Revelation 16: Bowls of Wrath

March 27, 2023 at 12:44 PM 2 comments

Video for this lesson is here:

Revelation 15 highlights what occurs in the heavenly throne room in preparation for what is about to be released in Revelation 16. As usual, John points out what he actually saw to readers. What is interesting here is the fact that John sees things he tries very hard to describe. We do not know in what form he saw those things. We simply know that there was a direct correlation between what he saw and what occurred on the earth immediately afterwards.

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished. And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, ‘Great and amazing are your deeds, O Lord God the Almighty! Just and true are your ways, O King of the nations! Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.’ After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues, dressed in pure, shining linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.” (Revelation 16:1-8, ESV)

We’ll break down the above text into smaller bits and deal with each respectively. These bowl judgments are the final 7 judgments God has chosen to pour out onto the earth. Not only are these the final judgments but they are in many ways, clearly the most intense. Sadly enough, in spite of the fact that these judgments are meant to get people’s attention, it is also clear from the text that unbelievers who have, at that point in the Tribulation, taken the mark of the beast, cannot under any circumstances, repent and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation. They have passed the point of no return and because of their decision to embrace and worship the Beast/Antichrist, they will experience God’s displeasure because they will essentially be fully rejecting the One, True God of the Universe, the Creator of all things, and instead, chose to worship an imposter, a false god motivated by and filled with supernatural power by Satan himself.

This is truly reminiscent of the downward trajectory that any society takes when they continue to reject God, as Paul outlines in Romans 1. The natural decline causes people to arrive to the place when God literally turns them over to themselves and at that point, they are fully unable to respond to His love. Because of that, they experience only His wrath. What happens at this point in the Tribulation for all unbelievers is a reminder to them of what they will experience forever in eternity once they pass from this life to the next through the door of death.

Sometimes, as Christians, we get to the point of asking, “How much longer, Lord?” only to be reminded that the times and seasons are in His hands. He has told us vengeance is His and He will repay. That is what some of these bowl judgments are all about – His repaying the world for the way they have treated His people. It comes to a climax here in the second portion of the Tribulation.

Let’s look closer at the text with verse 1:

…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.

Note that these are specifically referred to as the “bowls of wrath.” God is not happy. He has decreed that this will be the time when His wrath will pour out onto the world. All 21 judgments – the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets and now the 7 bowls – all represent God’s wrath but these are specifically referred to as bowls of wrath. Let there be no mistake, what God will pour out onto the earth is evidence of His extreme displeasure. The world will have been warned for thousands of years when these judgments are poured out so there will be no excuse.

Revelation 16:2 continues the narrative with a description of the First Bowl.

…The first went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and severely painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.

The same Greek word translated “mark” (charagma), also described the seal attached to legal documents (cf. Dr. Thomas Constable), and that sealed legal document was binding as well as being physical/obvious. In essence, this mark – whatever it turns out to be – will be the Antichrist’s “brand” and people will clamor for it. The mark will identify those who worship Antichrist. They will gladly have a physical mark that they can show off.

Consider the many corporations and companies today that have a recognizable brand or logo. Everyone knows what McDonald’s logo looks like, or Coca-Cola or many other companies. Marketing companies are often paid large sums of money to help create a brand or logo that becomes a household name. All companies know that if they can have a logo that represents their brand, they have a much better chance of remaining broadly accepted in global society.

I can picture – though this is not stated or implied in the text – that the mark of the beast will not only be a readily accepted mark on unbelievers during the Tribulation who embrace and worship Antichrist, but it could likely go beyond that. In other words, while people will clamor to get in line to have Antichrist’s mark tattooed on their foreheads or right hands, it does not seem far fetched to believe that there will be clothing lines with that mark clearly emblazoned on jackets, T-shirts, sweatshirts, knit beanies, baseball caps, shoes and bumper stickers or decals for vehicles.

Consider that even though people will have the mark affixed to their bodies, during cold weather people wear hats or gloves, which will cover the mark. In order to ensure that they are still broadcasting their loyalty to and worship of Antichrist, it makes sense to me that people will also clamor for the latest clothing, hats or gloves that also bear that logo because they will not want to be out in society with their marks covered up.

If this becomes the case, imagine Christians living during this time of the Tribulation (the second portion, or Great Tribulation). These will become even more conspicuous when out and about because they do not wear clothing that contains that mark of the beast. Remember, people will gladly take the mark and like those who took the CV jab and bragged about it on their social network pages (emotional virtue), so that everyone knew they did what they did to “save” other people, etc., the same type of person will have the mark visibly present on their social media pages as well as what they wear to ensure that everyone knows they are sold out to Antichrist. Those who do not will be automatically suspect.

Additionally, all of this reminds us of the plagues God brought upon Egypt in the book of Exodus—showing just how powerful God is over all the earth (Exodus 9:8-12). There are real similarities here that God wants us to recognize.

The second bowl of wrath is then poured out onto the earth in verse 3. Massive devastation occurs because of it.

