will look like brings with it such hope to those who are longing for His appearing. The Bowls of God’s Wrath.
On the Victory Road Those who oppose you May seem to live in style, But they will only triumph For a little while. In You I can put up with all temporary defeat, The triumphs of the oppressor is short lived But in You the victory is complete. Long term victory is mine Unburdened I carry no load, For I have joined the triumphant procession I am already on that glorious road. By the late Andrew Feakin [passed away 16th March 2019]
Keys – The Bowls of God’s Wrath
- We are taught to pray that the will of God may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. And we see here that His will truly will be done on earth.
- Know that the enemies of our souls will suffer punishments.
- The fall of antichrist shall be gradual and it shall fall so as to rise no more.
- God will work His will according to the appointed order.
In this chapter 16 we have an account of the pouring forth of these bowls that were filled with the wrath of God. They were poured out upon the whole antichristian empire, and on every thing pertaining to it. I. Upon the earth, Rev. 16:2. II. Upon the sea, Rev. 16:3. III. Upon the rivers and fountains of water, Rev. 16:4. The heavenly hosts proclaim and applaud the righteousness of the judgments of God. IV. The fourth bowl was poured out on the sun, Rev. 16:8. V. The fifth on the seat of the beast. VI. The sixth on the river Euphrates. VII. The seventh in the air, upon which the cities of the nations fell, and great Babylon came in. Today we cover the first half of this Chapter.
The Bowls of God’s Wrath
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” So the first angel went and poured his bowl on the earth, and a foul and painful sore came on those who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped its image. The second angel poured his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing in the sea died. The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, “You are just, O Holy One, who are and were, for you have judged these things; because they shed the blood of saints and prophets, you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!” And I heard the altar respond, “Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, your judgments are true and just!”
They did not repent
The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire; they were scorched by the fierce heat, but they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues, and they did not repent and give him glory. The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness; people gnawed their tongues in agony, and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and sores, and they did not repent of their deeds.
Henry says – We had in the previous chapter the great and solemn preparation that was made for the pouring out of the bowls. Now we have the performance of that work. Though everything was made ready before, yet nothing was to be put in execution without an immediate positive order from God. No sooner was the word of command given than it was immediately obeyed; no delay, no objection made. God says, Go your ways, and pour out the bowls, and immediately the work is begun. We are taught to pray that the will of God may be done on earth as it is done in heaven. And now we enter upon a series of very terrible events.
It shall rise no more
There is a reference and allusion to several of the plagues of Egypt, such as the turning of their waters into blood, and smiting them with boils and sores. Their sins were alike, and so were their punishments. These bowls have a plain reference to the seven trumpets, which represented the rise of antichrist. We learn that the fall of the church’s enemies shall bear some resemblance to their rise. The fall of antichrist shall be gradual and it shall fall so as to rise no more.
This fall will be universal. Everything that could be serviceable to them on earth are all consigned to ruin. Thus the creation groans and suffers through the sins of men.
The first bowl was poured out—upon the earth producing—noisome and grievous sores on all who had the mark of the beast. They had marked themselves by their sin, now God marks them out by His judgments.
Every living soul died in the sea
The second angel poured out his bowl and it fell—upon the sea. Some say this is upon false doctrines, and idolatrous worship where trade and traffic has become advantageous to themselves, but injurious to all who deal with them. It turned the sea into blood, as the blood of a dead man, and every living soul died in the sea. God discovered not only the vanity and falsehood of their religion, but the pernicious and deadly nature of it—that the souls of men were poisoned by that which was pretended to be the sure means of their salvation.
The next angel poured out his bowl where it fell—upon the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters. Some again say this is on very learned men, upon their emissaries who, like streams, conveyed the venom and poison of their errors and idolatries. It turned them into blood. The instrument that God makes use of in this work is here called the angel of the waters, who extols the righteousness of God in this retaliation. They have shed the blood of thy saints, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy, to which another angel answered by full consent, Rev. 16:7.
They will be hardened to their ruin
In these verses we see the work going on in the appointed order. The fourth angel poured out his bowl, and that fell upon the sun. That is, say some, upon some eminent leader who should renounce their false religion a little while before his utter downfall. And now what will be the consequence of this? That sun which before cherished them with warm and benign influences shall now grow hot against these idolaters, and shall scorch them.
Their power and authority shall be suppressed which instead of bringing them to repentance will cause them to curse God and look upward, throwing out their blasphemous speeches. They will be hardened to their ruin.
Darkness and distress
The fifth angel poured out his bowl, Rev. 16:10 which fell—upon the seat of the beast, upon the the head of the antichristian empire. The whole kingdom of the beast was full of darkness and distress. The very place which was the seat of their policy, the source of all their learning, and all their knowledge now becomes a source of darkness and anguish. Darkness was one of the plagues of Egypt and is opposed to wisdom. It is opposed to pleasure and joy, and so signifies their anguish and vexation of Spirit, when their calamities thus came upon them.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Prayer for the Day
Prayer: Father, we come to You. Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Let Your Kingdom come, let Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread – the living bread from Your Word and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation for Yours in the Kingdom, the power and the glory forever and ever.
Thank You that Your will truly will be done on earth as Your Word says. Thank You that however it looks, though it seems the enemy is winning on this earth ultimately he and his minions will suffer punishments. The fall of antichrist shall be gradual and it shall fall so as to rise no more. We trust You and believe that Your will will be done according to the appointed order. We glorify You. In Jesus name. Amen.
The Bowls of God’s Wrath
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