THE POURING OUT OF THE BOWL JUDGMENTS
In our last study we considered the seven trumpets, and we concentrated a little on the seventh trumpet. Also, we looked at the fact that Israel was chosen as the nation through which God would send His Son into the world. He came as the Savior of the world (Revelation 12:1-5; John 3:16).
We also have seen the picture of the Dragon, Satan who will be working to get men to be ungodly and evil (Revelation 12:16-17). We also have seen the picture of the Antichrist and his right-hand man (the false prophet) and how they will gain and consolidate power over the whole earth (Revelation 13:1-18).
Finally, we considered the picture of the very end of the world when Jesus Christ triumphs over all the ungodly and evil of this world through the picture of Jesus Harvesting the Earth, of His taking believers to heaven with Him, and judging unbelievers (Revelation 14:1-20). We also reviewed the seventh trumpet blast and its judgments and the sign in heaven (Revelation 15:1–4).
Today we want to look at Revelation 15:5-8–God’s judgment and His wrath, beginning with four things and then depending on radio time, we will move into Revelation 16 and the Pouring Out of the Bowl Judgments (Revelation 16:1-21).
As we get started we want to note four things about the judgment of God:
1. The door to the “temple of the tabernacle” is opened up (Revelation 15:5). The “temple of the tabernacle” refers to the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle in the Old Testament, that is, to the HOLY OF HOLIES OR THE MOST HOLY PLACE. The picture we see is the judgement of God that will come from the Most Holy Place, from the very presence and heart of God Himself. His presence and heart will have been violated and polluted enough by sin and evil. Therefore, His presence and heart will be vindicated. God Himself will send forth his final judgment upon the Antichrist and his ungodly followers. Who are they? Those who have the mark of the beast.
2. The seven angels come out from the Most Holy Place, out from God’s own presence, and they are awesome creatures (Revelation 15:6). The scene is terrifying, for…
- they hold the seven plagues in their hands.
- they are dressed in pure and white linen, the symbol of the HOLINESS OF HEAVEN. God’s holiness, His righteousness, and His justice are now to be exercised and brought to this world, to rule and reign throughout the whole earth.
- they have gold belts, the symbol of royalty and authority and power. God has the right and power as the Sovereign King of the universe to execute justice.
3. The seven angels are given seven gold bowls that are fitted with the wrath of God (Revelation 15:7). The idea of the bowls is that there is no lid or covering on the bowls. They will be poured out upon the earth quickly and efficiently.
Every effort to stop the judgment and wrath of God will only result in their being splashed or spilled upon the antagonist. That is, nothing will be able to stop the bowl judgments of God. God will be ready to stop the ungodly and evil of this world.
NOTE: God has the right to judge the world. He is the One who created the universe and everything in it and He is the one who lives forever and ever. He alone is God. Therefore, His wrath is to affect all; it will fall upon all who have refused to drink the cup of His salvation.
- There is the cup of salvation.
“I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD” (Psalm 116:13).
- There is the cup of wrath and judgment.
“For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring them out, and drink them” (Psalm 75:8).
4. The door of the temple of God, to heaven and salvation, will be CLOSED. No one will be able to enter heaven any longer–not until the seven judgments are completed.
THIS IS A TERRIFYING THOUGHT. When the final judgments begin to fall in the last days, the grace of God will be withdrawn and prayer for mercy will do no good. The door to heaven and salvation will be closed. The judgment of God will be falling upon the Antichrist and his ungodly and evil followers.
NOTE: The scene is descriptive and pictures the glory and power of God which shines brighter than the sun itself. It becomes so furious and hot that smoke begins to arise from its energy.
The glory and power of God are energized and flexed to consume the evil of this earth. And no man will be able to enter the temple of God’s presence and stop it. It will be too late.
WRATH OF GOD
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness” (Roman 1:18).
“But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath” (Romans 2:8).
“Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience” (Ephesians 5:6).
“Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him” (Psalm 2:12).
“Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through” (Lamentations 3:43-44).
NOW LET’S MOVE TO REVELATION 16:1-21
THE POURING OUT OF THE BOWL JUDGMENTS
FACT: Judgment is coming to this earth, terrifying judgment, judgment of such horror that it staggers human imagination. When will it come? At the end of the world, right at the close of the period of history that the Bible calls the GREAT TRIBULATION. There are three terrifying judgments during the last days of human history.
- There will be seven seal judgments. These will be preliminary judgments, judgments that take place BEFORE the great tribulation. They occur during a period of time that Jesus called THE BEGINNING OF WOES.
- There will be the seven trumpet judgments that will take place during the days of the GREAT TRIBULATION.
- There will be the bowl judgments of this passage. As stated, the bowl judgments take place right at the very end of the world, at the very end of the GREAT TRIBULATION.
