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Revelation 15:7 – Revelation 16:21

The Seven Last Plagues

Begin Text:

 

Today, we begin our study with the 8th prophecy in the book of Revelation. This prophecy begins with Revelation 15:7 and it ends with 16:21. This prophecy contains, “The seven last plagues.”

 

This is a very compelling topic and at first glance, it appears to be a very horrible subject.

 

Preachers don’t talk much about this topic for two reasons. First, it is scary and expressing and second, it has nothing to do with the present time. However, I see this topic in a different light. I am convinced that the time has come to understand the books of Daniel and Revelation.

 

Of course, any pursuit to understand truth is subject to God’s timetable. We can’t discover things that God withholds. But this much is certain: When the time comes to discover a new truth, God sees to it that new truth is discovered! You have heard me say many times, “On or about the time of fulfillment, prophetic truth is always understood.”

 

Every effort we put forth to discover Bible truth produces wonderful discoveries – surprising results – even though we may not fully reach the objective of our studies!

 

Because the Great Tribulation is about to begin, the seven last plagues are an important topic. This subject involves a number of things about God’s character and government that He wants us to understand. And by the way, this topic is rather easy to interpret, but it can be a challenge to align it with God’s character of love if you don’t do your homework!

 

Chart on the seven bowls is drawn and discussed….

 

Because God is changeless, the seven last plagues will not be an out-of-character behavior nor an “end-time” appendage to the Great Tribulation. No! The seven last plagues are a revelation of an important aspect of God’s changeless character.

 

In other words, once we understand the role of the seven last plagues during the Great Tribulation, their necessity and justification, we will better understand other portions of Scripture because God is changeless.

 

>>>God’s policies for dealing with people and nations never change.

 

If you remember back a few years ago when we were studying the book of Ezekiel, I

Tried to demonstrate that God’s treatment of ancient Israel was but a mirror – a mirror reflecting His treatment of all nations.

God is no respecter of persons or nations. He treats all human beings and all nations the same! For example, look at this text: God told Abraham,

 

Genesis 15; 16   “In the fourth generation your descendants will come here [to this land], for the sin of the Amorites [who occupied the land] has not yet reached its full measure.”

 

God is not a thief. He did not “steal” land from the Amorites and give it to the descendants of Abraham. God waited until the Amorites had become degenerate before removing them for His land. Here’s the story:

 

After the flood, Noah’s son Ham had a son named Canaan. Canaan settles in a territory that eventually bore his name. Canaan had 11 sons and these sons became known as the Canaanites. Amor was one of Canaan’s sons. And the land God generously gave to the Amorites a wonderful land that flowed with milk and honey. God gave all of Canaan’s sons, including the Amorites a period of grace to exist as great nations.

 

But, what did the Amorites do? They became sexually immoral. They offended God by doing disgusting things. If you want to review Leviticus 18 in its entirety you will notice toward the end of the chapter this warning which God gave Israel:

 

Leviticus 18:24   ‘’Do not defile yourselves in any of these [sexually immoral] ways, because this is how the nations that I am going to drive out before you became defiled.

 

Leviticus 18:25   Even the land* was defiled; so I punished it for its sin, and the land vomited out its inhabitants.

 

Leviticus 18:28   “And if you [Israel] defile the land, it will vomit you out as it vomited out the nations that were before you.”

 

Notice:

 

God’s policy for the Amorites is the same policy for the Israelites.

 

Please consider this point:

 

By right of creation, every square inch of land on Earth belongs to our Creator for it was He who separated the land from the water on the third day.

 

In fact, to keep Israel from thinking that the Promised Land was theirs “no matter what,” notice what God told Israel:

 

Leviticus 25:23   “’The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”

 

Leviticus 26:14   “’But if you will not listen to me and carry out all these commands,

Leviticus 26:15   and if you reject my decrees and abhor my laws and fail to carry out all my commands and so violate my covenant…

 

Leviticus 26:33   I will scatter you among the nations and will draw out my sword and pursue you. Your land will be laid waste, and your cities will lie in ruins.”

 

Profound Point:  Down through the ages, a changeless God of love has treated all nations with the same generosity and kindness.

 

He has granted every government some land and a cup of grace and when that nation fills up its cup with sinful and disgusting behaviors, the land vomits out that government. God destroys the Amorites because they became hopelessly degenerate and decadent.

