Summary: Study of the Book of Revelation
Revelation, Part 30
Last week – pause, assignments, worship in heaven
Tonight we begin to examine the destruction of this Earth by a just a righteous God who has simply had enough of the disobedience.
It is important that we understand where John is taking us – as is everything from Chapter 4 on, these are prophetic images of what will take place in the future, and they are without dispute.
Revelation 16:1 says, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
John is hearing the voice of the Lord (that is, God) giving very specific instructions to the angels who have already been prepared for the task.
Because these angels are unemotional in this task, I have to believe that they have one mission, and that is to be obedient to God. This obedience ought to be the same obedience that we demonstrate, especially when God gives us something to do.
And so, the angels go about their task.
Revelation 16:2 says, “So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
The first example of God’s wrath falls upon those who choose to reject the warning from the angels in chapter 14. Something very important to not here, is that this and the following wrath is NOT to produce repentance or turning away, but to bring suffering to those on this Earth.
Remember, that once you take the Mark, there is no turning back – and this is the just suffering of those who have disobeyed God.
Revelation 14:9-10 says, “Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.”
The loathsome sore is an oozing wound tormenting the individuals who choose to worship the Beast.
Sea became blood
Revelation 16;3 says, “Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.”
On the sea - Here the meaning is probably oceans; God’s wrath is poured out on all humanity.
In contrast to the second trumpet judgment (Rev. 8:8) where 1/3 of the sea became blood and 1/3 of the creatures died, here all the sea becomes blood and all the creatures died.
Both sea water and blood have the same content of salt. The sea becoming blood reflects the condition of mankind, like a dead man. This is a judgment of wrath not one to turn men toward repentance, but to punish those who are at war with God. God, the source of life, the source of blessing both on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45) withdraws life from the sea.
Rivers and springs become blood
Revelation 16:4-7 says, “Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due.”
And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
Like the first plague on Egypt, and the third trumpet judgment the source of fresh water for much of the earth became blood. Whether this is blood like in color and texture or actual blood is unknown until that day. The point God is making with man is not mercy but judgment. God is repaying the inhabitants of the earth, for their treatment of His people who are now in Heaven.
Interestingly enough, there are angels who each have assigned jobs to protect portions of this Earth as well. An angel is in charge of water, to guard and protect it from demonic activity or interference.
The angel gives his approval to the judgments on fresh water, a necessity for life.
The persecution and murder of the saints is the purpose of the wrath poured out on man. The trumpet judgments were designed to turn man toward God, to allow humanity to see their dependence on God.