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- Introduction & Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
Wars and Rumors
Signs in the Heavens
New World Order
2F. Judgment of the Earth 15:1-16:21 BLB
1G. The Victorious Vision 15:1-8 BLB
1H. Songs of Praise 15:1-4 BLB
2H. Scene of Preparation 15:5-8 BLB
1 I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues-- last, because with them God's wrath is completed.
2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass mixed with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and his image and over the number of his name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: "Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.
4 Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed."
5 After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened.
6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests.
7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.
8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
This portion of the heavenly scene introduces the next series of supernatural judgments to plague the earth, the Seven Vials of God's Wrath. These vials are held by seven angels. To assure us that God's fearsome wrath is just, a crowd of Tribulation martyrs sing of His glory and of His justice.
2G. The Venomous Vials 16:1-21 BLB
1H. The First Vial - Damaging Sores 16:1-2 BLB
1 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."
2 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.
These vial judgments seem to come in rapid succession, leading up to the Battle of Armageddon. Little detail is given, but they are supernatural judgments that seem to affect the whole earth.
The first vial will cause ugly and painful sores. If mankind has the ability to develop biological warfare, just imagine what the Creator could do in this area. The result is painful, but evidently not deadly. Actually, all of these plagues cause torment rather than death.
2H. Second Vial - Deadly Seas 16:3 BLB
3 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 reminiscent of the plague of Exodus 7 in Moses' times, when the Nile River and all the water in Egypt was turned to blood. In this case, it will affect "the sea," meaning at least the Mediterranean, and perhaps all of the oceans of the earth.
3H. Third Vial - Deplorable Springs
4 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."
7 And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."
This judgment is a continuation of the last one, spreading the horror of bloody water from the seas to all sources of water. As repugnant as this plague is, it is just because rebellious mankind has shed the blood of the saints and the prophets.
4H. Fourth Vial - Dangerous Sunlight
8 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.
Many natural causes could account for this scorching by the Sun. Violent eruptions of the Sun itself, a slight change of orbit, or even depletion of the ozone layer. around the earth, could cause this.
It is very significant that, even with these stern reminders of the power and anger of God, rebellious people still refuse to repent.
5H. Fifth Vial - Dark Seizure 16:10-11 BLB
10 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.
Coming on the heels of terrible burns from the Sun, there will be complete darkness and the cold that comes from this lack of light. Chills are common among those who have suffered burns, and this will make their situation worse yet. However, instead of repenting, mankind will curse God.
6H. Sixth Vial - Drying of the Strait
12 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.
These events will lead up to the great confrontation with Christ: Battle of Armageddon. Drying of the Euphrates River will make it easier for far eastern troops to enter the Middle East to prepare for the battle.
( )Demonic Spirits 16:13-16 BLB
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.
15 "Behold, I come like a thief! Blessed is he who stays awake and keeps his clothes with him, so that he may not go naked and be shamefully exposed."
16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
The invitation to this battle is not by conventional political alliances, but by a demonic seduction.
7H. Seventh Vial - Destructive Scourge
17 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!"
18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.
19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.
20 Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found.
21 From the sky huge hailstones of about a hundred pounds each fell upon men. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Comparing the various portions of The Revelation that give different aspects of the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 6:12-17; 9:13-21; 11:13; 14:14-20; 16:12-21; 17:14; 19:11-21), this earth-changing quake and huge hailstones must accompany the descent of the Lord and the battle He wages.
This is the greatest of all earthquakes, literally sinking every island and shaking down every mountain. Zechariah 12:3 predicts "On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves."
Again, in Zechariah 14:
4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south.
5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
Consider this amazing Old Testament prophecy in the light of what the angel promised the Disciples on the day Jesus ascended from the Mount of Olives. "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven." Acts 1:11
3F. Judgment of Babylon 17:1-19:6 BLB
1G. Preface about the Woman 17:1-2 BLB
2G. Perversity of the Woman 17:3-6 BLB
3G. Position of the Woman 17:7-18 BLB
1 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.
2 With her the kings of the earth committed adultery and the inhabitants of the earth were intoxicated with the wine of her adulteries."
3 Then the angel carried me away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a golden cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries.
5 This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
6 I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore testimony to Jesus. When I saw her, I was greatly astonished.
7 Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns.
8 The beast, which you saw, once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction. The inhabitants of the earth whose names have not been written in the book of life from the creation of the world will be astonished when they see the beast, because he once was, now is not, and yet will come.
9 "This calls for a mind with wisdom. The seven heads are seven hills on which the woman sits.
10 They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for a little while.
11 The beast who once was, and now is not, is an eighth king. He belongs to the seven and is going to his destruction.
12 "The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
13 They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast.
14 They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings-- and with him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers."
15 Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages.
16 The beast and the ten horns you saw will hate the prostitute. They will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish his purpose by agreeing to give the beast their power to rule, until God's words are fulfilled.
18 The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth."
The first six verses of this chapter are about an unfaithful woman who commits immorality with the kings of the earth and causes the people of the earth to be intoxicated to do evil. She rides on a scarlet beast with seven heads and ten horns. Many prophecy scholars see this woman as the church of the apostasy. Thus her immorality is spiritual unfaithfulness.
At certain times in history the church has been very unfaithful to the Lord and His Word. That is why Alexander Hislop, in his book, The Two Babylons, written around the turn of this century, identifies this woman with the Roman Catholic Church. Dave Hunt, in his recent treatise, A Woman Rides the Beast, does the same thing, showing many heartbreaking examples from history of the corruption of the church and the persecution of the godly. The Roman Catholic Church will probably head the unified church of the last days because it is the largest branch of Christianity. However, all so-called "Christians," from every denomination, who are not really born again, are part of this apostasy.
The heads of the scarlet beast are identified for us in the text. The first five of seven heads stand for the five world empires, which had already come and gone: Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The "one which is" was, at the time of the writing of this prophecy, the Roman Empire, and the "one which is to come," is a future world empire. There has been no world empire from the close of the Roman Empire until the present time. The next world empire will be the last of these seven heads.
The beast is further seen as the Antichrist of Chapter 13, energized by the Devil from Chapter 12. Antichrist is energized by the Devil, who is the first beast with seven heads in Chapter 12, and the second beast with seven heads is Antichrist. The final form is the seventh head which is the Revived Roman Empire, and it has 10 horns which stand for the ten nations (or possibly regions) which will be the beginning form of that final world empire.
The worst thing this immoral woman does is to give her authority to Antichrist, thus helping to establish him as world dictator. As such, she is seen as the woman riding The Beast.