God’s Plan For The Ages 40 – Revelation 16 – The 7 Bowl Judgments

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America’s Role In The Last Days

It is important to know the identity of the people who will undergo the judgments of God, which will be poured out on “all of those” that are living throughout the whole world. These people, which were “left behind” from the rapture of the church, will not have been born again at the time of the catching up of the saints (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). They will be present during the time of the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel” (the time when the tribulation occurs) and will endure the judgments of God and will suffer from the oppressiveness of the anti-Christ” (Seventieth Week of Daniel – Daniel 9:27).

The events of this passage take place when the Great Tribulation is taking place, with the Judgments of God being poured out on the earth, during which time the anti-christ is persecuting those left-behind people who have come to know Christ as Lord and Savior; their identity is “earth dwellers,” and “those who dwell on the earth,” (identifying scriptures are listed below in the comments section).

Notice in Rev 14:6 that the angel is proclaiming the gospel of Christ to “those who dwell on the earth.” Let’s consider the belief of many people who the church will not be raptured from the earth, but will remain on earth during the tribulation. But, here is the problem with such a teaching. If those people who have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, and have been born again, and find themselves on earth during the tribulation, but still must have the Gospel preached to them during the tribulation, they are having to accept Christ a second time. None of this scenario makes any sense. Those who will have already accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, prior to the rapture of the church, will have no reason to have the gospel preached to them again. Here is the truth of the matter. Believers in Christ, who have believed the gospel, prior to the rapture, will be taken from the earth, and will not be present during the tribulation. Those people, who have not accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, will stay behind on earth when the rapture of the church takes place. Those unbelievers will undergo the judgments of God and the oppression of the anti-Christ. God’s mercy will cause the angel to “proclaim the Gospel to those who dwell on the earth,” those of “every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev 14:6), which are those who are left behind.

The words, “dead in Christ,” (1 Thes 4:16) are key. “Dead in Christ” represents those believers in Christ who died, prior to the catching up/rapture of the saints (believers in Christ). The “dead in Christ,” will be caught up immediately before “we who are alive and remain,” (living believers in Christ) (1 Thes 4:17) who will also be caught up to be with Christ, “and shall always be with the Lord,” (1 Thes 4:17). In Rev 14:13, we see the words, “blessed are those who die in the Lord from now on.” Such a statement refers to the ones who were “left behind,” those who had not accepted Christ as Savior, and had not been born again, prior to the rapture of the church, but who had come to accept His gospel while undergoing the Judgments of God and the torture and oppression of the anti-christ, during the Seventieth Week Of Daniel.

The events of this passage of scripture will take place during the “Seventieth Week Of Daniel.” We have discussed that subject, and will go back to it later, for greater understanding.

It is important for everyone to understand that anyone who has not been born again, anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling within their spirit, anyone who does not know Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be among those people who are known as “earth dwellers,” and will be subject to the effects of the bowl judgments. There is no purpose for those of us who have been born again to endure the Judgments of God. Christ is the “bridegroom of all bridegrooms.” No bridegroom, such as Christ, will put His bride (the church/the born again believers in Christ) in the midst of such judgments of God. If there is no rapture of the church, consider the fact that every child will also be the subjects of the judgments.

What Is The Second Coming?

Matthew 24:29-30 New King James Version (NKJV) (Second Coming Of Christ)

The Coming of the Son of Man (After the tribulation) Corresponds with Zechariah 14:1-1-14 (Second Coming Of Christ); Revelation 19:11-20:4 (Second Coming Of Christ); Judgment of the Gentiles/Unbelievers of the Nations: Rev 20:11-15; Matthew 25:31-34; 25:41.46.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Text