 

Centuries later, God also destroyed the nation of Israel, His own people, for the same reason. And, you can be sure that in the coming days He will justifiably destroy the United States of America and the whole world for the same reason.

 

God is changeless. His policies are changeless.

 

One more point.

 

Remember the fiery hail that fell upon the sexually immoral cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Do you know why that event was recorded in the Bible?

 

2 Peter 2:6   “….He [God] condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them [an example] of what is going to happen to the ungodly.”

 

Now you know why the first trumpet is fiery hail that burns up a third of the Earth. God is about to do the same thing to notoriously wicked places all over the world that He did to Sodom and Gomorrah long ago.

 

God’s policies never change.

 

Look at the big picture: Israel, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and hundreds of lesser empires have risen and fallen through history because God destroyed them!  

 

Yes, historians can tell us how they fell, but the Bible tells why they fell. Fallen nations have a common characteristic. When they fill up their cups of sin, God raised up a destroyer to take them down. Look at this prophecy concerning King Nebuchadnezzar.   Israel was about to be destroyed and God told Israel through Jeremiah:

 

Jeremiah 4:7   A lion has come out of his lair; a destroyer of nations has set out. He has left his place to lay waste your land. Your towns will lie in ruins without inhabitants.”

 

Now you know why the devil and his demons will be released from the spirit realm…

 

Revelation 9:11   “They [the horde of demons] had a king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.”

 

A destroyer will be released at the appointed time. Lucifer will force everyone into making a difficult choice and those who side with him will receive the seven last plagues.

 

As I said, the seven last plagues are consistent with God’s changeless character. The seven last plagues are not a sudden nor last minute deviation from God’s character of love. The seven last plagues are fully consistent with the policies of His eternal and changeless government.

 

The seven last plagues are theologically helpful to us right now in the sense that we can clearly understand their role, their purpose, their justification and most of all, their function within God’s government before they come to pass. And once they are properly understood, God’s actions throughout the Old Testament will not seem strange.

 

Profound statement: The God of the Old Testament is the God of the New. Same God!

 

Here are two points for your consideration:

 

1.   The prophet John says that God is love. (1 John 4:8) And, the prophet John also tells us that God Himself pours out the seven last plagues on the wicked during the final days of the Great Tribulation. Question. How does one reconcile “A God of love” with seven torturous plagues? What is legal justification for this?

 

2.   The seven last plagues are seven “designer plagues.” They are designed for specific groups of people that will live at the end of the world.  Question. Who will make up these groups of people?

 

I’ll try to answer both questions shortly….

 

As I calculate it, the seven last plagues will span 70 days (7 x 10). Each plague will last 10 days and large amounts of wicked people will die as the plagues proceed. Those surviving until the 1,335th day will also be killed.   

 

Think about this: Once the Great Tribulation begins, all of the wicked will be dead meat within 1,335 days. You may think I am being flippant when I say “dead meat.” No, the Bible says,

 

Revelation 19:21   “the rest of them [e.g., the wicked who were not thrown into the fiery lake of burning sulfur] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh [dead meat].”

 

Ok, let’s go back to the question of legal justification. God has a diverse universe. God has created different forms of life. In Heaven, for example, there are at least, two different types of angels. There are cherubim (Exodus 25:20) and seraphim (Isaiah 6:2). On Earth, there are three forms of life: plant life, animal life and human life.

 

Every form of life is subject to laws of conduct. Angels, plants, animals and human beings have marvelous bodies that behave in orderly ways. The science of biology is only possible because life itself conforms to law and order. For example, when you step on a bug, the bug dies because the order necessary for life within the bug is destroyed.

 

Billions of dollars are spent each year by medical researchers to search out and understand the various laws that govern human life. Even in society, the phrase “law and order” puts both elements in their proper order. If there are no laws, there is no order – only chaos.

 

God is the great King of the Universe and He rules with sovereign authority. No one else is capable or worthy of taking His place on the throne. God’s wisdom is beyond comprehension. He is trustworthy, fair and firm and most of all, God lives within the parameters of His own laws. He is not above His own laws!

 

Even though God has incredible powers such as omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence, these powers are not used by an egoistical God to keep anyone else from being King of the Universe. (This magnificent point is proven by the fact that when the time came for the Father to hand over the book sealed with seven seals, everyone in Heaven and on or under the Earth was considered to be a eligible candidate. Revelation 5:3)

 

The point here is that God uses His infinite powers for one purpose: He insures that the universal rule of love will never end. God is selfless. Everything He does, He does for the benefit of His creatures.