There is to be one terrifying difference between the horrors of the bowl judgments and the other judgments. The seal judgments and the trumpet judgments will be limited judgments, but not the bowl judgments. The bowl judgments are total world judgments. Complete and final devastation will fall upon the ungodly and evil of this world under the bowl judgments. The bowl judgments will stop and end man’s ungodly and evil ways upon earth.
- A great voice crying, go pour out the wrath of God upon the earth (Revelation 16:1).
- The first Bowl Judgment: upon the earth (v. 2).
- The second Bowl Judgment: upon the sea (v. 3).
- The third Bowl Judgment: upon fresh waters (v. 4-7).
- The fourth Bowl Judgment: upon the sun (v. 8-9).
- The fifth Bowl Judgment: upon the beast’s seat, throne, or kingdom (v. 10-11).
- The sixth Bowl Judgment: upon the Euphrates River (v. 12-16).
- The seventh Bowl Judgment: in the air (v. 17-21).
Now back to Revelation 16:1 and the Voice of God: There is a great voice shouting out, “Go pour out the wrath of God upon the earth.” This voice must be the voice of God. God alone could give the order to end world history. Note that it is the wrath of God being poured upon the earth. This immediately tells us several things:
- That God is just and righteous. Therefore, we can have confidence that God will right all the wrongs and injustices upon earth.
- That God loves and cares for the earth. He will not allow ungodliness and evil to continue on and on without being stopped.
(Revelation 16:2) – Now we turn to the judgments (Bowls): We see the first bowl judgment. As Scripture points out, it is poured out on the earth. What is the judgment?
- Some kind of ulcerous sore. People will be afflicted with some kind of festering, cancerous sore. The idea is that the sores will be harmful and malignant, open and foul, painful and decaying, ugly and repulsive, humiliating and embarrassing.
- The sores will cause agony and torture, giving no rest during the day or night.
- The sores will be incurable and that there will be no relief from the pain.
Note: The judgment is poured out only upon the Antichrist and his followers, only upon the people who received the mark of the beast and worship him and his government.
The ulcerous sores are something like the judgment of the boils that fell upon the Egyptians (Exodus 9:8-11; Deuteronomy 28:35).
Revelation 16:3, judgment — the second bowl judgment. This judgment is poured out on the SEA. This probably points to the Mediterranean Sea and not to all oceans of the world. If it meant all the oceans, little human life if any could survive. This is especially true in the next judgment.
We must always remember that the center of the Antichrist’s power will be in the Middle East or in some nation of Europe that was part of the old Roman Empire. Therefore, the concentration of judgments will probably be there. The sea will become infected with some kind of blood red contamination and all sea life within it will be killed. Imagine the sight of all sea life washing ashore along the coastlines of the sea, the smell and sight of death everywhere.
- Imagine all the fishing industries and commercial outlets bankrupted and the effect upon the economy. It is all in the process of being destroyed because of the terrible evil of the ungodly of the world.
NOTE: Many commentators feel this does not refer to all the seas of the world, and that the next judgment refers to all the fresh waters of the earth.
NOTE: There is an example of this in the RED TIDE that sometimes strikes the coastlines of the world. When the red tide strikes, it pollutes the water, sometimes for mile after mile. The pollution is sometimes so bad that millions of fish and other sea life are destroyed. Fishing and harvesting of sea life for food are affected for months and sometimes years when the red tide strikes a body of water.
THE POINT IS THIS: the red tide shows us that the sea can be contaminated. In the end time God is GOING TO CONTAMINATE THE SEA, the whole sea. It is going to be destroyed.
Revelation 16:4-7 – In our next study we will continue our study of Revelation with the third bowl of judgment. It is poured out upon the fresh waters where the Antichrist and his followers are concentrated. This will continue the bowl judgments study with interesting challenges for Christians whether in the Age of Grace or the very end time – the Great Tribulation.
Perhaps there are some reading or hearing our Revelation studies who do not yet know Christ. If so, we want to assure you that you can go to heaven if you so desire. Check out the following:
1. Read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13 and consider the following:
- Do I need to be saved? If the answer is yes! But why?
- God is Holy.
- Man is sinful (Romans 3:23).
- Sin separates man from God (Isaiah 59:2).
- It is impossible for man to save himself. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight…” (Romans 3:20).
- Can I be saved? The Biblical answer IS YES! God sent His Son to be your Savior.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (I John 4:10).
HOW CAN I BE SAVED?
- Agree with God that you are a lost sinner unable to save yourself. (Romans 5:8).
- Believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins and ask Him to be your Savior. (John 1:12).
- Confess the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:9).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).
Please let us hear your comments and questions at 931-707-2728 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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