The Bowl Judgments

(Notice in verse 1 that the angels are dispatched by God to pour out the bowl judgments; Walvoord Commentary on Revelation) (Notice that the Bowl judgments are the most severe of the judgments of God, following the Seal and Trumpet judgments. The order of the Seal, Trumpet and Bowl judgments are clearly laid for us to understand. Notice in verse 16, the preparation for “Armageddon.” Many people are concerned that they will be present during the Battle of Armageddon. The truth of scripture is that only “earth dwellers” will be present during the Battle of Armageddon. A question may be raised about the USA, e.g., “will the USA be present during the Battle of Armageddon?” Again, the truth of scripture is that those of the USA, who are found not to be believers in Christ, will be among the earth dwellers. All earth dwellers will be present during all of the judgments of God (Seal, Trumpet, Bowl). The church (born-again body of believers in Christ) is not mentioned in the Book of Revelation, from 4:1 until 19:7, where the marriage of the Lamb takes place, and the raptured saints of Christ begin their ascent from Heaven back to earth, with Christ, where He conquers the forces of Satan at the Battle of Armageddon, 14:11-21, in a spiritual battle victory, 14:15. Until this event, those who had been born again, prior to the time of rapture of the church, are taken from earth to heaven in the rapture, where they receive spiritual gifts (2 Corinthians 5:10), and are united with Christ in the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7) (Mine).

Revelation 16 New King James Version (NKJV)

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.”

First Bowl: Loathsome Sores The Bowl Judgments

2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

Second Bowl: The Sea Turns to Blood

3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.

Third Bowl: The Waters Turn to Blood

4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying:

“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due.”
7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”

Fourth Bowl: Men Are Scorched

8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

Fifth Bowl: Darkness and Pain

10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

15 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

Seventh Bowl: The Earth Utterly Shaken

17 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

Revelation 16 Comments. (MacArthur Study Bible notes) Everybody should own a MacArthur Study Bible.

16:2 first…bowl…a foul and loathsome sore. The Septuagint (LXX) uses the same Gr. word to describe the boils that plagued the Egyptians (Ex. 9:9–11) and afflicted Job (Job 2:7). In the NT, it describes the open sores that covered the beggar Lazarus (Luke 16:21). All over the world, people will be afflicted with incurable, open, oozing sores. mark of the beast. Only the worshipers of Antichrist will be afflicted (see note on 13:16; cf. 14:9–11).

16:3 second…bowl…every living creature in the sea died. This is reminiscent of the second trumpet (8:8, 9), and of the first plague against Egypt (Ex. 7:20–25). This plague, however, will be far more widespread. The water in the world’s oceans will become thick, dark, and coagulated, like the blood of a corpse. The death and decay of billions of sea creatures will only add to the misery of this judgment.

16:4 third…bowl…rivers and springs of water. Fresh water, already in short supply because of the prolonged drought (11:6), will now suffer the fate of the oceans (cf. Ex. 7:19ff.). In addition to suffering from thirst, the worshipers of Antichrist will have no clean water with which to wash their sores.

16:5 who is and who was and who is to be. This phrase expresses God’s eternality (cf. 1:4, 8; 4:8; 11:17). Verse 6 says that the eternal God will judge justly because they have killed the believers and preachers of the gospel (6:9–11; 7:9–17; 11:18; 17:6; 18:20). This slaughter will have no parallel in history (Matt. 24:21) and neither will the vengeance of God (cf. Rom. 12:19–21).

16:6 given them blood to drink. The thick, blood-like substance which the fresh waters have become is all that is available to drink (cf. v. 4). For it is their just due. The angel exonerates God from any charge that His judgments are too harsh. The unspeakably wicked generation then alive will shed more blood than any before it, including that of saints (6:9; 17:6) and prophets (11:7–10). God’s judgment is fair and proper (cf. Ex. 21:25–27; Lev. 24:19, 20; Heb. 10:26–31).

16:7 altar. The personified altar echoes the words of the angel, reinforcing the truth that God is just in all judgment (19:1, 2; cf. Gen. 18:25; Ps. 51:4; Rom. 3:4).

16:8 fourth…bowl…scorch…with fire. 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 200 ft., 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.

16:9 they did not repent. Incredibly, sinners will still refuse to repent (cf. vv. 11, 21), and instead blaspheme God—the One they know has caused their afflictions.

16:10 throne of the beast. This refers to either Antichrist’s actual throne, or his capital city, but extends to all his dominion. Regardless of where the darkness begins, it eventually covers Antichrist’s entire kingdom. full of darkness. Worldwide darkness is elsewhere associated with the judgment of God (cf. Is. 60:2; Joel 2:2; Mark 13:24, 25). gnawed their tongues. A futile attempt to alleviate the pain from their sores, the drought, and the fierce heat.

16:11 blasphemed the God of heaven. A sign of their continued loyalty to Antichrist and their anger at God for the cumulative miseries brought about by the first 5 bowls. “God of heaven,” a frequent OT title for God, appears in the NT only here and in 11:13. their sores. The lingering effects of the first bowl are the chief cause of their blasphemy.

16:12 Euphrates. Called “the great river” 5 times in Scripture (cf. 9:14; Gen. 15:18; Deut. 1:7; Josh. 1:4), it flows some 1,800 mi. from its source on the slopes of Mt. Ararat to the Persian Gulf (see note on 9:14). It forms the eastern boundary of the land God promised to Israel (Gen. 15:18; Deut. 1:7; 11:24; Josh. 1:4). With its flow already reduced by the prolonged drought and intensified heat, God supernaturally will dry it up to make way for the eastern confederacy to reach Palestine (Is. 11:15). the kings from the east. God providentially draws these kings and their armies in order to destroy them in the battle of Armageddon (v. 14). Their reason for coming may be to rebel against Antichrist, whose failure to alleviate the world’s suffering will no doubt erode his popularity. Or, this may be a final act of rabid anti-Semitism intent on destroying Israel, perhaps in retaliation for the plagues sent by her God. Since the sun may have melted the ice caps on Ararat, flooding the valley of the Euphrates as the river overflows its banks and bridges, the land will be swamped. God will have to dry it up miraculously for the eastern army to get to Armageddon.

16:13 three unclean spirits. A common NT designation for demons (cf. Matt. 12:43; Mark 1:23; Luke 8:29). These are especially vile, powerful, and deceitful (v. 14). like frogs. This figure further emphasizes their vileness. Frogs were unclean animals according to OT dietary laws (Lev. 11:10, 11, 41). Persian mythology viewed them as plague-inducing creatures. The demons are thus described as slimy, cold-blooded, loathsome beings. the dragon…the beast…the false prophet. The “unholy trinity,” composed of Satan (the dragon; see note on 12:3), the Antichrist (the beast; see note on 11:7), and Antichrist’s associate (the false prophet; see note on 13:11), spew out this plague.

16:14 signs. These are supernatural wonders (cf. 13:12–15) designed to deceive (cf. 19:20; 1 Kin. 22:20–23; Mark 13:22) the kings into invading Palestine. Their impact will be so great that the unclean spirits are able to induce the kings to make the journey to Palestine in spite of their sores, the intense heat, drought, and darkness. kings of the earth. No longer just the eastern confederacy, but now all the world begins to gather in Palestine for the final, climactic battle (Ps. 2:2, 3; Joel 3:2–4; Zech. 14:1–3). the battle of that great day of God Almighty. The Battle of Armageddon (v. 16). It is the great war with God and Christ (see notes on 2 Thess. 1:7–10; cf. Joel 2:11; 3:2, 4). The war will end when Christ arrives (19:17–20).

16:15 Blessed. See note on 1:3. watches, and keeps his garments. Our Lord stresses the need for constant readiness for His return (cf. 1 John 2:28). The imagery pictures a soldier ready for battle, or a homeowner watchful for the arrival of a thief (see also 3:3; 1 Thess. 5:2, 4; 2 Pet. 3:10).

16:16 Armageddon. The Heb. name for Mt. Megiddo, 60 mi. N 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 Palestine (see note on 14:20).

16:17 seventh…bowl…“It is done!” This bowl will complete God’s wrath (except for final judgment on the rebellion at the end of the Millennium; 20:7–10) and immediately precedes the second coming of Christ. It will usher in the worst calamity in the history of the world. The voice from the temple in heaven is undoubtedly that of God Himself. “It is done!” is best translated, “It has been and will remain done” (cf. John 19:30). God will punctuate the completion of His wrath with a devastating earthquake—the most powerful in earth’s history (cf. vv. 19–21).

16:19 the great city. Cf. 11:13; 21:10; see notes on Zech 14:1–8. Jerusalem will be split into 3 parts (Zech. 14:4), not as a judgment (cf. 11:13), but as an improvement. The additional water supply (Zech. 14:8) and topographical changes (Zech. 14:4, 5) will prepare the city for its central place in the millennial kingdom. Jerusalem is the only city to be spared the judgment (cf. 1 Chr. 23:25; Ps. 125:1, 2; Mic. 4:7) and will be made more beautiful (Ps. 48:2), because of her repentance (see 11:13). cities of the nations. God’s purpose is very different for the rest of the world’s cities—they are to be destroyed. Babylon. The capital of the Antichrist’s empire will receive a special outpouring of God’s wrath as prophesied in Is. 13:6–13. Chapters 17, 18 give details of its destruction.

