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Summary: These bowls are only poured out on the enemies of God and of Christ, and of His church and people; for no wrath can be poured out upon the saints, not a single drop can fall upon them, because that would not be consistent with God's everlasting love.

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By: Tom Lowe Date: 1/31/17

Series: Verse By Verse Through Revelation

Title: First bowl: Sores on those who worshiped the *beast and his image (16:1-2)

Revelation 16:1-2 (KJV)

1 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.”

2 The first *angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the *beast and worshiped its image.

Commentary

1 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.”

“Then I heard a loud voice from the *temple.” All things have been prepared; the *angels have received their instructions from God (or Christ), and the bowls filled with the wrath of God, by one of the four living creatures—“Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever” (Revelation 15:7).

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John heard a great voice emanating from the *temple; it commands the *angels to pour out their bowls “on the earth;” later on, the voice is heard saying, “It is done” (Revelation 16:17). There the voice is said to come from the *throne; it seems likely that this voice and the voice in the first verse is the same—the divine voice from the *throne itself.

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This event, and the remaining judgments, belongs to the period when the term of the *beast's power has expired, and close to the end, or coming of the Son of man. And it may be further observed, that these bowls are only poured out on the enemies of God and of Christ, and of His church and people; for no wrath can be poured out upon the saints, not a single drop can fall upon them, because that would not be consistent with God's everlasting love for them.

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“Go” your respective ways, and fulfill the task assigned to each of you.

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“Pour out the seven bowls of God’s wrath.” God told the seven *angels to go and to empty the bowls on the earth. The bowls contained the anger of God. In other words, the people would know how angry God was because of the bowls. When each *angel poured each bowl, there would be terrible troubles on the earth. It was as if the bowls contained the actual troubles.

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Please remember, that at this time in the tribulation, the Lord's wrath is in full force! No more "mister nice guy" to those whom have rejected the Savior: the inhabitants of the earth being ripe for those judgments which the justice of God had appointed for their punishment. The punishment will be upon *antichrist, the vengeance of God will fall upon those that have the mark of the *beast, and the worshipers of his image, and it is easy to observe, that there is in many of these bowls an allusion to the plagues of Egypt. Note the comparison:

In the first bowl (Revelation 16:2), to the plague of boils (Exodus 9:8).

In the second and third bowls (Revelation 16:3), to that of turning the waters of Egypt into blood (Exodus 7:19).

In the fourth bowl (Revelation 16:10), to the darkness that was over all the land of Egypt (Exodus 10:21).

In the fifth bowl, there is an obvious reference to the frogs that distressed the Egyptians (Exodus 8:5).

In the seventh bowl, to the plague of hail (Exodus 9:23)

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Each bowl has almost the same effect as the corresponding plague, even the hardening of those on whom they fall, for they are far from being brought to repentance by them (Revelation 16:9). The plagues of Egypt came quickly one after another, so it would seem that the pouring out of these bowls would occur in the same manner; the *angels receive them together, and get their orders at the same time; and then they go forth immediately, one after another, if not together, to the respective locations where they are to pour them out, and which they do promptly (Revelation 16:8). Furthermore, these bowls will affect *Antichrist both with respect to his civil and ecclesiastic capacity.

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“On the earth” (Lit., into the earth; here and in the next verse). The particular part of the earth is not specified here, but it should not be inferred that it was to be poured out upon the earth in general, or that there were any unexpected calamities as a consequence of this pouring out of the bowls of wrath, causing them to spread over the whole world. The subsequent statements show what parts of the earth were particularly to be affected. Here “the earth” seems to mean the lower world generally, but in other verses, the dry land only.

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