Revelation Chapter Sixteen
Chapter 16 consists of the seven vials of wrath poured out upon the earth. They are very similar to the seven trumpet
judgements that were upon the churches. Remember we noted that judgement must begin at the house of God, and now we see the
final judgement upon the earth before our Lord sets up His eternal order.
"For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of the God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be
of them that obey not the gospel of God?
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:17-18)
The true believers have now been removed as they have been raptured, and they now participate in the judgement (Jude 14-15)
(1 Corinthians 6:2). It seems at this time, all the wicked dead will have been resurrected to endure this judgement before they are all cast into their final abode, which is the Lake of Fire (Daniel 12:2).
First vial of wrath:
1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
great voice out of the temple God commands the redeemed to pour out the vials of His wrath upon the earth.
2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
upon the earth/noisome/grievous sore "noisome" is translated from the original as "evil" in (Revelation 2:2), and "wicked" in (1 John 2:13)
or "evil" in (2 John 11). Thus, we can conclude this is spiritual sickness. God allows rebellious sinners to reap bitterfruits of their lustfull
indulgences as He gives then up to their sin (Romans 1:24) (Roman 1:26) (Roman 1:28).
Compare study notes (Revelation 8:7)
Second vial of wrath
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.
upon the sea/blood/every living soul died in the sea God refers the wicked to the troubled sea. See (Isaiah 57:19-21) (James 1:6). Unsaved
men are spiritually dead- and unclean, which are attributes pictured by the blood of a dead man. Their doom is now a reality as they enter into
the second death.
Compare study notes (Revelation 8:8-9)
Third vial of wrath:
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
rivers/fountains of waters/become blood we have learned that the rivers and fountains of water represent the life giving Gospel administered by the power of the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39) (Psalm 36:8-9) (Zechariah13:1).
Now that the time of grace has ended, the Gospel only offers God's judgement, represented by the blood.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
thou art righteous, O Lord See (Revelation 16:7) also (Romans 3:1-8) (Jeremiah 11:20)
which art, wast, shalt be eternal Jesus (Revelation 1:4) (Revelation 4:8) (Revelation 11:17) (Hebrews 13:8)
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
shed the blood of saints/prophets (Matthew 23:34-36) (Revelation 18:24)
given/blood to drink judgement (Isaiah 49:24-26)
7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgements.
true and righteous are thy judgements (Revelation 19:11) God judges righteously, and did so upon Jesus for the believers redemption
(1 Peter 2:21-25), therefore we can be assured He will not hold back His wrath upon the unrighteous (Luke 23:27-31).
Compare study notes (Revelation 8:10-11)
Fourth vial of wrath
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
sun possibly represents Jesus (Malachi 4:2) (Psalm 84:1) (Matthew 17:2) (Revelation 1:16), who is no longer a life giving Saviour, but rather the Judge who is a consuming fire (Joel 3:13-16) (Zephaniah 1:14-18) (Deuteronomy 4:24) (Deuteronomy 9:3) (Hebrews 12:29)
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.
repented not to give him glory unbelievers always blame God and Christians for their misery instead of admitting their own sinfulness.
See (Isaiah 13:1-16) Compare study notes (Revelation 8:12)
Fifth vial of wrath:
10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
seat of the beast by comparison with (Revelation 13:2), we see that God's wrath destroys all of Satan's authority, and destroys all of unsaved men's hope in the things which Satan promises.
kingdom/darkness (Matthew 8:11-12)
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
blasphemed God/repented not of their deeds this verse should make it clear to any believer that it is only by the Grace of God and His doing
that anyone is saved. Even after physical torment, these still will not repent of their evil deeds, and to make it even worse, they blaspheme
the God of heaven who has power over these plagues (Revelation 16:9)
Compare study notes (Revelation 9:1-11), which described when Satan took his seat of authority in the churches by the divine permissive
will of God. (2 Thessalonians 2:4) (2 Thessalonians 2:10)
(2 Thessalonians 2:12).
Sixth vial of wrath:
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
great river Euphrates the Euphrates runs through the city Babylon. We have learned the New Testament Babylon represents the Apostate church which imitates the true church (Revelation 17:4-5).
dried up represents that the Gospel waters have dried up
kings of the east these kings possibly represent the believers
(Revelation 1:6). If we put (Jude 14 and 15) and (Matthew 24:27-28) together, we could conclude that this represents Jesus and the Saints coming to the battle Armageddon (Revelation 19:11-21). God gives us a picture of this in (Joshua 4:23-24) (Joshua 5:1). God dried the Jordon so that Israel could go in and conquer Canaan. Similarly here, we have a picture of Jesus and the Saints crossing the dried up Euphrates to destroy the apostate church Babylon. The martyred now avenged
(Revelation 6:9-10) (Revelation 17:6).
