THE SEVEN BOWLS
So far in our journey through the Revelation we have seen the Seven Seals, and the Seven Trumpets. Now we come to the last third of the judgments, the Seven Bowls that will be poured out upon the earth in Revelation 16.
In the last half of the Tribulation known as the Great Tribulation, the Seven Bowls will be poured out upon all the inhabitants of earth that do not have the Seal of God on them, that means all those with the Mark of the Beast. Almost everyone on earth will have made their decision by now as to which group they joined, those with the Mark of the Beast or those with the Seal of our God. Of course, there would be great pressure exerted upon everyone to take the Mark of the Beast. As always to receive what God has to offer all you have to do is ask. Our Lord God does not pressure or coerce; He just stands at the door and knocks. (Matthew 7:7-8, Revelation 3:20)
The events we will see in the pouring out of the Seven Bowls do not proceed from either man’s actions or Satan’s machinations. However, they are a result of both. If you go back to the Book of Exodus you will see, in the Bowl Judgments, distinct similarities to God’s Judgments of Egypt before the Exodus. And the severity of the Seven Bowl Judgments is strong proof of how God feels about those who persistently and willfully reject Him.
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.”
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. (Revelation 16:1-2)
The First of the Seven Bowls (Revelation 16:2) will result in ugly and painful sores on all the people who have the Mark of the Beast. There is no hesitation in pouring out the Bowl, and the symptoms appear immediately. The sores are festering, painful and incurable. But, the sores do not affect the Followers of God, those who are Sealed.
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. Revelation 16:3
When the Second Bowl is emptied, all the salt water in the seas of the world turn to blood. We saw something like this with the Second Trumpet, (Revelation 8:8-9) but then only one-third of the water turned to blood. Imagine the smell as the blood begins to thicken and all the sea creatures die and decay.
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.” And I heard the altar respond:
“Yes, Lord God Almighty,
true and just are your judgments.” (Revelation 16:4-7)
With the Third Bowl all the fresh water on earth turns to blood. Again, we saw something like this with the Third Trumpet, (Revelation 8:10-11) and again with the Third Trumpet only one-third of the fresh water was affected. All the creatures depending on the rivers and creeks for life begin to die. And now there is no water to help treat the sores from the First Bowl. With the Third Trumpet, “many people die,” what do you think would happen now, with no water of any kind to drink, help the sick, or even put out fires?
If you’ll recall Revelation 7; four angels hold back the winds from the four corners of the earth. Without wind, there is no weather. Without weather there is no rain, no rain to replenish the streams and rivers. No water to drink!
Also, unlike the Seven Seals and Seven Trumpets, the Seven Bowls are poured out in rapid secession. The come one after the other and they are cumulative, all the effects add up.
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. (Revelation 16:8-9)
With the Fourth Bowl all of those with the Mark of the Beast are scorched by the sun. Those with the Seal of God are not affected. Malachi 4:1 tells of the scorching of the wicked and Psalm 121:5-8 tells of the protection enjoyed by God’s people. And remember, no wind or rain for relief from burns or heat.
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. (Revelation 16:10-11)
With the Fifth Bowl the entire earth, the “Beast’s Kingdom,” is plunged into darkness. So far we’ve seen painful sores, dead oceans, no drinking water, or water for medical use, the sun burning everyone in sight, and now complete darkness. Imagine the fear that is running through everyone’s mind. Remember, in the Seven Seals the first rider removed all Peace from the earth. They can’t even see to console each other.
The first Five Bowls are God’s final call to repentance for the world. He has decided enough is enough!
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. (Revelation 16:12-14)
Now comes Bowl Six and the Euphrates River is dried up. Since the beginning of time on earth the Euphrates River has been an important part of history. Many battles, including some fought by the U.S., have centered around the Euphrates, or the Great River as it is called in the Bible. We have received some pretty good geography lessons from our involvement in the Gulf Wars. And the Euphrates River has been central to many of them.
The Euphrates River is one of the rivers that watered the Garden of Eden. It is also the Northeastern border of the land God gave to Abraham and Israel. God gave them the land from the Nile River, along the Mediterranean Sea, and north-eastward to the Euphrates. They have not yet occupied all that land… not yet. This event also leads to an invasion of evil spirits unleashed by the Antichrist, and the final battle at the valley of Armageddon.
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!” (Revelation 16:17)
When the Seventh Bowl was poured out on the earth, “out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” This Greek word for “It is done” has been heard before. The Greek word is Tetelestai. When we heard it before in John 19:30 Jesus said it while hanging on the cross. He was saying that His work of Salvation of the earth was done. All mankind had to do now was to accept it and be saved. Here for some reason, it is translated “it is done” instead of “it is finished.” This time its meaning is the wrath of God has been poured out on the earth and all those who received the Mark of the Beast. Now that work was done. All that was left to do was round up all the evil doers and send them to their reward. Through this series we have seen a lot of awful events that will happen in the future of the earth. Maybe those who reject God’s free offer of Salvation being sent to their “reward” is the worst of all.
Bostwick UMC 10/24/21
Events concerning the area of the Euphrates River.
o The Garden of Eden was in this area
o The first sin occurred in this area – Adam and Eve
o The first murder was committed in this area – Cain killed Abel
o The first war was fought here
o Noah built his ark in this area
o The Tower of Babel was in this area
o The Israelites were in captivity in Babylon for 400 years in this area
o Babylon was the fountainhead of idolatry and has long been a center and source for ungodly worship
o Sodom and Gomorrah were in this area
o The final wars will be fought in this area, including Armageddon
o Satan launched his first assault here and he will launch his last gasp attempts from here