 

Unlike Lucifer, God does not lord His authority over His subjects. God does not put His interests above the interests of His children because unlike Lucifer, God is love. And even thought He has created different types of children, (such as angels and human beings) God’s “laws of love” are universal, changeless and applicable to all beings.

 

All of God’s children are responsive to love. They can understand, demonstrate and submit to love. They can also express love.

 

Every being in God’s universe has the power of choice and every being can choose to harm another being if he wants to. For example, Lucifer deceived a third of the angels, Lucifer deceived Eve, Cain killed Abel and the Jews killed Jesus. However, every injury will receive justice because there is one simple rule that governs justice. I call this rule the Same/Same rule.”

 

Notice how this amazing rule was applied in ancient times. God told Moses:

 

Exodus 21:22   “If men who are fighting hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.

 

Exodus 21:23   But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,

 

Exodus 21:24   eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

 

Exodus 21:25   burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.”

 

But wait, there’s more!

 

Notice how the Same/Same Rule was carried out on false witnesses!

 

Deuteronomy 19:18   The judge must make a thorough investigation [into the alleged crime], and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against his brother,

 

Deuteronomy 19; 19   then do to him as he intended to do to his brother. You must purge the evil from among you. 

 

Deuteronomy 19:20   The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you.

 

Deuteronomy 19:21   Show no pity; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, had for hand, foot for foot.”

 

Of course, the Same/Same Rule does not prevent harm from taking place. Every creature has the power of choice so any creature can harm another creature. However, the Same/Same rule guarantees justice in due time. Paul wrote,

 

Romans 13:1   Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

 

Governments are created by God to oversee the various needs of their subjects. They are to govern wisely and fairly. Those who serve in government are accountable to God for the authority He has put in their hands. When the trustees of a government become corrupt and dishonest, God will eventually destroy that government. And, sooner or later, God will also deal with each official. In other words, government authority comes with strict accountability to God. 

 

God has given governments the same means of applying justice that He uses: It is called the Same/Same Rule.”

 

 

 

Life for life

Eye for eye

Tooth for tooth

Hand for hand

Foot for foot

Wound for wound

 

If someone hurts or harms another person, the offender must be hurt or harmed in the same way.

 

The Same/Same Rule is part of God’s changeless rule of love.

 

Jesus said:

 

Matthew 7:2   For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

 

Matthew 7:12   So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

 

In other words, you should not hurt others because if you do, God will see to it that you will be hurt in the same way.

 

Same/Same Rule is universal.

 

In God’s system of justice, no one gets away with murder or any other crime. God sees everything and He will see to it that at the appointed time, justice will be fully served if justice was not served by human beings.

 

Incidentally, now that you know about the Same/Same Rule, you know why Jesus had to come to Earth and be executed.

 

>>>The Same/Same Rule required our Creator to suffer and die the same penalty that would be imposed upon sinners.<<<

 

And, the good news! The gospel of Jesus Christ is this: Our Creator willingly submitted to the demands of this unchangeable law in order to save us from eternal destruction. He did this out of love. There is no other reason. Period.

 

God’s changeless laws, God’s rule of love and God’s demand that justice be served are highly important topics. These topics have to be addressed within this study on the seven last plagues because the seven last plagues are a function of the Same/Same Rule.

 

KJV/Psalm 89:14   “Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.”

 

We know that God grants every being the power of choice. Lucifer and the angels could sin and he and many angels chose to sin. Adam and Even could sin and they chose to sin. You and I sin and we do sin. All beings have the power of choice.

 

Therefore:

 

God holds every being fully accountable for his choices.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13   Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:14   For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”  

 

Now that we have discussed a few things about our power of choice, the operation of the Same/Same Rule and God’s demand for justice, there’s one last point we have to examine before we look at the seven last plagues.

 

God demands restitution for every wrong deed.

 

Before God can forgive us of our sins, we have to make wrongs right (as far as possible) with the people we have wronged.

 

Exodus 22:1   “if a man steals an ox or a sheep and slaughters it or sells it, he must pay back five head of cattle for the ox and four sheep for the sheep.

 

Exodus 22:5   “If a man grazes his livestock in a field or vineyard and lets them stray and they graze in another man’s field, he must make restitution from the best of his field or vineyard.