Compare study notes (Revelation 9:13-21) which described Satan's army loosed to the great river Euphrates which was the location the army was bound at (Revelation 9:14-16).
Before the seventh vial of wrath is described, we have a parenthetic overview of the tribulation leading up
13 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.
three unclean spirits defined in (Revelation 16:14)
frogs these frogs identify with the second plague God sent upon Egypt (Exodus 8:1-15). We learn these frogs infested
every area, and when
they died, their decaying bodies reeked. This represents these evil
spirits that are loosed throughout the whole world during the great tribulation. Note the reference of the plural use of "kings" in
(Psalm 105:30), along with the "kings" in (Revelation 16:14), which seems to prophesy to this end time event, as at the time of the
plagues in Egypt, Pharaoh alone ruled as king.
out of the mouth tool of deception. Satan and his devils use the mouths of their slaves to blaspheme God, and to lie and deceive the world.
dragon Satan (Revelation 12:9)
beast tyranny See study notes (Revelation 13:1-10)
false prophet blasphemy See study notes (Revelation 12;9)
14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which 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.
Kings of the earth these kings seem to refer to the political leaders during the great tribulation (Revelation 17:12)
(Revelation 6:15), who are influenced by the spirits of the devils, and are "of the earth." See also (Psalm 2:2-5).
whole world any who do not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in them are open game for these evil spirits to go forth unto them.
battle of the great day Armageddon (Revelation 16:16)
Note: We are told of three unclean spirits in (Revelation 16:13), but they are actually more in number from what we learn in (Revelation 16:14).
This helps us properly understand that the "beast" and "false prophet" are not individuals as some teach, but represent an army of a great multitude working as antichrist. This army appears to be numbered as 200 million in (Revelation 9:16). See also (1 John 2:18) (Matthew 24:5)
15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
I come as a thief the Lord's second coming (Matthew 24:42-51)
(1 Thessalonians 5:2-4) (2 Peter 3;10-16) (Revelation 3:3)
blessed is he that watcheth (Mark 13:32-37) (2 Timothy 4:8)
keepeth his garments one's righteousness which is Jesus represented as "coat of skins" in (Genesis 3:21) and "fine linen" in (Revelation 19:8)
walk naked represents having one's sins exposed before God
(Genesis 3:21) and "fine linen" in (Revelation 19:8), which should instil shame.
Note: The "coats of skins" was the first "type" of the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, who had to die in order to cover the shame of fallen sinfull man.
Praise and Glory to the Lamb of God! Amen
16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Armageddon Mount Megiddo, which was the site of historic wars (Judges 5:19), Notable deaths (2 Kings 23:29), and here as the Final Battle Armageddon which means "Mount of Rendezvous". The location of this final battle will be a universal event over the whole world (Matthew 24:26-28) (Revelation 19:11-21), contrary to some teachings that place it at the physical location in Israel.
Seventh vial of wrath:
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
vial into the air this puts an end to Satan's kingdom. Satan, who is the prince of the air (Ephesians 2:2)
It is done similar to the last words of Christ on the cross (John 19:30), when He had finished receiving the judgement for all the evil sins of the elect. He now says, "It is done" as he has finished the judgement of the elect at the cross, and the judgement of the wicked at Armageddon.
Blessed are those who have been crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
18 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.
voices, thunders, lightnings all identify with the righteous judgements of God's wrath. Compare with (Revelation 4:5) (Revelation 8:5)
(Revelation 11:15) (Revelation 11:19) See also (Hebrews 12:25-29)
great earthquake this earthquake is described as the earthquake of all earthquakes. The whole creation groaneth and travialeth in pain together waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:18-25),
as evident by the curses that have plagued the earth since the fall. Now that the Sons of God have all come home, God delivers His full wrath upon the fallen world and all those who have been left behind, who loved not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Compare with (Revelation 6:12-17) (Isaiah 2:10-22) (Isaiah 13:6-16) (Joel 3:9-17)
Revelation16:1919 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.
the great city was divided into three parts Babylon, the apostate church, completely leavened (Matthew 13:33)
cities of the nations fell (Revelation 11:15) (Revelation 11:18) (Revelation 20:11-15)
Babylon/cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath the judgment upon the apostate churches will be severely greater than those who were without
(Matthew 23:13-36) (Luke 10:13-16) (Hebrews 6:4)
(2 Peter 2:19-22)
cup See study notes (Revelation 14:9-11)
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
every island fled away/mountains (Isaiah 13:13)
(Isaiah 34:1-10) (Isaiah 51:4-6) (Revelation 6:4)
21 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 thereof was exceeding great.
hail identifies with the seventh plague in Egypt (Exodus 9:13-35), which destroyed the flax, the barley and the trees, and killed humans and animals. Here it will be universal destruction of all
talent = about 100 pounds
blasphemed God still no repentance from the natural man.