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 Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 68 ) (Verses 1 - 4)

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Statesman63
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PostSubject: Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 68 ) (Verses 1 - 4)   Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:16 pm

Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 68 ) (Verses 1 - 4)


Revelation 16:1 begins, “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.” This will not be a localized event because the voice says to pour out the wrath on the whole Earth. We know whose voice this is that is coming from the temple because in our last study we saw that God cleared out the temple so that it was only Him left inside. Regarding the “loud voice,” verse 17, which we will get to later, is a similar verse, as it says, “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!’” We are told in verse 17 that this voice not only comes from within the temple, but also from the throne, thus confirming that the loud voice is the voice of God. Similarly, we will see in verse 7 that the altar speaks. The altar is located inside God’s temple, and we know that only God is inside His temple at this time, therefore, the altar represents God speaking. One day we will actually hear the voice of God. God doesn’t always speak in a loud voice. He spoke to Elijah in a whisper (cf. 1 Kings 19:12). Here in Revelation, God is angry, and He will lash out with a loud resounding voice. These bowls are called the “bowls of God’s wrath.” Wrath means that God is angry. He does not willingly bring affliction to mankind (cf. Lamentations 3:33), that is: He doesn’t want to unleash His wrath, but His justice and holiness demands that He does so. And please recall that in Revelation 8:1, God’s anger was perceived through His silence. That verse reads, “When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour.” I can recall when my Earthly father would get really angry in my younger days, that the entire household would be silent, because no one wanted to accidentally say anything that would trigger him further. Again, we saw in our last study that God was so angry that He cleared out His Heavenly temple so that He would be all alone there.

God commands all 7 angels to pour out their bowls. Each bowl contains a different judgment. The first 4 bowl judgments parallel with the first 4 Trumpet judgements of Revelation 8. The first angel in chapter 16 pours out his bowl onto the land, the second pours his out onto the sea, the third, onto the rivers and springs of water, and the fourth pours his out onto the sun. In Revelation 8:7-12, we see that the first angel sounds his trumpet and it affects the Earth (or the land); the second affects the sea; the third uses a meteor from heaven to affect the rivers and springs of water; and the fourth affects the sun, moon and the stars.

Verse 2 says, “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 worshipped his image.” Most people on Earth at this time have accepted the mark of the beast, but it appears that not all have according to this verse. Perhaps the few who didn’t just didn’t want to follow the conventions of the day; maybe they wanted to rebel against the new world order: the wicked leaders of the land. Even though these few rejected the mark of the beast, they have also rejected Jesus because everyone on Earth at this time is unsaved. They will all die unsaved, for all on Earth at this time are doomed eternally. All of the saved were raptured off the Earth in chapter 14.

So this angel’s bowl of judgment causes painful sores on a majority of the people on Earth. This will not be the first time that God sends such a plague. Exodus 9:8 says, “Then the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘Take handfuls of soot from a furnace and have Moses toss it into the air in the presence of Pharaoh.’” Why did God tell him to take soot from a furnace? Because the furnace represented the fire of God’s wrath, and the soot, His judgment. Verse 9 continues, “It will become fine dust over the whole land of Egypt, and festering boils will break out on men and animals throughout the land.” It is a pity that animals have to suffer for the sin of man. Verse 10 says, “So they took soot from a furnace and stood before Pharaoh. Moses tossed it into the air, and festering boils broke out on men and animals.” Not only were the people affected with painful boils on their skin, but what God did also rendered the Egyptian livestock inedible and useless. Just a side point: please note that Moses and Aaron had to act out God’s command. The 6th plague would have never happened if Moses and Aaron did not act out God’s command by getting soot from a furnace and tossing it into the air. God wants us to act out His commands in faith, and then we will see the fruition and benefits of His commands. This section in Genesis ends with verse 12, which says, “But the LORD hardened Pharaoh’s heart and he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said to Moses.” As mentioned earlier, the Tribulation period is when all of mankind on Earth will act just like Pharaoh, by blatantly rejecting God even when God reveals Himself through miraculous judgments. And God knows everything in advance.