 

Exodus 22:6   “if a fire breaks out and spreads into thorn bushes so that it burns shocks of grain or standing grain or the whole field, the one who started the fire must make restitution….”

 

As a practical matter, restitution is a strong deterrent for wrongdoing.

 

If every judge forced felons to first make amends to their victims before punishing them for breaking the law, there would be far less crime in the world.

 

Profound statement: God cannot forgive our sins until there is genuine repentance and genuine repentance does not exist until the sinner becomes willing to confess his sin and make restitution.  Period. Jesus said:

 

Matthew 5:23   “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you,

 

Matthew 5:24   leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.”

 

Ok, here’s the point:

 

During the Great Tribulation, wicked people are going to do wicked things:

 

(1) They are going to torture and destroy most of God’s people.

 

 (2) They will openly insult and defy God’s authority and to show their hatred toward God, they will kill most (if not all) of His 144,000 prophets and saints.

 

God will respond to the actions of the wicked using the Same/Same Rule. This is the role and purpose to the seven last plagues. Listen closely: God will torture the wicked because (a) they chose to reject the plainest evidences of Truth and (b) they chose to torture His people who surrendered to the demands of His law. The Same/Same Rule demands the wicked to be tortured.

 

Romans 12:19   “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

 

Then, at the Second Coming, Jesus will destroy the wicked because they refused to accept “the rule of love” that governs the universe. Listen closely: God doesn’t destroy the wicked because they insult Him or reject Him. God doesn’t have a huge ego that demands respect.

 

Actually, God is totally selfless. God is the most humble being in all the universe. God is a servant to all of His creation. When Jesus wrapped Himself in a towel and washed the feet of the disciples, the humble character of the Father was demonstrated in Christ. 

 

This is why Jesus said, John 14:9 “….Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father….”

 

When we look at the cross, we see Jesus humbly submitting to the pain and shame of the cross in order to save us from the penalty of sin. God is the King of humility! God is the King of selflessness! God is the King of love! God is the King of forgiveness and longsuffering. There is no one like Him! Long live OUR KING!!!

 

The Godhead holds the position as Trustees of the Universe’s Government. This means that they manage the universe from the perspective of what is good for everyone. The point I’m trying to make is that God destroys the wicked at the end of the Great Tribulation because they willingly and knowingly refused to submit to the law of love.

 

The wicked will be like their father, the devil. Wicked people are narcistic. They love themselves; they think only of themselves, everything they do is for themselves. The carnal heart is wrapped up in a world whose axis is self. 

 

During the Great Tribulation, the whole world will be informed on the love and the will of God. The wicked will hear and defy two eternal laws of love: (1) Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, mind and soul and (2) thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy self.

 

Therefore, God will justifiably destroy them – not because He is personally angry with them for the insults they directed at Him, but rather because the wicked refused to submit to the laws of love – the righteous and eternal laws that govern the universe.

 

This is why God’s wrath is defined as righteous indignation instead of a temper tantrum. For the benefit of the whole universe, God has to destroy those people who will not submit to the laws of love. They were given every chance. For 1,260 days the Holy Spirit did everything possible. But, they chose to rebel.

 

Therefore:

 

The wicked will be destroyed because they are and clear and present danger to the eternal universe and universal happiness, joy, peace of God’s children.

 

By the time the seven last plagues begin, all of the wicked will have committed the unpardonable sin and they will be demon possessed. Their decent into demonic possession is predictable: First, they will reject the first angel’s message. There is no love nor respect for their Creator. Second, they will join with the leaders of Babylon to avoid embarrassment, punishment and persecution. They love self more than truth. Last, they will submit to the authority of a glorious devil to avoid torture – only to suffer the seven last plagues from God in the end.

 

Ok, now that my justification for the Seven Last Plagues is completed, let’s examine the seven last plagues. Notice Revelation 15:1:

 

Revelation 15:1   I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues – last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.

 

The Great Tribulation is called “a time of wrath.”

 

Daniel 8:19   He said:   “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end.”

 

Daniel 11:36   “The king [Lucifer] will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.”

