Now follows here some details of the terrible physical Judgements on the peoples of the Nations on Earth, who had and will cause to be rejected, derided and persecuted the people of God prior to Christ's Second Advent; the Jews, and Christians prior to Revelation, and the Ecclesia and Overcomers of Revelation. The details are so horrific in human terms, that in verses 5 and 6, clear justification of God's actions are proclaimed by a loyal angel! It is clear that Almighty God is deeply affected by what He is instigating here, and as The Only Righteous One, His feelings for His Creation, despite its depravity, is deep beyond our ability to fathom! This makes sense and chimes with verse 8 of Chapter 15.
Those humans in the above category that are already dead, must await their just deserts when they are resurrected to Judgement at the "Great White Throne"; (Rev. 20)!
When reading Chp. 6 onwards to Chp. 16; one is reminded of the great battle waged between Moses and Pharaoh (i.e. God & Satan) in Exodus 6 to 12; to release His “first born son”, (Israel). The plagues had to be increased in intensity, before Pharaoh would release the Jews; even up to the death of their firstborn children (Ex. 12:29-30)!
Even so Pharaoh and his army when the children of Israel reached the Red Sea, was racing towards them in hot pursuit, intent on their annihilation (Ex. 14); the purpose of which was to prevent the fulfilment of Gen. 3:15; which would have prevented the birth of Jesus!
In the above case, Pharaoh is the depiction of Satan in the “Tribulation” period of Revelation (Jacob’s Trouble); who will attempt the complete annihilation of “remnant Israel” (Isa. 10; Rom. 11; Jer. 31; Micah 2 and Zeph. 3 etc.)!
Then came that great miracle, the parting of the Red Sea waters to make a way of escape for the Jews, (Ex. 14:16); and in Vs 27 & 28 the Egyptians perished as the waters closed!
There is interesting similarity in Almighty God’s dealing with the aberrant people of Earth; who in the “last days” dealings described in Revelation especially Chps. 6 to 16 etc; show similar resistance to all His efforts including His last, with the two resurrected witnesses (Rev. 11). Only a few showed appropriate response (V.13), but most were angry (V.18) & (Psm. 2).
From Rev. 6 onwards the loss of human life increased, until by Chp. 16, very few repented; and as with the Exodus dealings with Pharaoh, God would allow an appropriate time between each plague, for some recovery of environment etc.; and for mankind to consider their position before God!
Again; Satan in these future dealings is trying to negate the prophetic continuation of Israel (Jer. 31:36); which if successful, Satan would be in the ascendency! (see: Satan's Motivation: ).
V.1 (a)And I heard a great voice out of the (b)Temple saying to the seven angels, “Go your ways, and pour out the (c)vials of the wrath of God upon the Earth”.
(a) This command from Jehovah Zebaoth (God of all the Earth’s people; [Hosts]), to pour out HIS WRATH, upon the Earth. (See Chp. 15:1-5-8).
(b) “Temple”; see Matt. 23: 16-21, and back references in O.T.
(c) NKJV translates “7 bowls”.
V.2 And the first went, and poured out his vial on the Earth; and there fell a (a)noisome and (b)grievous sore upon the (c)men and women which had the (d)mark of the beast, (e)and upon them that worship his image.
(a) “Noisome”; Interlinear translates; (Str. No. 2556), “injurious”, “bad”, “evil”, “harm”, “ill”, “wicked”, “noisome”. NKJV has "foul and loathsome".
(b) “Grievous”; Interlinear translates; (Str. No. 4190), “evil”, “degeneracy”, “calamitous”, “diseased”.
(c) “Men”; Interlinear translates; (Str. No. 444), (Greek ANTHROPOS) “a human being”, therefore both male and female!
(d) See earlier Chapters, 13, 14, (particularly 14:9, 10 & 11 and notes).
(e) May or may not be marked, but worship “his image”, i.e. worship Satan! See Chps. 13 and 14.
V.3 And the second angel poured out his vial on the sea; and it became the (a)blood of a dead man: and every living (b)soul died in the sea.
(a) Blood putrefies after death, and accelerates the decomposition process. In this case it would impede all sea life. As our planet relies on the oceans for cleansing and survival, the meaning seems obvious. Almighty God is stepping up the pressure on humankind in the context of "His Wrath".
(b) “Soul”; translates; (Str. No. 5590) (Greek PSUCHE). This has many meanings depending on the case; here, the meaning is “creature", (App. 110: 1 &2). See Rev. 6:9 and 20:13(b). See also Gen. 2:7, and Soul and Spirit, The Error: & Eternal Soul Myth.
V.4 (a)And the third angel poured out his vial on the rivers and fountains of waters and they became blood.
(a) All water, land and sea, turned to blood, therefore as all people need water more than food, a terrifying immediate prospect of death, (i.e. days only)! (Matt. 24:22) & (Mark 13:20).
