Saturday, June 13, 2015


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.”  (Revelation 16:1)

Numbers in Revelation are significant.  You find seven to be prominent—the number of completion.  Following the rapture of the church, a scroll is presented to the Lamb of God who opens seven seals.  Under each seal there is a judgment.  Beneath the seventh seal, there are seven trumpets, and as each trumpet is sounded another judgment falls on a Christ-rejecting world.  The seventh trumpet blast signals the time for seven bowls, filled with the wrath of God to be outpoured, which will be the final plagues upon the populace—seven bowls for seven judgments (Rev.16).

The scene in heaven is solemn, as seven angels are summoned to come and pour out the contents of their bowl.  While it may not be politically correct to speak of God’s wrath, it is theologically correct—and Scripture, rather than popular sensibilities must govern our vocabulary and concepts.  Our world scoffs at this, but one day God says, “Enough!”

  • Those who have refused salvation in Christ and instead have pledged allegiance to the Antichrist will suffer from boils from the first of the bowls (v.2).  Imagine the world filled with people writhing in pain from these boils.  The smell of the puss-filled populace will be horrible.
  • If we think an oil spill to be an ecological disaster, then what will it be when the oceans become blood (v.3).  The dead creatures of the deep will wash up on crimson-clotted sands, their rotting stench pervading the atmosphere. 
  • The fourth angel empties his bowl and the fresh water becomes blood (v.4-7).  Imagine going to a spigot, running a glass of water, and gagging on the taste of blood!  Sinners have been bloodthirsty.  God will give them all they want.
  • The sun will scorch the earth (v.8-9).  A previous judgment had obscured the sun, and now the opposite occurs.  People suffering from boils, now are seared by the sun, and they can find no relief to cool their brow or tongue for the water is blood.
  • Suddenly, Babylon experiences a blackout (v.10-11).  When we reject the Light, only darkness remains.  These plagues are reminiscent of those found in Exodus.
  • The sixth angel’s bowl dries up the Euphrates River allowing a millions of soldiers from the Orient to invade (v.12-16).  The campaign of Armageddon is commencing.  The horrors of war ravage the globe.
  • The final bowl is poured out and Babylon—the capital of the Antichrist—the economic and ecclesiastical center of the world is judged (v.17-21).  This judgment is described in detail in the next two chapters of Revelation.
Surely then, people will admit their sin and beg for mercy.  No!  They will curse God (v.9,11,21)!  They refuse to repent—fully reprobate—a rebel heart and a reviling tongue.  If a man or woman in this day of grace can look at the cross and God’s offer of forgiveness and brush it aside, then there only remains judgment for such.

Here is the question we must consider, if we would avoid these plagues:

When the Bridegroom cometh will your robes be white?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Will your soul be ready for the mansions bright,
And be washed in the blood of the Lamb?  (Elisha A. Hoffman)


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