 

 

 

 

                        A Time of Wrath

 

  /-----------------A----------------/---B-----/

    

A = Seven first plagues

B = Seven last plagues

 

There are two essential differences between the seven trumpets and the seven bowls. First, the seven trumpets are redemptive in nature whereas the seven bowls are totally destructive. People can repent and be saved during the seven trumpets; however, salvation will not be possible during the seven bowls because the door to salvation closes on the 1,260th day of the Great Tribulation.

 

Second, the seven first plagues are called “seven trumpets” in the book of Revelation because these redemptive judgments are designed to shatter the religious paradigms of the world much like a military bugle shatters the silence of early dawn with Reveille. 

 

The seven first plagues will enable people to thoughtfully and intelligently consider the testimony of Jesus that will be spoken by the 144,000. On the other hand, the seven last plagues are called “seven bowls” because those receiving the mark of the beast will be forced to “drink” from God’s “medicine bowl.”  The bitter dregs of God’s wrath will be poured out of each bowl on the wicked.

 

The seven trumpets are redemptive in nature whereas the seven bowls are punitive in nature. God will force the wicked to suffer according to the Same/Same Rule. There will be no mercy from God when the seven bowls are poured out because the wicked chose to hurt God’s people and even worse, they willfully and knowingly rebelled against the law of love.

 

Consider this: There won’t be any “good hearted people” receiving the mark of the beast. Anyone who stands in rebellion against the plainest evidences of God’s truth and rejects His love doesn’t have a good heart.

 

Last, but not least.

 

When the seven bowls begin, the devil will be on Earth masquerading as Almighty God. The devil will sit on his throne claiming to be God, and billions of wicked people will believe that he is actually God.

 

After the 144,000 are taken to Heaven, the devil will urge his followers to hasten the destruction of God’s saints during the first four bowls. The devil will urge his followers to exterminate God’s saints saying, “these horrible judgments are curses from the devil.” How clever of Lucifer!

 

Billions of wicked people will believe that the devil is God and that the God of the saints and the 144,000 is the devil. Keep this twisted deception in mind as we examine the specific purpose and nature of each dreadful bowl.

 

Plague #1.   Revelation 16:2   The first angel went out 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 and worshiped his image.”

 

The first plague will be a plague of painful boils. Remember the boils that Lucifer put on Job? Remember those huge, tender, inflamed, puss oozing sores all over his body? God puts similar sores on every person who receives the mark of the beast. These are two interesting ironies here.

 

First, many people will receive the mark of the beast thinking that they are avoiding further suffering, but the first bowl inflicts a painful suffering on them that is beyond description! In an effort to save their lives and escape persecution, millions will bow down confessing the devil is God and they will gladly receive the tattoo after he “spares” their life.

 

But, their expedient efforts to save self will be foolish because everyone who worships “the devil and receives his mark” will have to drink the dregs of the first bowl! There will be no escape from the first bowl. Painful boils will befall those who thought they were escaping pain!

 

This brings me to the second irony.

 

When the first bowl is poured out on the wicked, they will be engaged in an intense campaign to find and kill the few saints of God who remain alive. The first bowl will only slow down their efforts. You would think that evil men and women, covered with boils from head to foot would give up the pursuit. But, they don’t. They have demonic hearts.

 

The irony is that what few saints they do find, they can’t harm. God does not allow His children to suffer at their hands after the seventh trumpet sounds. This is the deliverance promised in Daniel 12:1.

 

Plague #2.   Revelation 16:3   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. 

 

The second bowl is a curse against the sea and the land. When the second bowl is poured out, everything living in the oceans of the world dies. Why would God pour out his wrath upon the oceans?

 

 

 

 

I can think of three reasons.

 

First, the oceans produce Earth’s fresh water. The Sun evaporates millions of square miles of ocean water each day. This sterile vapor rises and becomes clouds. Winds move the clouds over mountains and valleys and this distilled water falls in the form of snow or rain as condensation occurs.

 

By turning the sea into a substance like the clotted blood of a dead man, there will be no more rain. Zero. The whole Earth will quickly die without cycles of refreshing water. The point here is that the Earth itself is cursed – doomed for destruction, the stench of death and decay will be everywhere.

 

Second, because a third of the trees and all of the green grass (including crops) were burned up during the first trumpet, seafood will likely become an important source of food during the Great Tribulation. If so, the destruction of everything that lives in the oceans means worldwide famine has come.

 

Last, two-thirds of the world’s population lives within 100 miles of an ocean. When the wicked behold this awesome judgment, you would think that some would question their choices? You would think they might reconsider their actions, but they don’t.