V.5 (a)And I heard the angel of the waters say, "Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shall be, because Thou hast judged thus.
(a) Approval and confirmation of Jehovah God’s act, by Heavenly Creation, (who understand)! See 7(a).
V.6 (a)For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink: for they are worthy”.
(a) This retribution on these peoples is for the clearly stated killing (murder) of Jews and Gentiles during the Age of Revelation and previously, who trust in Christ, have "washed their robes in the blood of The Lamb", and have "overcome unto death”. When our Lord spoke to His people the Jews during His first Advent; He referred to their persecution of those Prophets He had sent to them, and the resulting judgement on them at their resurrection. He showed also "that the Owner of the vineyard sent his Son whom they put to death”! (Matt. 2:34-35, etc.).
V.7 (a)And I heard the angel of the alter say, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgements".
(a) In Ephesians 3:10, Paul the great Apostle to the Gentiles, shows the importance of the Church; Christ -Ones (The True Body) and its example/ witness to Heavenly beings/ Creation. Here one of those beings is confirming that though terrible, the judgement and retribution Jehovah God has wreaked on the remaining human population is just and beyond reproach!
V.8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial on the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
V.9 And men were scorched with great heat, and (a)blasphemed the name of God, Which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give Him (b)Glory.
(a) Despite the fact that people by then know who has control of all power; and that even then they can acknowledge and praise Him, they choose to blaspheme His Name! See note 14:1(c).
(b) “Glory”; Interlinear translates (Str. No. 1391) (Greek DOXA), “dignity”, “honour”, “glory”, “praise”, “Worship”; then, as now, people prefer Satan in the majority! This has to do with the pride of men in their Genesis acquired powers, (Gen. 3:5), which are enhanced by Satan when people move towards him. The further people move in his direction, the harder it is for them to turn to God their maker through Christ. It is possible to turn to Christ and obtain Salvation, and that is an act of will and contrition at the foot of The Cross which expunges Satan from the person.
From then on the walk with Christ is a day by day experience, which is aided by The Lord's Spirit! This is only possible during this present Age of Grace.
V.10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial on the (a)seat of the beast; and his (b)kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.
(a) “Seat”; Interlinear translates throne, (Str. No. 2362). See Chp. 2:12-13, and notes. This verse and its references to the throne of Satan at Pergamum, indicating that the 7 Churches (Ecclesia) are yet future (11/4/03). (Revised 22/8/07). (Revised 2012). (Revised 2014). (Revised 2016). (Revised 2017). (Revised 2018).
(b) Satan’s kingdom, based in Pergamum, present day Turkey; but is worldwide; See Chp. 18, and see: Babylon and Mystery Babylon:
V.11 And (a)blasphemed the God of Heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
(a) Again the same old reaction blasphemy and lack of repentance! See: 14:1(c) & Matt. 23 etc.
V.12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial on the great river (a)Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the (b)kings of the east might be prepared.
(a) See Chp. 9:14-16, and notes.
(b) See Chp. 9 in total and notes. "Kings of the East". The literal translation, "kings of the rising sun"! This statement brings into play the thought of "kings" farther east than Persia (Iran), and the capacity to produce a 200,000,000 man army, if that number is correct, which seems to be the case! See: The Great River Euphrates: Rev. 9:14-16.
V.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.
V.14 For they are spirits of (a)demons, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the Earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of the great day of GOD THE ALMIGHTY.
(a) These demonic messengers, one from each of the false trinity, go to the Satanically powerful kings of the Earth, to bring them to the battle (Armageddon See V.16), and the great day of Almighty God, on the battlefield in Israel (Armageddon). (Megiddo); approx. 70miles north of Jerusalem.
V.15 (a)Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
(a) The implication here is that the signs are there to be seen! The event will be sudden, but predictable (see Matt. 24).
V.16 And (a)He/they gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue (b)Armageddon.
(a) “He”; the 1611 translators for C. of E. again in error. This “he”: should be translated “they”, so also the NKJV. The reference is to V.14, the demons, the purpose is the gathering together of the Nations to war/annihilate the people of Israel at 'Har-mageddon' (Armageddon).
As a note of interest, AV gives "he", Darby "he", NIV "they", Youngs Literal "they", Moffatt "they were mustered" (referring to the Nations), Interlinear "He", NKJV "they".
(b) “Armageddon”; (Har-Megeddon), this word means “mount of Megiddo”, (Comp. page 1905). See Judges 5:19 & Isa. 10:28. It is located in the YEZREEL VALLEY. It has been a battlefield between Kingdoms for more than 4000 years B.C.! It is mentioned in various Ancient writings including the Pharaoh Thutmose the third (1500 B.C.). The king of Megiddo was one of the kings defeated by Joshua (Josh. 12:21). The city of Megiddo did not become of the tribal allotments until King David.