The bible gives us another example of painful soars breaking out. Unfortunately, Job had this same experience. Job 2:4 says, “‘Skin for skin!’ Satan replied, ‘A man will give all he has for his own life. But stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.’” Verse 6: “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.’” Verses 7-8: “So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.” We are told that these were painful sores. We are also told that these painful sores came from Satan—so this was a demonic attack on Job. The painful sores in Revelation 16 came from God; so we see that such can come from either Satan or God. We also see here in Job that Satan needed God’s permission in order to afflict a man of God. Even with God giving Satan permission, God still protected Job by telling Satan that he must spare Job’s life. We also see that Satan must obey God. What was Satan’s original beef with Job? Satan tells God in Job chapter 1 that he was roaming the Earth and going back and forth in it. What was Satan looking for? God knew what he was looking for. Job 1:8 says, “Then the LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on Earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.’” This is a fascinating verse because here, God is saying that a particular man is blameless and upright. This is what Satan was roaming the Earth looking for. Satan roams the Earth today, looking for upright, Godly men and women so that he can accuse and bring down. “Satan” means “accuser”. God allowed Satan to afflict this righteous man with the judgment of wicked men. Job is a rich book with layered meanings. One of its layered meaning is that Job, who was a real man, also born in sin, represents Jesus as a precursor. Jesus was and is completely righteous, and He took upon Himself not only the sins of man, but also the judgement of wicked man upon the Cross.

We now come to the next angel with his judgment bowl. Revelation 16:3 says, “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.” This is similar to the Trumpet judgment of chapter 8. In 8:8-9 we read, “The second angel sounded his trumpet, and something like a huge mountain, all ablaze, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.” Just after chapter 8, two-thirds of life in the sea survived. After Revelation 16:3, it says that everything in the sea died. The term “ocean” back in the New Testament times had not been invented yet. This could refer exclusively to all the seas, but the meaning of “sea” is likely referring to the oceans as well. There is an obvious distinction in the bible between salt waters and fresh waters. Both chapters 8 and 16 make an obvious distinction between “fresh water springs/rivers” versus the salt water “sea”. Oceans are salt water, so “sea”, in bible writing times, may be referring to all salt water bodies, which would include oceans. If “sea” does indeed refer to all salt water bodies, then this is a truly catastrophic and devastating hit on the world’s water bodies, for 97.5 percent of all water bodies are salt water. We will see in 16:4 that the next angel pours his bowl onto the rivers and springs of water, turning them into blood. So that is all of sea, ocean, and fresh water life that will die.

The wicked today (and throughout history) do not realize that they are just borrowing from God what is not theirs. God is going to help them realize this by taking back His sea life that mankind was just borrowing and using. And most of the wicked today knows some bible. There are many passages and verses of the bible common even to atheists. One well known passage is when Moses turned the sea into blood. I’m not sure that the wicked in this Tribulation day will think “bible” when the boils come upon them. But I am quite sure that the bible will come to mind when all of the water bodies of the world will turn to blood and everything in them dies. The water will not be blood because of the dead animals. There is much more water versus living creature for that to occur; and besides, the blood water comes first and then the sea creatures will die as a result. The water will become blood simply because God will turn it into blood. Let’s quickly review the passage in Exodus that will come to the mind of these Tribulation rebellious people when all waters turn blood. There are some interesting things in that passage.

The passage begins in Exodus 7:14, which says, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Pharaoh’s heart is unyielding; he refuses to let the people go. Go to Pharaoh in the morning as he goes out to the water. Wait on the bank of the Nile to meet him, and take in your hand the staff that was changed into a snake.’” We see here that God knows the routine of Pharaoh (of course He knows all things). God watches closely what the wicked are doing. God is about to break Pharaoh’s normal routine. Verse 16 says, “‘Then say to him, ‘The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me to say to you: Let my people go, so that they may worship me in the desert. But until now you have not listened.’’” Interestingly, here, we get a reason that God wanted to free Israel from the hand of the Egyptians: so that they will worship Him in the desert. Verse 17 continues, “‘‘This is what the LORD says: By this you will know that I am the LORD: With the staff that is in my hand I will strike the water of the Nile, and it will be changed to blood. The fish in the Nile will die, and the river will stink; the Egyptians will not be able to drink its water.’’” Verse 19: “The LORD said to Moses, ‘Tell Aaron, ‘Take your staff and stretch out your hand over the waters of Egypt—over the streams and canals, over the ponds and all the reservoirs—and they will turn to blood. Blood will be everywhere in Egypt, even in the wooden buckets and stone jars.’’” Please don’t miss this. Water in their wooden buckets and stone jars will even turn to blood. It started off as water when they initially filled the buckets. Most people overlook this part when they think of Moses and Aaron turning the sea into blood. It wasn’t just the water in the sea and rivers that turned to blood—it included their storage supply of water accumulated beforehand.

If this applies to what we are studying in Revelation, then we have the following possible scenario: If someone is storing sea water (or the fresh water from the third angel’s bowl) in his cabinets at home and it started off as clean, drinkable water just prior to Revelation 16:3-4, but just after Revelation 16:3-4, when that person looks into his cabinets and refrigerator and takes out the bottled spring water, he will discover that it has turned into blood, thus rendering it undrinkable. When he turns his faucet on, it too will pour out blood instead of water. It is a known fact that a human can live only up to 3 days without water. The obvious question arises: If God is going to turn all sea and fresh water into blood, even that what comes out of our faucets and what’s in our fridge and grocery stores, then how can anyone on Earth live for more than 3 days after this event? A probable solution would be that maybe God in His grace will rain fresh water from the skies to preserve life on Earth a little while longer. We read in Exodus how the Egyptians got around it. Exodus 7:24 says, “And all the Egyptians dug along the Nile to get drinking water, because they could not drink the water of the river.” From their new, filtered drinking water, some of the Egyptian magicians mimicked Moses and Aaron by turning their water into blood as well. Exodus 7:22 says, “But the Egyptian magicians did the same things by their secret arts, and Pharaoh’s heart became hard; he would not listen to Moses and Aaron, just as the LORD had said.” That the Egyptian magicians were able to mimic Moses and Aaron’s miracle by their demonic power was used as an excuse by Pharaoh to pay no attention to Moses. In the Great Tribulation day, mankind will try to rationalize excuses to continue to shake a fist at God and reject Him even in the face of His miraculous judgments and wonders.

Back to Revelation 16: The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, turning it into blood, and the third angel then pours his bowl onto the fresh waters, turning them into blood. Verse 4 reads, “The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.” The drinking waters have also now become contaminated. As just mentioned, maybe God will be gracious after this to rain on them some fresh drinking water so that they continue to live, or maybe the people during this time will do something similar to what the Egyptians did and find a way to filter out the water so that it becomes drinkable again. This is not the first time the people in this Tribulation day experienced contaminated water. Back in Revelation 8:10-11 it reads, “The third angel sounded his trumpet, and a great star, blazing like a torch, fell from the sky on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water—the name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter.” The entire Tribulation occurs within only a 7 year time span, so it is not likely that from chapter 8 to chapter 16 that the people were able to correct the third of the drinking water that had become bitter and undrinkable. So at the start of Chapter 16, they only had the 2 thirds of drinkable water left before even that turned into blood. God renders all drinking water undrinkable during the Great Tribulation, whereas, He rendered only a third of the water undrinkable during the first half of the Tribulation.

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Revelation Chapter 16 (Part 68 ) (Verses 1 - 4)
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