“…And after that I looked, and, behold…The second poured out his bowl into the sea. It turned to blood like a dead man’s, and all life in the sea died.

Please notice the text does not say that it looks like blood but that “it turned to blood” and the description of a dead man makes this clear. When someone dies, their blood no longer carries oxygen to any part of the body because there is no oxygen since the person has stopped breathing. When God turns the seas/oceans into blood, nothing will survive since sea creatures need oxygen to live. While water has oxygen content in it, dead blood does not. This is massive. Consider the fact that the seas of the earth turn to blood and everything dies!

Revelation 16:4 provides the results of the third bowl being poured out onto the rivers.

The third poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood.…

Does this remind you of what happened through Moses with the Egyptians when the Nile was turned to blood (Exodus 7:20-21)? It should. So not only are the seas turned to blood, but now fresh water sources are turned to blood, which means that drinking water becomes impossible to find! This appears to be temporary but for a short while, there is no drinking water.

Verse 5-6 provide a very slight break in the action so that an angel can declare truth about and to God.

… I heard the angel of the waters say: You are righteous, who is and who was, the Holy One, for You have decided these things. Because they poured out the blood of the saints and the prophets, You also gave them blood to drink; they deserve it!…

The point made by the angel is that God’s judgments are true and just. The world has heaped up for itself judgment because of the way they have treated believers throughout history and especially during the Tribulation period when hell is unleashed and all believers become targets of the Antichrist’s hatred. So just as the world martyred millions of Christians, they will now be forced to drink blood. Gruesome? Yes. Makes a point? Yes. Brings God glory? Yes.

Revelation 16:7 echoes what the angel said, but this time it comes from the “altar,” which likely refers to those who were slain as martyrs.

Then I heard someone from the altar say: Yes, Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.…

God has done this before in biblical history as evidenced in Exodus 1:22; 14:28 and Esther 7:10; 9:10 in turning the tables on those who thought to rid the world of God’s chosen. The punishment literally fits the crime.

Revelation 16:8-9 continue with the bowls of wrath.

The fourth poured out his bowl on the sun. He was given the power to burn people with fire, and people were burned by the intense heat. So they blasphemed the name of God, who had the power over these plagues, and they did not repent and give Him glory.

God literally turns up the heat on the world’s unbelieving masses. The sun becomes hotter and burns people with the intense heat. What is their response? They blaspheme God and refused to repent. I believe they will be fully unable to repent because those who took the mark sealed their fate. God is righteous in sending these judgments because the world has asked for it by their continual demonic behavior.

Some commentators note that there is a definite article in the original Greek language before “…people with fire,” which signifies a specific group – the unbelievers who have taken the mark.

The next two verses – 10-11 – highlight the next bowl of wrath.

The fifth poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues because of their pain and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, yet they did not repent of their actions.

This is interesting because one can only wonder how absolute darkness can cause pain from their sores? It is likely that the sores referred to here by John are from the first bowl of wrath previously noted (cf. Revelation 16:2). This seems to indicate then that these sores, while poured out during the first bowl of wrath continue to this point. The darkness is likely terrifying to unbelievers and forces them to focus on themselves since they cannot see any distance at all. They become inwardly focused and as such, focus on the painful sores. What else can they do? However, because of the intense darkness and the sores, their anger at God grows and they refuse to repent. Again, they probably cannot repent.

These seven bowl judgments of God are symbols of His power and justice. He is demonstrating that He is in control of all things. He is a just and righteous God and will not allow those who reject Him to go unpunished. God is love, but He is also a righteous judge who will ultimately bring justice to those who oppose Him. In the end, we must all stand before God and give an account of our actions. May we all seek to live our lives in a way that honors and pleases Him. Next time, we will finish up Revelation 16, with the final two bowls of wrath judgments.

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, christianity, Cultural Marxism, Demonic, devil worship, Emotional virtue, eternity, Global Elite, israel, Judaism, Political Correctness, Politically Correct, Politics, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation, Satanism, second coming. Tags: .

Honest Appraisal Day of Vengeance?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Taylor  |  April 5, 2023 at 11:25 AM

    I hope you do write an article on it this topic, I enjoy hearing/reading your thoughts as always…

    It is my belief that the war of Gog of Magog will probably occur after the Rapture but before the Tribulation. Not enough is spoken about this gap in the ecological time line between the Rapture and the Tribulation. That said, I believe the disarmament will help enable the peace treaty with the antichrist that eventually begins the Tribulation.

    It might be that this war brings about a brief agreement of peace, fulfilling that requirement, and giving Israel access back the Temple Mount to rebuild the temple, which must be rebuilt in the first half of the Tribulation for the antichrist to enter it halfway through to desecrate the temple.

    I enjoy studying these topics but try not to get too concerned with the specific sequencing of events.

    Liked by 1 person


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Our Books on Amazon

Study-Grow-Know Archives

Blog Stats

  • 1,131,407 hits

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,035 other subscribers
Follow Study – Grow – Know on

%d bloggers like this: