Revelation 16: The seven bowls of wrath


Bible Study Series: Revealing Jesus in Revelation

Revelation Chapter 16: The seven bowls of wrath 


by I Gordon


Bible Study Lesson Revelation 16 Seven bowls of wrath

We saw last time in the lesson from Revelation 15 that an introduction to the final seven bowls of God's wrath was given. It was shown from a heavenly perspective as the seven angels with the seven bowls were seen coming out of the heavenly tabernacle in preparation for the unleashing of God's final wrath upon a world shaking its fist at Him. You might recall two points that were made:

  1. We saw that there is an Old Testament prescient for God increasing his judgment by seven upon those that will not repent after the initial judgment. (Lev 26:21)
  2. We saw the interesting and thought provoking sight of no one being able to enter the heavenly temple, except God alone, until the wrath in the bowls was complete. A closed temple likely suggests that the door for salvation is firmly closed during this time and mankind will instead reap what their sins and hardness of heart deserves.  

So this message is on chapter 16 and the plagues contained in the final wrath of God. For those of you suffering from 'plague fatigue' you will see that once the 7th bowl is poured out we hear the words from heaven saying 'It is over'. The wrath of God will then be complete. So in this lesson:

  • We'll start with an overview examining the bowl-trumpet-Egyptian-judgment connection. Try say that fast five times! 
  • We'll peek inside each of the bowls to see what they contain - while paying close attention to the last two which lead to the 2nd coming of Jesus
  • We'll explore the mention of Armageddon. What is it? Where is it? And are you telling me it is more than just a movie?
  • We'll speak about the spiritual deception prevalent in the coming day which will see all nations eventually come against Israel - and how we can guard against this growing deception today!  

So get your shoes on. Let's go...

Overview: The voice from the temple

Rev 16:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth."

So the chapter starts with a voice from the heavenly temple instructing the seven angels to pour out their bowls of wrath on the earth. Now we should know whose voice this is right? Remember that we just mentioned that Almighty God was in the temple alone and no one else was allowed to enter until His wrath was complete?  

Rev 15:8 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 completed.

So the voice from the temple is God's. These final bowls will come near the end of the tribulation and complete God's wrath upon the earth. And as mentioned, it is likely that the door of salvation is shut at this stage. You may remember that God shut the door to the Ark seven days before the floods came. Jesus spoke several times about the day when the door will be closed. (Luke 13:25, Matt 25:10) As God's wrath involves the events of the second coming of Jesus and the judgment of the winepress, this means that the final bowls being poured out includes those events. 

Now as we move through these seven bowls we shall see many similarities with the seven trumpets and also the plagues upon Egypt back in the days of the exodus. But the scale has been dramatically increased. For example, whereas the trumpets spoke of 1/3 of the seas and rivers being affected, the seven bowls will affect all seas and rivers. Here is a quick summary and comparison.

Bowl Trumpet / Plague on Egypt
1. Malignant sores on skin

6th plague upon Egypt - Boils came upon all Egyptians (Ex 9:8-12)

2. Sea turns to blood 2nd Trumpet: 1/3 of sea became blood (Rev 8:8)
1st plague upon Egypt: Nile becomes blood (Ex 7:14-25)
3. River and springs turn to blood 3rd Trumpet:  1/3 of the rivers and springs became bitter (Rev 8:10-11)
4. Sun scorches mankind 4th Trumpet: Disturbances in the heavens as 1/3 of the sun and moon will not give light (Rev 8:12)
5. Antichrist's kingdom darkened 5th Trumpet: Sun darkened as demonic beings arise from the abyss (Rev 9:1-2)
9th plague upon Egypt of darkness (Ex 10:21-27)
6. Euphrates river dried up 6th Trumpet: Fallen angels released from the Euphrates river
7. Worldwide earthquake and hailstones
God's wrath is completed
7th Trumpet: Completed! The Kingdom of this earth becomes the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ (Rev 11:15)
7th Plague upon Egypt of hailstones (Ex 9:13-26)

The bowls of wrath

Bowl 1: Painful sores

Rev 16:2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly and painful sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image.

For those that take the mark there will be both eternal and temporal painful consequences. The temporal revolves around yucky, painful sore. The eternal is much worse. Earlier in Revelation 14 we saw that an angel proclaimed from the heavens concerning the consequences of taking the mark of the beast. All of humanity was warned. So all who do so will have no excuse. You will no doubt remember that Job, God's faithful servant, was afflicted by Satan with boils1 from his head down to his feet. When his wife saw him, she stood by her man uttering those faith inspiring words 'curse God and die'. Ok, that's a little harsh for she too was under tremendous grief and pressure having lost her children as well. When Job's friends saw him they didn't even initially recognize him and just wept with him, sitting in silence for seven days (Job 2:7-13). Such was the impact from these terrible boils! Now Satan inflicted Job because he followed God. In the last days God will afflict those that follow Satan... and his man, the Antichrist. God will literally mark those that have taken 'the mark'.  

Bowl 2: Sea turn to blood

Rev 16:3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead man, and every living thing in the sea died. 

This second bowl is reminiscent of the second trumpet where a third of the sea was turned into blood (Rev 8:8-9) and also the first plague in Egypt (Exo 7:20-25) where the Nile river was turned into blood. Blood, it says, was everywhere in Egypt. 

Exo 7:19 The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron, 'Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt--over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs'--and they will turn to blood. Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars."

But here in the bowl judgements, it is on a whole different scale. All of the sea will be turned into blood. And as we shall see in the following bowl this includes the rivers and springs also. Imagine turning on your tap and seeing blood come out. I don't think you'll be having a shower in that! But where could you get fresh water from? 

Blood is the token of life. "For the life of the flesh is in the blood …" (Lev_17:11). The sea is a great reservoir of life. It is teeming with life, and the salty water is a cathartic for the filth of the earth. However, in this plague, blood is the token of death; the sea becomes a grave of death instead of a womb of life. The cool sea breezes become a stench from the carcasses floating on the surface of the bloody water and lining the shore. Commerce is paralyzed. Human beings died like flies. The first plague in Egypt was the turning of the waters of the Nile River into blood (see Exo_7:20-25). There is a striking similarity here.
J. Vernon McGee

Bowl 3: The blood rivers

Rev 16:4-5 The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. (5) Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: "You are just in these judgments, you who are and who were, the Holy One, because you have so judged; (6) for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve." (7) And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."

Previously, in Revelation 7:1 we saw four angels holding back the winds so that none blew upon the earth. Here we read of an angel that has charge over the waters. It is certainly interesting getting these little glimpses into the heaven-controlled running of this planet! All manner of school kids and even adults are now living in fear over so-called man-made climate change. Well, if they don't know God, the One they should fear is He who controls the climate and really will bring climate change in the days to come! Now this angel who oversees the waters proclaims that these judgements upon the waters, turning them into blood, are just and true. Why? Because God's people have had their blood shed so their persecutors deserve to be drinking blood! The altar responds in like manner. This is likely a reference to the martyred saints who were seen under the altar earlier in the 5th seal of Rev 6:9-10. You may remember that they were asking how long it would be before their blood is avenged and so they are in full agreement with this judgement here which causes the wicked of the earth to drink and bathe in blood!

Bowl 4: God-made global warming

Rev 16:8-9 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was given power to scorch people with fire. (9) They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

Like the 4th trumpet, the 4th bowl is upon the sun. You want to talk about climate change and global warming? Well here it is and this time it is real. Forget about human-made climate change. This is God-made global warming and now Greta will really have something to be grumpy about! The power of the sun will be increased so that it burns people with intense heat. Even staying out of direct sunlight will still be unbearable with record temperatures. I'm sure you have been in a really hot environment where even out of the direct sunlight is still oppressive. This will be far worse. So what is the response of those being afflicted? Well, they cry out to God. Wonderful right? Well... not exactly, for instead of crying out to God for forgiveness they cry out to God with curses! Oh... how hard and deceived the heart must be to see everything that is happening and still not repent! 

"The wishful thinking of some that men would repent if they only knew the power and righteous judgment of God is shattered by frequent mention in this chapter of the hardness of the human heart in the face of the most stringent and evident divine discipline." 
John Walvoord

The prophet Isaiah spoke of the tribulation and you'll note the mention of the earth being burned: 

Isa 24:5-6 The earth is also polluted by its inhabitants, for they transgressed laws, violated statutes, broke the everlasting covenant. (6) Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and those who live in it are held guilty. Therefore, the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men are left.

"The sun that normally provides light, warmth, and energy will become a deadly killer. With no fresh water to drink, earth's inhabitants will face extreme heat. The scorching heat will melt the polar ice caps, which some estimate would raise the level of the world's oceans by two hundred feet, inundating many of the world's major cities and producing further catastrophic loss of life (cf. Amos 9:5-6). The resulting disruption of ocean transportation will make it difficult to distribute the dwindling resources of food and water."
John MacArthur

Bowl 5: Physical and spiritual darkness

Rev 16:10-11 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony (11) and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.

This time the bowl is poured out upon the throne of the beast but the impact touches the very reaches of his kingdom. And seeing his kingdom is worldwide, it is fair to say that the world will be thrown into darkness at this time2. And yet again we see that mankind doesn't repent but instead curses for God. This darkness takes us right to the end of the tribulation. It is a foreshadowing of the eternal fate that awaits those that hate God and also stands in direct contrast with the glory of the Lord that shall pierce the darkness at the second coming of Jesus. This darkness reminds us again of the judgment upon Egypt where it said that the darkness:

Exo 10:21  Then the LORD said to Moses, "Stretch out your hand toward the sky, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, even a darkness which may be felt."

So there will be both a natural and spiritual dimension to this darkness over the kingdom of the beast. This is also alluded to by the prophet Isaiah who speaks of this time writing:

Isa 60:1-2 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. (2) See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you.

Again we see that the darkness mentioned by Isaiah for this time is both physical and spiritual. It covers both the earth and the peoples. There is a darkness over the land and a darkness over men's hearts. But the Lord's glory and light will come! All of this brings us to the description of the events that take place leading up to the battle of Armageddon and the 2nd coming of Jesus as seen in the last two bowls. We'll concentrate on these in more detail.

The 6th Bowl - Preparation for Armageddon

Rev 16:12 The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. (13) Then I saw three evil spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. (14) They are spirits of demons performing miraculous signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty. (15) Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed. (16) Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

The 6th bowl is all in preparation for Armageddon. The Euphrates is mentioned around 30 times in the Bible starting right back in Genesis 2. Five times in scripture is is called "the great river" (Gen 15:18, Deu 1:7, Jos 1:4, Rev 8:14, Rev 16:12). Concerning the Euphrates McGee writes:

As it was prominent in the first state of man on the earth, so it is featured in his last state—that of the Great Tribulation. It was the cradle of man's civilization and obviously will be the grave of man's civilization. It was a border between East and West, eighteen hundred miles long, over half of it navigable. It was wide and deep, which made it difficult for an army to pass over it.
J Vernon McGee

The Euphrates was the eastern border of the Roman Empire and was considered to provide a natural secure protection from their enemies in the east. However we see here in Revelation 16 that in the last days it will be dried up3 to allow the kings of the east to come to Megiddo to take their part in the great battle of God Almighty. It is interesting that part of the Euphrates is already drying at this time but this will be pronounced in the days of Revelation 16. The 'kings of the east' speak of the great armies of the Orient such as China, India and Japan. They will come, along with other nations, to take their place at Armageddon.  

Now most people, even those without an understanding of the Bible, have heard the name 'Armageddon'. It's that movie staring Bruce Willis right? Or is it that science fiction expo where people dress up? Or is it just synonymous with the end of the world? Still others, with a better understanding of the Bible, see it as the final battle against Jerusalem leading up to the return of Jesus. That is close, and is part of it... but to be accurate there is no actual battle at Armageddon. It is simply the valley of Megiddo, in northern Israel, where the nations assemble before their final attack upon Jerusalem and the rest of Israel.   

The Hebrew name for Mt. Megiddo, sixty miles north of Jerusalem. The battle will rage on the nearby plains, site of Barak's victory over the Canaanites (Judg. 4), and Gideon's victory over the Midianites (Judg. 7). Napoleon called this valley the greatest battlefield he had ever seen. But the battle of Armageddon will not be limited to the Megiddo plains; it will encompass the length of Israel
John MacArthur

David Guzik writes that 'The vast Valley of Megiddo has seen tremendous battles through the centuries. Over 200 battles have been fought in the region, from 1468 B.C. (with Pharaoh Tuthmosis III) to 1917 (with Lord Allenby of the British)." The Bible also records several battles in Megiddo:

  • Deborah had victory over Sisera in the days of the Judges (Jud 5:19)
  • Gideon and his "army" of 300 had victory over the Midianites here (Judges 7)
  • The defeat and death of Saul was at the eastern extremity of the plain of Megiddo (1Sa 31:1)
  • King Josiah died on the same field against Pharaoh Neco II (2Ki 23:29)
  • Zechariah makes reference to this region when speaking of the extreme mourning that Israel will experience in the future (Zech 12:11)
Mourning for a Son and a King

This last passage is worth noting in more detail for it points to Jesus in more ways than one!

Zec 12:10-12 "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. (11) "In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. (12) "The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves;

The 'mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo' is a reference to the national mourning of Judah when their godly King Josiah, the nation's last hope, fell in battle to the Egyptian Pharaoh Neco II. So Zechariah uses two images to describe the extent of Israel's future grief. There is a personal aspect like when one loses their only son... and the national when a nation loses its godly leader and king. Jesus was, and is, both of these and there will be both intense personal and national mourning. Jesus is both their Son and their King. Israel will one day see this. What makes their grief so much worse is that their Son and King wasn't killed by a foreign enemy. No - they killed Him. He was killed by His own people. But thankfully, because death could not hold Him down, they will get to see Him again! He came as the Son the first time. He comes as King the next!

The Satanic Trinity

Now note that the Satanic trinity is at work here to deceive the nations into coming to Armageddon. It is worth noting that evil spirits are seen proceeding from the mouths of this evil trinity. Three evil spirits like frogs proceed from the mouths of the dragon (Satan), the beast (Antichrist) and the false prophet (Antichrist's lieutenant and right hand man).Their mouths will be full of lies. Their words will be full of deception. But it will come with spiritual power. Evil spiritual power, but power nonetheless. It will be accompanied by miraculous demonic signs to back up the deceptive words and will totally deceive the masses. And let's be clear what their call of all nation to Armageddon is. It is the final and full expression of antisemitism. It is Hitler's final solution. It is the world uniting under the Antichrist to finally, once and for all, wipe out the Jews. It is satanic in nature. It is the day of Jacob's trouble. But Jacob, Israel, has someone on their side who will ultimately not allow them to be annihilated - God Almighty! But don't think that this deception will only happen then for it exists today. We have seen over the last few years that it is not hard to deceive the whole world. We have seen over the past few weeks that it is not hard to stir up antisemitism in every nation. So we too must be on guard against deception.  

Spiritual Deception
Jesus spoke about deception often. He also spoke about how to avoid it. Just picking up on what He said in one part of the sermon on the Mount.

Mat 7:13-21 Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it... Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them... Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

We can note the following:

  • Don't follow the masses. The masses in this world are wrong. They are deceived. Jesus said wide is the gate that leads to destruction and many are entering through it! (Matt 7:13)
  • Look at a person's character and not just their words or appearance. Words are easily manipulated. Character is not. (Matt 7:16-18)
  • Follow the will of God and don't just lip service to the name of Christ. (Matt 7:21) The will of God concerning truth and deception is:
    • To love the truth (2 Thes 2:10-11) and show this by being a Berean, searching God's word daily to find the truth (Acts 17:11)
    • Seek God's will and listen for His voice (John 10:27-28). Commit all things unto Him and lean not on your own understanding. Not doing this got even the great Joshua into trouble with the deception of the Gibeonites! (Josh 9:2-6, 14)
    • Do not love the world (1 John 2:15-17) but realize that it is currently in the hands of the evil one (1 John 5:19) and will pass away.

So at the 6th bowl the deceiving spirits will go out into all the world to draw the leaders, along with their armies, to Armageddon. This coincides with the prophet Joel who says:

Joe 3:9-12 Proclaim this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. (10) Beat your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears; Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' " (11) Assemble and come, all you nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones to go down there, O Lord. (12) "Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to judge all the surrounding nations.

"Satan, knowing that the second coming of Christ is near, will gather all the military might of the world into the Holy Land to resist the coming of the Son of Man who will return to the Mount of Olives (Zec_14:4). Though the nations may be deceived in entering into the war in hope of gaining world political power, the satanic purpose is to combat the armies from heaven (introduced in Rev_19:1-21) at the second coming of Christ."
Bible Knowledge Commentary

Word Study: 'Almighty'
Our passage tells us that the nations will gather for the battle of 'God Almighty'. This is a prominent title for God in the book of Revelation. It is as though He is reminding both believers and the world that He is the Almighty One. The word 'Almighty' is 'pantokrátōr' - a masculine noun from 'pás' meaning 'all' and  'krátos' meaning power, strength, dominion. It is only used in scripture of God and is literally 'one who has power over everything'. In Revelation it is used 9 times4 from the first chapter where Jesus declares Himself to be God Almighty right through to the last in chapter 21 where God Almighty dwells with His people in the New Jerusalem.

Looking at all the examples, it is fair to say that God Almighty is someone you want on your side. Well, to be more accurate, you want to be on His side. But the unbelieving world doesn't think like that. It thinks it can oppose, hate and even curse God. Ultimately it thinks it can even assemble together to destroy His people and fight God Almighty. 'Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to make war against the rider on the horse and his army.' (Rev 19:19) Yes, they genuinely think they can fight the One who has power over everything. There is no greater deceived and reprobate mind than this. They will truly learn of their incredible folly the hard way... but by the time they do learn, it will be too late.   

The Seventh Bowl - It is done!

Rev 16:17 The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" (18) Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.

Just as there is a loud pronouncement at the 7th trumpet (Rev 11:15-19) so there is here: 'It is done!' It is complete and God's judgment has come to an end. This judgment is upon the air and could well be upon those that are said to be the principalities and powers of the air (Eph 2;2) - that is, Satan and his demonic forces. With the bowl poured out into the air, thunder and lightning occur5. But also the earth experiences the worst earthquake it has ever had. So if this is the close of the judgements, it is ending with a bang,  

Rev 16:19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. (20) Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. (21) From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

The great city is a term used of both Babylon and Jerusalem - the two opposing cities in scripture. One is the city of God and one the city of the Antichrist. It is likely that 'the great city' mentioned here is Babylon and the next two chapters in Revelation go into some detail concerning her downfall. As our scripture says, she will be given the cup filled with the wine of the fury of God's wrath. We will have a lot more to say about this in the next two studies. But note for now that at this last quake, 'every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.' Not only that but 100 pound (45 Kg) hailstones come flying down from the sky. Your roof is not stopping these huge chunks of ice!6 

I have said before that I believe this scene, the last of the bowls, plays out at the same time as the last of the seals and trumpets. Therefore it is interesting to see again how this scene compares with that of the last trumpet and seals.

  • The 6th seal: 'The sky receded like a scroll, rolling up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.' (Rev 6:14)
  • The 7th trumpet: 'Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.' (Rev 11:19)
  • The 7th bowl: 'Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake... From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men.' (Rev 16:18,21)

The 6th seal shows every mountain and island removed from its place just as what occurs in the 7th bowl. People then hide in the rocks in tremendous fear at the wrath of the Lamb. The 7th trumpet speaks of lightning, thunder, an earthquake and great hail. Again, all the things that we see in the 7th bowl which has 'flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, a severe earthquake... huge hailstones...' Interestingly, we also see the temple in heaven opened at the 7th trumpet, which was closed at the announcement of the bowl judgments until the wrath was finished (Rev 15:8). This again suggests they finish together and that with the final bowl the wrath of God is complete and the heavenly temple is again reopened.  