 

This “silent plague” speaks with deafening authority. It says, “The glorious and majestic being which you worship is not God. He cannot protect you or save you. He cannot prevent a higher power from destroying you or the Earth.”

 

Plague #3.   Revelation 16:4   “The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and spring of water, and they became blood.

 

Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’

 

And I heard the [angel at the] altar respond: yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.’”

 

The third bowl will force the wicked into a sickly spiral of thirst that ultimately leads to an agonizing death. There will be no recovery from this plague. Human beings cannot live very long without water. Everywhere the wicked will search for water, they find blood. Picture this if you can. Millions of bloodthirsty people drinking blood in order to survive!

 

It’s a repugnant scene, but it is a true picture. Helpless, the wicked will turn to their God, the Antichrist, for miraculous help, but there will be none.

 

The devil cannot undo these judgments! Lucifer will be powerless to turn the blood into water and Jesus will have no mercy upon the wicked.

 

Every wicked person was given 1,260 days to hear and understand the gospel of Jesus. They were informed of Christ’s sovereignty and they willfully aligned themselves with the evil forces because there was no love for truth and righteousness within them, therefore, they have to suffer the consequences of their choices.

 

The angel that turns the drinking water into blood declares God to be “true and just.” In other words, he says that Jesus is consistent and fair using the Same/Same Law. These people thirsted for the blood of the saints and prophets and God gives them blood to drink!

 

Even the martyred souls under the altar speak out saying, “true and just are your judgments” upon the wicked.

 

(Of course, those martyred under the fifth seal don’t actually talk, but personification allows their innocent blood to cry out for justice as did Abel’s blood. See Genesis 4:10.)

 

1.   Sores / boils

2.   Oceans have turned to blood

3.   Drinking water to blood

4.   Searing heat 

 

God puts “the heat” on the enemies of His people.

 

Plague #4.   Revelation 16:8,9   “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.” 

 

At this point, thirty days have passed since the seven bowls began. The misery index is off the chart and the wicked people of Earth are struggling in a great quandary. Why doesn’t God (actually, the Antichrist) stop these plagues?

 

They reason, “Our God can do anything, he even called fire down from the sky, therefore, he must immediately stop these awful judgments or we shall all perish!”

 

The fourth bowl could be caused by a catastrophic solar flare from the Sun or perhaps it could be a very brilliant gamma-ray burst coming from the direction of the Sun. Either way, the net effect is intense, oppressive, searing heat. Think about this plague for a moment.

 

What would happen if you climbed into the attic of your house on a hot day? What would happen if the ambient temperature of Earth stayed around 140 degrees for several days?

 

Remember, there will be little or no electricity on Earth at this time. The earth was badly broken up when the second global earthquake occurred at the seventh trumpet. (Revelation 11:19)

 

So, there will be no mechanical relief from the heat. Furthermore, all of the oceans and rivers will smell awful. Billions of dead sea creatures have washed up on the shores. There is no water to drink; only blood that tastes and smells so badly it causes people to vomit.

 

In this setting the Bible predicts two interesting things. First, the wicked will curse the God of Heaven. They will do this because their minds are twisted. Lucifer (masquerading as Almighty God) will tell the wicked people of Earth that these plagues are coming from the devil!

 

Second, even though the wicked will be suffering in the extreme, the Bible says they refused to change or repent. This is an important point. No one can change their ways or repent of their sinful ways unless the Holy Spirit brings this change about. The wicked can’t change because there is no desire within them to change. They have committed the unpardonable sin. The Holy Spirit refuses to speak to them. Even torture cannot change the carnal heart! Wow.

 

This brings us face to face with a profound truth: Unless we give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to change us, a human being cannot come to repentance of reformation on his own. The carnal nature will not permit it.

 

As the 4th bowl comes to a close, so does the 42 months of persecution. The wicked finally give up trying to destroy the saints. The wicked have no strength, but God’s people have no boils, they have food and drinking water and they are protected from the searing heat.

 

Plague #5.   “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 and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.” (Revelation 16:10,11)

 

 The fifth bowl is directed at Lucifer’s government. Darkness and sores fall upon the throne and kingdom of Lucifer. The fifth bowl serves two purposes.

