Summary: Week 36 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation
“The Seven Angels and Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath”
Date: May 7, 2003
Place: Allendale Baptist Church
Text: Revelation 16:1-21
Tonight I want to study our way through the 16th chapter. Remember in the 15th chapter we said that was an overview or a prelude to the seven bowl judgments.
It is worth repeating that the bowls of wrath contain the direct judgment of God upon the world. As we look at these bowl judgments I will try to point out the similarities between them and the judgments upon Egypt through Moses.
I need to pause and briefly remind you here that the Lord Jesus Christ is still in control.
Back in chapter 5 the Lord Jesus was the only One found worthy to open the seven-sealed book. His opening brought on this entire series of sevens.
This time of judgment is the wrath of God being poured out on a Christ-rejecting world.
We will see as we study, each angel has a specific target for the contents of the bowl.
This bowl judgment reminds us of the 6th plague in Egypt.
Revelation 16:10-11 suggests that these sores do not disappear. By the time of the 5th bowl they are still in torment of the 1st judgment.
This 2nd and 3rd bowl judgment parallels the 1st plague in Egypt.
Remember when the 2nd trumpet judgment occurred one-third of the sea became blood.
Now with this judgment the entire sea will be polluted.
This 3rd bowl judgment is directed at the inland waters; the rivers and fountains.
Remember the 3rd trumpet judgment made one-third of the inland waters bitter as wormwood.
This 3rd bowl judgment will turn all of those bitter waters into blood.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe says of these verses; “Heaven gives justification for this terrible judgment; the earth-dwellers have shed the blood of God’s people, so it is only right that they should drink blood. In God’s government, the punishment always fits the crime. Pharaoh tried to drown the Jewish boy babies, but it was his own army that eventually drowned in the Red Sea. Haman planned to hang Mordecai on the gallows and to exterminate the Jews; but he himself was hanged on the gallows, and his family was exterminated. King Saul refused to obey God and slay the Amalekites, so he was slain by an Amalekite.
It is very important for all earthy life to receive light from the sun. All life in some way or fashion depends on the sun’s light.
Remember in Revelation 8:12 part of the sun had been dimmed.
But now, in this 4th bowl judgment, the intensity of its heat is increased.
As I read and studied these passages of Scripture and thought of the wrath, judgment and torment, this one made me some and think of how painful this will be. I do not believe I have suffered anything more painful than sunburn or a burn from a fire.
But we are reminded that during this time of great tribulation, folks will “Blaspheme the name of God.”
In spite of all the suffering and judgment, people will refuse to turn to God and repent.
As Dr. J Vernon McGee says; “This reveals that the human heart is incurably wicked. No amount of punishment will purify it and change it.”
As we look at this 5th bowl judgment it may seem a little strange.
The last bowl we saw the sun’s heat intensified, and now it becomes dark.
Some will say this is not a world-wide darkness; only the beast, his throne and his kingdom are affected.
This 5th bowl judgment reminds us of the 5th trumpet in chapter 9:2 and the ninth plague on Egypt.
Here in the 6th bowl judgment, we see the Euphrates River dried up.
This river sometimes called the “great river” flows some 1800 miles from its source on the slopes of Mt. Ararat to the Persian Gulf. It forms the eastern boundary of the land God promised to Israel.
God supernaturally dries up the Euphrates to make way for the eastern confederacy to reach Palestine.
We sometimes hear people speak of “the battle of Armageddon”, but nowhere does the Bible use that phrase.
The name Armageddon comes from 2 Hebrew words, har Megiddo which means the hill of Megiddo and the word Megiddo which means place of troops or place of slaughter.
The area is about 14 miles wide and 20 miles long and forms what Napoleon called “the most natural battlefield of the whole earth.”
It appears that the armies of the nations are gathering to this place on their own but the writer John makes it clear that these military forces are moving according to God’s plan.