Conclusion

So we have been through quite a bit. The seven last bowls of wrath culminate in the ultimate rebellion of man and God's response with the second coming of Jesus. It will be a time of darkness where men will hide in the rocks in fear of the wrath of the Lamb. But that darkness will be pierced by the blinding light of the Lord! Pastor David Guzik does a good job summing up this chapter writing:

"We might say that Revelation 16 is a "great" chapter.
a. It describes great evil: a great city, great Babylon (Rev 16:19).
b. It describes great tools of judgment: great heat (Rev 16:9), a great river dried up (Rev 16:12), a great earthquake (Rev 16:18), great hail and great plagues (Rev 16:21).
c. It describes a great God: His great voice (loud is the same Greek word for great; verses 1; 17), and His great day of victory (Rev 16:14).
David Guzik

This is where world events are leading us - the great day of God Almighty. When you watch the news and see all those people out there protesting against Israel and literally calling for their destruction, realize that you are seeing the spirit of the Antichrist at work already. You are seeing Satan's hand upon the nations. But our great God, Jesus Christ, will be victorious. Our Commander will be the champion. Our King will be enthroned. And His people will be delivered. The nations are currently in an uproar. Their hatred for Israel and Christians manifest. 

But He who sits in the heavens laughs and will soon terrify them in His wrath. 

This is a sobering chapter. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of God. But for those that believe, those hands also uphold, strengthen and will not let go of His own.

God Bless.



FOOTNOTES

  1. When the Septuagint was written, translating the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek, the Jewish scholars used the same Greek word, 'helkos', to translate the boils that are mentioned in Exo 9:9 and Job 2:7 - so there is a connection with what has been and what is to come.

  2. "His kingdom was darkened" indicates a strange darkness which might be called black light. We are familiar with that in our day. It will be a frightening thing. As the sun's wattage is increased, it grows darker instead of lighter. The heat will be greater, but the light will be less. Note the similarity to the darkness of Egypt during the ninth plague (Exo_10:21-22). 
    J.Vernon McGee

  3. Just as a note, it will also be dried up for the sons of Israel to return to the land at the start of the Millennium:

    Isa 11:15-16 The LORD will dry up the gulf of the Egyptian sea; with a scorching wind he will sweep his hand over the Euphrates River. He will break it up into seven streams so that men can cross over in sandals. (16) There will be a highway for the remnant of his people that is left from Assyria, as there was for Israel when they came up from Egypt.

  4. God almighty examples in Revelation:

    • Right from the first chapter, Jesus declares Himself to be God Almighty (Rev 1:8)
    • We hear it spoken in heaven by the four living creatures (Rev 4:8) and the 24 elders as Jesus begins His reign on earth at the 7th Trumpet (Rev 11:16-17)
    • It is proclaimed by the saints before the throne who worship and sing the song of the Lamb (Rev 15:3) and also by the martyrs at the altar as seen in this chapter (Rev 16:14)
    • It will be proclaimed at the announcement of the marriage of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-7)
    • The world will experience the fierce wrath of God Almighty at the second coming and the treading of the winepress (Rev 16:14, 19:15)
    • Finally, the last mention is of God Almighty, the One who has power over everything, is when He dwells with His people and is the temple that fills the new Jerusalem (Rev 21:22)
  5. The thunder, lightning and earthquake have earlier been seen in Rev 8:5 in connection with the prayers of the saints. They are getting their prayers answered on this day.

  6. God has used hailstones before of course:
    • The 7th plague upon Egypt was hailstones (Ex 9:23)
    • When Joshua fought the 5 kings of the Ammorites we read:
      As they fled before Israel on the road down from Beth Horon to Azekah, the LORD hurled large hailstones down on them from the sky, and more of them died from the hailstones than were killed by the swords of the Israelites. (Jos 10:11)
    • In the God-Magog battle, hailstones will again be used to defeat Israel's enemies (Ezek 38:22)