 

First, Jesus unmasks the devil with this plague. In this message, the beast is a reference to the beast from the abyss, also the lamblike beast. At the time of the fifth bowl, the devil will have been masquerading as Almighty God for little more than a year (since the beginning of the fifth trumpet). His masquerade is now over. Everyone will see who he really is.

 

Second, Jesus imposes painful and agonizing sores on those who have inflicted great suffering upon the saints. (Same/Same Rule.) These painful sores will suddenly “pop out” on everyone who serves in Lucifer’s global government.

 

From the lowest paid clerk to the ten kings, everyone will be afflicted. Evan though they’re suffering will be off the chart; the wicked will refuse to repent of their evil deeds and will remain loyal to the devil to the bitter end.

 

(This proves that loyalty can be totally blinding, loyalty even transcends intelligence.)

 

Here’s a scenario: When the fifth bowl is poured out, Jesus silently but suddenly turns everything upside down within Lucifer’s government. One night the devil and his angels, those glorious beings who deceived the whole world with dazzling glory will suddenly lose their glory and they will appear in their natural state before mankind as grotesque demons of darkness.

 

The devil who was thought to be Almighty God is no longer the glorious being that he once was. His brilliant glory is gone, his throne room is dark and everyone who serves in his evil government will be scared to death when they see Lucifer and his demons as they really are. On top of this, Lucifer’s global government will be afflicted with horrible and painful sores.

 

Those having the mark of the beast (excluding the employees of the devil’s government) will behold these mind-boggling phenomena. 

 

They will ask each other, “Why would the glory of God suddenly go dark? Why would God curse everyone who works for Him with more of these horrible boils?”

 

An involuntary answer will form on their lips. “Un-oh. . . .  The 144,000 were right! Our god is the devil!”

 

This dark is not God at all! We were deceived! But, wait! We can’t call him “the devil” or we will be killed just like the saints and the 144,000 were killed! What should we do now! Oh, no….”

 

This is one of those rare moments in Earth’s history when darkness causes the truth to shine brightly and nothing can be done to hide it. The wicked inhabitants of Earth are forced to recognize the deception of Lucifer and even more, their cowardice and willingness to go along with him.

 

Plague #6.   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.

 

Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast 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.

 

[A comment by Jesus to the saints:] 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.’ [In other words, don’t despair, I shall return!]

 

Then they gathered the kings together to the place in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Revelation 16:12-16)

 

The meaning of this bowl is not too difficult if one understands the context and setting of this future event. The drying up of the great river Euphrates  [the northern most boundary in ancient Israel] is a phrase meaning that the arrival of the two kings coming down from the North (the Father and the Son) is unstoppable. Destruction always comes from the north!

 

In ancient times, enemy kings could not cross through the Euphrates because the great river itself was a barrier. But, the river is now dried up, and there is nothing to stop destruction from the North. I believe the sign of the Father and Son will first appear in the sky during this time. This sign will be a small cloud drawing near to Earth.

(Matthew 24:30)

 

Remember, divine destruction in ancient times came out of the North (Jeremiah 51:48, Job 37:22), but physically, because of the rotation of Earth on its axis, the Father and Son (the two kings) will appear from the East. (Matthew 26:64)

 

Daniel 11:44   But reports from the east and the north will alarm him, and he will set out in a great rage to destroy and annihilate many.

 

By the time the sixth bowl is poured out, the wicked will be suffering in the extreme. Every wicked person will be wearing the devil’s inescapable tattoo. Even more, the wicked now know that the devil and his demons are not Almighty God and His angels as they claimed.

 

The wicked will realize they are looking at the embodiment of evil. Emotionally speaking, the wicked will be at a point of utter discouragement. Everything they wanted to avoid during the Great Tribulation has befallen them.

 

Now that his incredible deceptions have been exposed and the wicked know who he really is, the devil plays his final card. It’s a pathetic situation because the devil already knows the outcome of this battle (he knows what the Bible predicts).

 

Nevertheless, he incites the kings of the Earth to make war on Jesus in an attempt to kill Him as He nears Earth. (Remember, Lucifer did the same through Herod.)

 

So, three miracle-working demons are sent to the ten kings of Earth bearing a grim message. These powerful demons are sent out by Lucifer, who has three identities in Revelation’s story: the dragon, the lamblike beast and the false prophet.

 

The Bible uses these three descriptors of Lucifer because these three caricatures describe him with perfection. As the great red dragon who was cast out of Heaven, he is the original Anti-christ. As the lamblike beast who rose up out of the Earth, he is the final Anti-christ. As the false prophet who led the whole world astray, he is the father of lies and liars.