16:20 every island fled…mountains…not found. This powerful earthquake will radically alter all the earth’s topography, preparing it for the coming millennial kingdom. Cf. 6:12–14; Is. 40:4, 5; Jer. 4:23–27.

16:21 a talent. The heaviest weight a normal man could carry (about 75 lbs.). The huge size of the hailstones indicates unparalleled atmospheric convulsions. Such massive chunks of ice will cause unimaginable devastation and death.

Comments: Earth Dwellers (Mine)

Consider the horrible things that will happen during the time of the judgments. It is important to remember that those who will suffer from those judgments are the ones which Revelation calls “earth dwellers.” Such people are those who had never accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior; they were left behind when the rapture took place. Instead, they chose the things of this world over the things of heaven. Consider the verses that discuss those who are “earth dwellers,” also known as “those who dwell on the earth.” Notice that “all who live on the earth” will be subject to the judgments of God. Notice, also, that even in the face of the judgments of God, the “earth dwellers” will not change their attitudes toward Christ.

Revelation 3:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

10 Because you have kept My command to endure, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is going to come over the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

Revelation 6:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

10 They cried out with a loud voice: “Lord, the One who is holy and true, how long until You judge and avenge our blood from those who live on the earth?”

Revelation 8:13 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

13 I looked again and heard an eagle flying high overhead, crying out in a loud voice, “Woe!Woe! Woe to those who live on the earth, because of the remaining trumpet blasts that the three angels are about to sound!”

Revelation 11:10 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

10 Those who live on the earth will gloat over them and celebrate and send gifts to one another because these two prophets brought judgment to those who live on the earth.

Revelation 13:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

8 All those who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.

Revelation 13:14 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

14 He deceives those who live on the earth because of the signs that he is permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, telling those who live on the earth to make an image of the beast who had the sword wound and yet lived.

Revelation 17:8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to come up from the abyss and go to destruction. Those who live on the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast that was, and is not, and will be present again.

Non-Earth Dwellers

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Comfort of Christ’s Coming

13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Titus 2:13 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,

For those of us who have been born again, we have the comfort of Paul’s words to Titus. We are looking for the appearing of Christ to take us to Heaven with Him so that we will not be subject to the effects of the judgments that will be poured out upon those who “dwell on the earth.”

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Biographies

Signs of the Last Days – Dr. Jimmy DeYoung
Bio – http://jimmydeyoung.com/aboutdrd.shtml

Dr. Renald Showers

Renald E. Showers is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished theologians in America. A graduate of Philadelphia College of Bible (now Cairn University), he also holds a BA degree in history from Wheaton College, a ThM in church history from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Showers spent many years as a university professor and served on the faculties of Lancaster School of the Bible, Moody Bible Institute, and Philadelphia College of Bible, as well as being a visiting lecturer and conference speaker around the world. For 27 years until his retirement in 2016, he served as a Bible teacher, author, and speaker for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc., and a contributing editor for Israel My Glory magazine.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/search.asp?SpeakerOnly=true&currSection=sermonsspeaker&Keyword=Dr.%5ERenald%5EShowers
Dr. Renald Showers is an author and Bible teacher for The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. He is the author of numerous books, including What on Earth is God Doing?, There Really Is a Difference, and Maranatha: Our Lord Come. Dr. Showers has served in the pastorate, and as a member of the faculties of Lancaster Bible College, Moody Bible Institute and Philadelphia College of the Bible, and as a visiting lecturer at Word of Life Bible Institute, Calvary Bible College and Baptist Bible Theological Seminary. He is a graduate of Wheaton College, Dallas Theological Seminary and Grace Theological Seminary. Dr. Showers and his wife Eleanor reside in Willow Street, Penn

MacArthur Study Bible Notes
Bio – Dr. John MacArthur – https://www.gracechurch.org/Leader/MacArthur/John?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

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