Summary: Fifth Bowl Judgment
Revelation 16:10-11, “10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. And his subjects ground their teeth in anguish, 11and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they refused to repent of all their evil deeds.”
As God did with Egypt (Exodus 10:21-29), God will turn up the intense suffering on the sinful world by turning off the lights. Some commentaries think that the bowl will be poured out on the actual throne that the beast sits on while others think that it will be on his capital city of Babylon; yet still others think that this bowl will be on his entire kingdom. It is better here to see that his throne as a reference to the kingdom of the antichrist, since the bowl is poured out on the throne darkens the whole kingdom. Whether the bowl is poured doesn’t matter though because the result of the pouring out of the contents of the bowl will be darkness either way, engulfing the whole earth, which is Antichrist’s worldwide kingdom. The beast then will be rendered helpless as a result of this bowl judgment, which would then lead us to see that the beast himself is then being judged as he will see before we end our examination of Revelation.
Joel described this time of judgment as “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness… Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the Lord is near in they of decision. The sun and moon grow dark and the stars lose their brightness” (Joel 2:2; 3:14-15). Zephaniah described the Day of the Lord as “a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness” (Zeph 1:15). Jesus declared in His Olivet discourse that “in those days, after the tribulation, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light” (Mark 13:24; Isa 13:10; 24:23; Luke 21:25; Acts 2:20).
The cumulative effect of the painful sores, fouled oceans, lack of drinking water, intense heat, all engulfed in thick darkness, will bring people unbearable misery. Yet those who are wicked and unbelieving of the world will still refuse to repent. . And his subjects ground their teeth in anguish, 11and they cursed the God of heaven for their pains and sores. But they refused to repent of all their evil deeds.” It should be noted that the gnawing of their teeth suggests more like they kept chewing yet they still blasphemed God while chewing on their tongues over and over with the pain they experienced blaspheming the name of the God of heaven (which is a frequent Old Testament title God of heaven is for God; 11:13; Gen 24:3; Ezra 5:11-12; Neh 1:4-5; Ps 136:26; Dan 2:18,19,37,44; Jonah 1:9), for their pains and sores, but they refused to repent of all their evil deeds. That they are unwilling to repent of their deeds is the ultimate defiance of those who hopelessly engulfed in the Satanic Antichrist ruled system.
It is important to note that this is the last reference in Revelation that they are unwilling to repent. The first five plagues were God’s final call to repentance for humanity. Those who have rejected the call to repentance believe and accepted of the inheritance that comes through believing, receiving, and accepting the blood atonement of Jesus Christ, and what He did on the Cross will be confirmed in their sin and unbelief. The final two bowls are still left, which will contain even severest of all the judgments, will be poured out on hardened, implacable people of earth during this time in earth’s history.