THE SEVENTH TRUMPET: THE THIRD GREAT WONDER
THE SEVEN BOWL JUDGMENTS, 15:1-16:21
REVELATION 16:4-7 – JUDGMENT — BOWLS
In this study we are looking at the fact that before us is the third bowl judgment. It is poured out upon the fresh waters where the Antichrist and his followers are concentrated. Again, this must be the meaning. Everyone on earth would die from this if there were no fresh water to drink. They would all die within just a few days without fresh water to drink.
This is the same judgment that fell upon the sea. But just think for a moment: the effects of fresh water pollution will be much more devastating upon the Antichrist and his followers. Why? Because there will be little water available throughout the Middle East and Europe where his power is concentrated,
- little water for drinking and
- no water for washing and bathing.
Just think of the water and food that will have to be transported and airlifted into the Middle East and Europe from other parts of the world. The armed forces will no doubt be supplied first.
NOTE: These judgments are predictions about what is going to happen in the end time. There are always people who hear about the judgments and question them because they do not fit in with their idea of God. To them God is too loving and kind to ever do such a thing as pour His wrath out upon earth.
But note: Jesus Christ knew that there would be objections to these judgments. Therefore, right here in the midst of the third judgment, Jesus Christ reminds John and all others why God is going to pour out His wrath upon the earth and destroy it.
Question: What is the reason? Why would God destroy the earth and punish people? For at least two main reasons:
1. Because of the mass murder against God’s people that will be launched by the Antichrist in the end time (Revelation 16:16).
- The Antichrist and his followers will launch the most terrible holocaust ever witnessed by the world.
- Every believer, every Jew and every person who remains loyal to his religion—in other words, all who refuse to worship the state and its leader in the end time—will all be slaughtered.
- There will be millions of people who will be slaughtered by the most cruel and inhuman methods imaginable.
2. Because God is true and righteous; He is just (Revelation 16: 7).
- Therefore, in the end time God will be confronted with such horrifying evil that He can no longer take the ungodly actions and evil of people.
- God will reach a point when His love for the godly people of the earth and for righteousness cannot take the murderous ways and rejection of the evil people any more.
- When the holocaust is launched world wide, God is going to punish the evil doers and end the world.
- Christians will be imprisoned and tortured by the millions; therefore, God is going to punish the evil with an equal punishment, that of cancerous sores.
- They murdered and shed the blood of millions. Therefore, God is going to punish the evil by allowing a bloody red substance to pollute the sea and the fresh water of the earth.
NOTE: An angel declares the true and righteous judgment of God. The angel declares that God is perfectly just, that He executes exactly what the ungodly and evil deserve (Revelation 16:7).
“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is JUST; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me” (John 5:30).
“But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things”(Romans 2:2).
“According to thy name, O God, so is thy praise unto the ends of the earth: thy right hand is full of righteousness” (Psalm 48:10).
“The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed” (Psalm 103:6).
“Righteous art thou, O LORD, and upright are thy judgments” (Psalm 119:137).
“The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works” (Psalm 145:17).
“Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? Who hath told it from that time? Have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Savior; there is none beside me” (Isaiah 45:21).
NOTE: This is not the first time that this has happened, for the rivers of Egypt were polluted by God with some kind of blood red pollution (Exodus 7:17-25).
Now let’s dig into Revelation 16:8-9 – the fourth bowl judgment.
This bowl is poured out upon the sun. Severe heat and radiation from the sun is going to scorch the ungodly and evil of this earth. There will be a heat wave unlike anything the earth has ever known.
NOTE: The sun will burn and scorch people with a blazing, fierce heat. They will be in misery and tormented and will fret, groan and be miserable. The idea is that the weather will be so hot that it will be like burning in a hot oven.
Fact: The ungodly will still not repent. They will do what unbelievers have usually done when things go bad: curse and blaspheme the name of God.
It may be the hitting of one’s head on a board or fingers with a hammer or an accident in a car— no matter what it is, the response of the unbeliever is usually to curse and blaspheme. In the end time it will be no different. The ungodly and evil will not repent any more than they do today. They will only curse the name of God.
“Ye stiff necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51).
“So I spake unto you; and ye would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD, and went presumptuously up into the hill” (Deuteronomy1:43).
“Yet he sent prophets to them, to bring them again unto the LORD; and they testified against them: but they would not give ear” (2 Chronicles 24:19).
