SUMMARY OF THE CHAPTER:
We continue looking at God’s wrath that will fall at His second coming by looking at the final stages of His wrath. The last part of His wrath is called the seventh trumpet. The contents of this trumpet will be shown to us in seven symbols. These symbols are vials (bowls) of wrath that are poured out upon the lost.
In chapter 16, we will see the contents of trumpet 7, in other words bowls 1-7, being poured out upon Satan’s kingdoms…
I. Revelation 16:1-21
A. Command To Pour Out Vials (16:1)
B. Vial One (16:2)
C. Vial Two (16:3)
D. Vial Three (16:4-7)
E. Vial Four (16:8-9)
F. Vial Five (16:10-11)
G. Vial Six (16:12-16)
H. Vial Seven (16:17-21)
SUMMARY OF EACH DIVISION OF CHAPTER:
- Revelation 16:1 – Command To Pour Out Vials
John hears God’s voice coming from the temple… “Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth”.
This was the command for His wrath to begin, teaching us that the wrath that falls at the second coming proceeds from God and is under His absolute control.
- Revelation 16:2 – Vial 1 Poured Out
This judgment caused sores to break out upon lost mankind. Sores symbolize direct punishment from God resulting in a state of great need.
This symbolizes that the wrath of God that falls at the second coming of Christ is being sent as a direct punishment for the sins. This also reminds us of lost mankind’s great need of Christ and the public disgrace for sin that they will face.
- Revelation 16:3 – Vial 2 Poured Out
The second vial results in the sea being changed to the blood of a corpse. This sinful earthly sea pictures the false philosophies, worldly wisdom and false scientific theories that are put forth by the powers of darkness in this world.
Although the world promises these as beneficial and truthful for all mankind, in actuality, they are sinful messages that only bring harm and suffering to man.
These will be clearly shown as false and harmful as those who originate and proclaim these messages feel the wrath of God fall upon them.
- Revelation 16:4-7 – Vial 3 Poured Out
This vial is poured out upon the fresh water sources, corrupting them and changing them to blood. The fresh water sources based on the fallen world are speaking of the false gospels found in Satan’s kingdom. When men follow these false teachings, they will only lead these men to their eternal spiritual death.
This death and destruction that comes upon those who are followers of Satan’s religious kingdom is brought upon them as a part of God’s judgment against their sin. The Lord receives praise from this judgment and the saved men who were abused and martyred for the true gospel message as their voices begin praising God for avenging their abuse at the hands of those who opposed their teachings of the truth.
- Revelation 16:8-9 – Vial 4 Poured Out
This vial is poured out upon the sun, causing lost mankind to be burned. The sun throughout the Bible was an object of false worship.
This is a picture of God’s judgment falling upon those who worship idols and those who propagate that false worship.
At the conclusion of this wrath, we see mankind refusing to repent of their wickedness, but simply hardening their hearts and continuing to stubbornly rebel against Him.
- Revelation 16:10-11 – Vial 5 Poured Out
This vial is poured out on the seat of the beast causing darkness and great pain to fall upon the members of Satan’s kingdoms. The pain of this judgment is so great they are seen chewing their tongues due to their suffering.
This helps us to understand that, as these vials continue to progress they will bring about the final, total, physical destruction of Satan’s political and religious kingdoms. His wrath will be brought to a completion during the Battle of Armageddon which will be covered in Vial 7. Both the darkness and pain reflect this utter defeat. The darkness represents the total desolation that follows this destruction, while the intense pain describes the painful process of being punished to death.
- Revelation 16:12-16 – Vial 6 Poured Out
In this vial we first see the Euphrates River dried up making a way for the “Kings of the East” to come. The Euphrates is a picture of the holding place for wicked powers and the fertile beginning point of God’s judgments of God.
The Euphrates is like a plowed field (the field that holds all the wicked powers of the world) awaiting seed (God’s judgments) to be sown. This symbolizes the wrath of God falling upon the wicked powers of this world. This then prepares the way for Christ and His people (who will rule and reign with Him) proceeding back to gain victory at Armageddon and then enter a purified earth to live eternally.
Also we see frog spirits coming out from Satan and his political and religious kingdoms. These represent the false message of the kingdoms of Satan that will mislead men into going to war against the Lord Almighty to fight in the Battle of Armageddon.
In the midst of this vial, we find a parenthetical insertion by Christ reminding us that He is coming as a thief and the need for His people to remain vigilant and faithful. The lost, on the other hand, will be brought to disgrace at His coming.
- Revelation 16:17-21 – Vial 7 Poured Out
Vial 7 presents a summary account of the Battle of Armageddon, the final stage of God’s wrath upon Satan, his kingdoms of the world, and lost mankind in general.
In verse 17, we find the command for the Battle to begin and then a declaration that this battle will mark the end of God’s wrath falling upon the lost. Next, we see a great display of God’s greatness (his strength, authority and faithfulness) presented in the “noises, thunderings, and lightnings” .
An earthquake is felt, resulting in the city of Babylon being divided into three parts. The three parts symbolize “manifestation”, or “a clear display”. This symbolizes for us that the great power and wrath of God will be clearly displayed as the kingdoms of the world come to utter destruction. Babylon, the seat of rebellion, pride and humanism, will totally fall along with all the other cities in the world. Also the isolated places (islands) and the strong immoveable places (mountains) of this fallen world will offer no refuge for the lost. They too will utterly fall. No one will escape this last stage of God’s wrath, nor will they find any place of comfort or refuge.
Babylon was forced to take her “medicine”, the cup of wrath and now she has fallen.
Finally, the completion of this wrath is symbolized by great hail stones (114 pounds in weight). Falling upon the lost bringing them to total destruction. This symbolizes the complete and devastating wrath that will fall upon the lost at Armageddon.
WHAT’S COMING NEXT IN THIS SERIES?:
In this chapter, we have seen this last portion of God’s wrath reveled in great detail. This portion of God’s wrath brings an end to the judgment of the lost on earth and brings physical destruction upon Satan and his kingdoms (political and religious) and those who partake of their sins.
Beginning in chapter 17: and concluding in chapter 18: we will be seeing a recounting of the fall of Babylon in great detail…
- Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
- Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
- Scarlet Beast (Satan’s Political Kingdom) 1-3
- Woman (Satan’s Religious Kingdom) 4-6
- The Mystery Of The Woman and The Beast Revealed – 7-18
- Judgment of Babylon 17:1-18
- The Results of Babylon’s Judgment 18:1-24
- Victory Announcement 1-3
- Invitation for God’s People To Separate Themselves 4-20
- Millstone Cast Upon Sea… the Final Destruction Of Babylon 21-24
May the Lord bless us as we seek to see Jesus in the pages of the book of Revelation.
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