 

Lucifer demonstrates his hatred for God one last time by sending three miracle working demons with a pack of lies to visit the ten kings of Earth.

 

(These demons looked like frogs to John – perhaps representing the fact that frogs catch their prey with their tongues and these ‘lying demons’ do the same.)

 

The message to each king will be simple and direct. The demons will say: “You have but one chance to save yourselves from the approaching cloud in the East. If you will join with us in destroying Jesus and the Father as they draw near Earth, we can defeat them.

 

You have atomic bombs. We have the power to work miracles. Do we have a deal? If so, arm yourselves for immediate battle.” The ten kings of Earth will have no other option but to combine human effort with miracle working demons.

 

They prepare for battle.

 

“They [the kings of Earth] have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast. They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings and with Him will be His called, chosen and faithful followers.” (Revelation 17:13,14)

 

This last battle on Earth is called Armageddon because this contracted word means “on the mount, god will prevail.” [In ancient times descriptive words were often made up by joining two words together. In this case, the words ‘ar (which means mountain) and Megiddo (which refers to an embarrassing event in Jewish history) are used.]

 

See if you can make sense of this logic:

 

Since this is the only place in the Bible where the word Armageddon is used ….

 

Since the war will be universal (that is, demons and the armies of Earth) fighting against the arrival of God. . .     

  

Since the two words that make up Armagegeddon are ‘ar and Megiddo….

 

Since good king Josiah went out to fight Neco, king of Egypt against God’s command and Josiah needlessly lost his life on the plain of Megiddo…

 

And since the sixth bowl indicates the kings of Earth and demons unite to destroy Jesus as He arrives . . .  The meaning of Armageddon is rather simple.  

 

“On the mountain – the dwelling place of deity, Jesus will prevail and He will be the undisputed King of the mountain.”

 

Plague #7.   “The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, It is done!’

 

[I believe this voice comes from one of the four living creatures.

See Revelation 8:13.]

 

Then there came flashes of lightening, 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 [Babylon the Great] 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.”

(Revelation 16:17-21)

 

When the seventh bowl is poured out, the ten kings, encouraged and emboldened by the lies and miracles of the three demons, are armed and ready to destroy the Father and Son with all of the nuclear power they can muster.

 

Before they can get the first ICBM in the air, the whole planet goes into a violent spasm. A global earthquake rips up the Earth and the empire of the devil is torn into three parts.

 

The islands and mountains are moved out of their places as Earth vomits from the nausea of degenerate sin. The cities of the Earth collapse into rubble and fiery hailstones weighing a hundred pounds each fell upon the enemies of the Lamb.

 

“They called to the mountains and the [falling] rocks, Fall on us and hide us from (a) the face of Him who sits on the throne [the Father] and (b) from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their [plural] wrath has come, and who can stand?’”

(Revelation 6:16,17, insertions mine)

“Then I saw the [false prophet/lamblike] beast and the kings of the earth [composite beast with ten horns and seven heads] and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the [composite] beast was captured, and with him the false prophet [who is also the lamblike beast] who had performed the miraculous signs on his behalf. With these signs he [the lamblike beast] had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. The two of them [lamblike beast/false prophet and the composite beast/ten kings/seven heads] were thrown alive into a fiery lake of burning sulfur.

 

The rest of them [the wicked of Earth] were killed with the sword that came out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.”

(Revelation 19:19-21)

 

The seventh bowl marks the end of human life on Earth for 1,000 years. The saints leave Earth to spend the next 1,000 years living and reigning with Jesus in their Father’s house.

(John 14:14:1-3)

 

“The phrase, “The great city split into three parts” is significant. It means complete destruction of Babylon, the global city whose citizens make up the harlot, will be divided into thirds and totally destroyed.

 

No mercy will be shown to the evil empire. Throughout the Bible, there is language describing the use of one-third and two-thirds. We have discussed this many times.

 

The idea in Revelation 16 is that of no mercy. Nothing will be left of Babylon to spare. Three thirds will be destroyed. (Revelation 19:21)

 

The violence described in the sixth and seventh bowls shows the truth about sin. At its core there is violence against God and everything righteous.

 

This is the heart of Lucifer and all who do evil.

 

End Text:





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