“And they have turned unto me the back, and not the face: though I taught them, rising up early and teaching them, yet they have not hearkened to receive instruction” (Jeremiah 32:33).
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee” (Jeremiah 44:16).
“But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear” (Zechariah 7:11).
Notice Revelation 16:10-11 and observe the fifth bowl judgment. It is poured out upon the seat or throne of the Antichrist.
The whole kingdom of the Antichrist and his followers will be full of darkness. This is not referring to spiritual darkness, but to some phenomena that blots out the light and heat of the day.
NOTE: This is a drastic change from the scorching light and heat of the fourth judgment. Some darkness, some thick, heavy pitch-black darkness will fall upon the whole kingdom of the Antichrist, upon him and all who follow him.
NOTE: This judgment seems to exclude the nations who are not actively included in the Antichrist’s kingdom. Remember, there will be many nations cooperating with the Antichrist but who are not actively included in his kingdom, not in the plotting of his murderous evil.
They are, of course, guilty by association, guilty because they have formed an alliance with the Antichrist. But they are apparently spared some of the judgments because they are not quite as guilty.
However, their armies will be destroyed at Armageddon, and their governments and cities utterly destroyed, all because they are ungodly and evil in so many other ways.
However, again, this judgment—in fact, all the bowl judgments—could be world wide. All the world to some degree will be cooperating with the Antichrist. He will be sitting at the head of some world organization like the United Nations or the European Common Market. Therefore, the seat and kingdom of the Antichrist could refer to the whole world.
- Joel predicted this heavy darkness.
“Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations (Joel 2:1-2).
- Christ predicted that the sun and all other light would be darkened, stricken with pitch-black darkness.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” (Matthew 24:29).
FACT: The suffering will be excruciating and gnawing. The suffering we have seen of the sores, thirst, filth, the smell of water pollution, scorching heat, and now, pitch-black darkness will cause the Antichrist and his followers to curse and blaspheme more and more.
NOTE: The torment will be so painful and unbearable they will be gnawing their tongue (Revelation 16:10). But they still will not repent of their ungodly and evil deeds. They will only become more and more stubborn and hardened in their wickedness and rebellion against God (v. 11).
You probably remembered that the thick heavy pitch-black darkness was also one of the judgments which fell upon Egypt (Exodus 10:21-23).
Now notice (Revelation 16:12-16) and the sixth bowl judgment.
This judgment is poured out upon the Euphrates River (Revelation 9:13-21). The Third angel bound in the river.
Note verse 16: The purpose of this sixth judgment is to prepare the nations and armies of the world for the great battle of Armageddon.
“And he gathered them [the nations] together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).
It is a judgment of deception, not of affliction. Armageddon is the last great war of the earth which will be instigated by the Antichrist and his government. Let’s note six facts found in this sixth bowl judgment.
- The judgment dries up the great Euphrates River. The Euphrates is the longest and by far the most important river of western Asia.
- It is 1780 miles long and ranges from 300 to 1200 yards wide.
- Its depth ranges from about 10 to 30 feet.
- From the Persian Gulf inland, it can be navigated by small vessels for about 1200 miles.
- How could a river of such enormous size ever be dried up? Today, of course, man can build huge lakes, rivers, and canals such as the Panama Canal. Man can also divert huge lakes and rivers.
- Remember: in the end time natural disasters will be increasingly striking the earth. Whole areas of the earth will be devastated by the forces of nature going wild.
- Just how the great Euphrates River will be dried up–by man or by some devastation of nature — is not known. But Scripture clearly says that the waters of the river will be dried up (Revelation 16:12).
In our next study we will continue with interesting facts about the Euphrates River and we hope you will join us in the continued study of Revelation chapter 16.
Perhaps this study has produced a desire in you, if unsaved, to want to know more about salvation and God’s free gift of eternal life. Let me assure you that if you want to go to heaven, you can!
Please read John 3:16 and Romans 10:9-13). God loves you so much and wants you to join Him in heaven for all of eternity. That’s the reason He sent His Son the Lord Jesus Christ to earth—so that you can know for certain that you will be in heaven with Him for all eternity. Remember, Christ died not just to make salvation possible, but actually to save.
The Bible makes it clear that there are no conditions to be met in order to be saved. Salvation is by God and not by works. Now read Ephesians 2:8-10 and think about what God presents. Write down the principles you found about salvation and how it is obtained. May God richly bless you as you think about your eternal future.
Again, why not join us in the continuing study of Revelation chapter 16 as we think about the future.
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