The Revelation - A Book With 7 Seals ?
/ Ewald Frank
17. Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 1 - Introduction, The Day of the Lord, Origin and significance of the prophetic word
- Chapter 2 - The seven messages of the resurrected Lord, First message, Keep the first love
- Chapter 3 - The fifth message, The Reformation Age, Strengthening the weak in faith
- Chapter 4 - A glimpse into heaven
- Chapter 5 - The mysterious book with the seven seals
- Chapter 6 - The opening of the seals, The unveiling of the power of the antichrist, A general view
- Chapter 7 - The sealed from the Jews
- Chapter 8 - The seventh seal, The silence in heaven, Mercy seat becomes judgement seat, Introduction to the seven trumpet judgements, The first four trumpets
- Chapter 9 - The incomparable torment, The fifth trumpet the first woe
- Chapter 10 - An intermediate vision The open book, The Lord as the Angel of the covenant
- Chapter 11 - The second intermediate vision, The measuring of the temple and the ministry of the two witnesses
- Chapter 12 - The woman clothed with the sun, Christ and His Own, Satan the red dragon and his followers
- Chapter 13 - The visions of Daniel in review of and in connection with the Revelation
- Chapter 14 - The Lamb and the sealed 144,000
- Chapter 15 - The seven bowl judgements and the multitude at the crystal sea
- Chapter 16 - The seven bowls of wrath, The final judgements of Gods indignation
- Chapter 17 - The woman riding on the beast
- Chapter 18 - The destruction of the great Babylon
- Chapter 19 - The rejoicing in heaven over the destruction of Babylon, The marriage of the Lamb
- Chapter 20 - Binding of Satan, Completion of the first resurrection by the martyrs, The Millennial Kingdom
- Chapter 21 - Announcing of the new heaven and the new earth, The glory of the New Jerusalem, The terrible fate of the lost
- Chapter 22 - The river of life and the trees of life, The paradise-like condition during the Millennial Reign
- Appendix - The 70 weeks of Daniel and the current events with Israel in the light of Bible prophecy
The judgements which were announced in chapter 15 take place in chapter 16. "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God upon the earth." (v. 1). The Gospel of Jesus Christ is being preached at the end of the time of grace to all humanity for the last time. The manifested love of God, the forgiveness of all sin and guilt, the full salvation right to the fact that we are placed back in the first resurrection as sons and daughters of God - whoever rejects this offer of God must then bear with the just recompense of God.
The first bowl of wrath is poured out upon those who have the mark of the beast and upon them who worship his image. "And the first went, and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and there fell a foul and painful sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast, and upon them who worshipped his image.
And the second angel poured out his bowl upon the sea, and it became like the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea.
And the third angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became blood.
And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, who art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements.
And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, who hath power over these plagues; and they repented not to give him glory.
And the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds." (vv. 2-11).
During the first five bowls of wrath terrible things happen on earth. The picture turns: then Satan does not persecute and torment the believers, but rather judgement angels pour out the indignation upon those who served Satan and were at his disposal. As the description reveals, all those who worshipped this religious system and its image will suffer. These plagues are so incomprehensible that no commentary can be given in reference to them. Now, while the time of grace lasts one would like to cry out with tongues of men and angels. "Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near." (Isa. 55: 6).
When that time comes, it will be too late for ever and, as the text indicates, a conversion to the Lord would be impossible. The time of grace will be over, no more redemption or salvation. Desperation and hopelessness will come upon humanity. Everyone will then be in the place and state he chose. The decision is to be made right now by each individual where one wishes to be.
And the sixth angel poured out his bowl upon the great river, Euphrates, and its water was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
And I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
For they are the spirits of demons, working miracles, that go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." (vv. 12-16).
The key-word in this text is "battle". Here we are not dealing with a battle between nations, but rather with the last great battle before the Millennial Reign commences. The description is very plain: those from the East set themselves in motion and come alongside the river Euphrates - this shows the geographical direction they are coming from. Other Scripture passages point out clearly that these armies will join with those who come from the countries north of Israel.
"And say, Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal,
And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses, and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords:
Persia, Cush, and Put with them; all of them with shield and helmet;
Gomer, and all its hordes; the house of Togarmah of the north quarters, and all its hordes; and many peoples with thee.
In that day when my people of Israel dwell safely, shalt thou not know it?
And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts, thou, and many peoples with thee, all of them riding upon horses, a great company, and a mighty army;
And thou shalt come up against my people of Israel, like a cloud to cover the land; it shall be in the latter days " (Ezek. 38: 3-16).
"And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel.
And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy hordes, and the peoples that are with thee; I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured." (Ezek. 39: 2-4).
"Like the morning spread upon the mountains; a great people and a strong; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the year of many generations." (Joel 2: 2b). The "holy war" the Islamic world speaks about will then take place.
"Proclaim this among the nations, Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up
Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations about." (Joel 3: 9+12).
"I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones of mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
The noise of a multitude in the mountains, as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together. The Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.
They come from a far country from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land." (Isa. 13: 3-5).
" For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." (Isa. 34: 8).
The satanic trinity spoken of in Rev. 16: 13 will then execute power and influence upon all the earth. Satan is the prince of this world. He then will make the last effort to bring destruction upon the earth. He will gather all the military he can and come against Israel (Zech. 14: 2). Satan, the dragon, will then execute total power in the political and religious realm. He will try to pull all of humanity to him into the greatest catastrophe.
From this satanic trinity - dragon/Satan, beast/political head, false prophet/religious head - the three demon spirits come forth, perform lying signs and wonders to impress and to deceive and make their way to the kings on the earth. At that time all political heads of state and whoever is in responsible position will come under the direct influence of Satan. There will be no exceptions. Regardless of the attitude the inhabitants of those countries may have towards Israel, the governments will have to act unanimously, as they are part of the UN.
In chapter 16, verses 17-21, we find the description about the judgement which will come upon Babylon, the Great. Also here the ancient city of Babylon is not meant, which interpreted means "confusion", but the symbolical city Babylon which now exists. She is described in detail in the various chapters of Revelation.
"And the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell; and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague was exceedingly great."
The over-all description shows that at time there will not only be the great military showdown but also land and sea will be involved. The islands and the mountains will move from their places. A mighty earthquake as was not known since the world began will shake the cities of the world, especially the great city Babylon. From all directions, and on all levels the judgements and the purifying process will take their course. Nobody should wish to be around on earth at that time, but rather all should believe God's Word, take heed and pray to become worthy to escape all the things which will come upon the face of the earth, and to stand before the Son of man.
"Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." (Lk. 21: 36).