General Allenby fought and won a battle with the Turks there, in the first World War (Ottoman Empire) and received the title of “Lord of Megiddo” for that victory. It lies approx. 70 miles due north of Jerusalem!
Note (2012) & (2014): The Ottomans were part of the German 'Axis' in the 1914-18 war, and as their southern flank, was crucial to the outcome. Allenby gave his support for the state of Israel together with Winston Churchill, and T.E. Lawrence. It is not generally known that Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), was so involved with this effort, as so much of his life is unknown, due in part to many of his roles for the British Government. Government Papers released so far show his very active role in trying to establish a 'State of Israel with Churchill and Allenby'. Allenby commented that "without Lawrence's efforts with the Arabs during the 1914-18 war, we could not have won"!
The historian Sir Martin Gilbert stated of Lawrence "he was a serious Zionist".
Thus the 1914-18 war paved the way for the 1948 League of Nation's sanction of the 'Jewish State', and the events still current leading from the temporal State, to that of the one of prophecy, in the yet future.
Note: 2016; (2017): In 2018, the Jewish state will have existed by “Mandate”, for 70 years. It is expected that that will be a year of at least celebration by Israel; but the Palestinians will probably have other plans for Israel, as 70 is a special number in Scripture; and is the mirror of AD 70. That was the year of the destruction of Jerusalem; the Temple; and the beginning of the “Diaspora”!
As is well known, Pergamum is now in Turkey which was Ancient Greece, (which is currently looking less politically stable; 5/8/17). The recent events of the ‘Arab Spring”, started in early 2011, and is now encompassing most the countries named in the Bible that are involved in the ‘end times’ regarding Israel. Turkey has recently cooled its relationship with Israel, and is in early conflict with Syria. Syrian conflict has escalated recently; and now Russia seems allied to Syria; and possibly Turkey (2016).
In the recent months (Aug. 2016) a new development in Iraq and Syria is the emergence of ISIS, now shortened to IS, which is “Islamic State”. It has quickly conquered parts of Iraq and Syria, which are the same area of land as old Babylonia! (Note 2017); IS seems to be in retreat under the pressure of US and local forces; but is strengthening in Afghanistan; and worldwide terror!
It is showing itself to be well trained, disciplined and ruthless in its tactics. The Western News reports mass executions (beheadings and crucifixions), and non – tolerance of the indigenous alternative religions, such as Christians. A recent report stated that when a city was conquered, all its women and girls are to be “circumcised”; which is classified in the West as FGM (female genital mutilation). (See: Circumcision;).
The Caucuses and Russia are on the fringes of these developments; and the recent discovery of oil off the coast of Israel is causing Turkey and Cyprus to explore their waters to see if they have oil wealth. There is clearly plenty of motive force to expand hostilities in this volatile area, with Israel central! The reparations of the First World War in the area under General Allenby, Winston Churchill and T.E. Lawrence leading to the 1948 State of Israel, and the division of Arab lands has clearly farther to go, and will lead into the Prophetic Land of Israel and the Reign of God on Earth, as per the ‘Lord’s Prayer’!
NOTE OCTOBER 2016: Russia is now conducting ground and air offensives in cooperation with Assad, the stated aim is against ISIL; but this is doubted in the West; and the USA seems to be in direct conflict with Russia and Assad!
(Note 2017): Assad seems to be consolidating his position presently; but much is in play, as the world powers are involved, and North Korea is an ally of Iran; according to some comments.
(Note Aug. 2018): May of this year saw the US Embassy moved from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem, on the 70th Anniversary of the modern State of Israel! This has caused great anger in the Palestinian Authority, and also with the Countries aligned with the enemies of Israel including Russia (Gog), Iran (Persia), Turkey, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Tunisia etc.; all named among the “End times” alliance! (See Ezek. 38 and also Psalm 2 etc.). There is clearly much more to happen in this area; probably soon!
V.17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial (b)into the air; and there came a (a)great voice out of the Temple of Heaven, from the throne, saying, “IT IS DONE”.
(a) “Great voice”; God Almighty, from the throne “IT IS DONE”. This great climax in the dealing with mankind, this point ends the rule of man. (Joel 2:11). Our Lord said “It is finished”, (John 19:30), when He had completed the work on the cross of Calvary. At the point where the Father states “It is done”, our Lord’s enemies are made His footstool. Psm. 110:1, Matt. 22:44, Mark 12:36, Heb. & 10:13). This is just prior to Christ’s rule from Jerusalem when He and His Father’s name will be one, (Zech. 14:9); (Psm. 2)!
(b) Charles Welch makes the interesting point in his book 'This Prophecy' on page 196, that the 7th angel pouring out his vial "into the air", is dealing with Satan himself; as "the prince of the authority of the air" (Eph. 2:2).
V.18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightning’s; and there was a (a)great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the Earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
(a) There have been very great earthquakes in man’s recorded history, but this one yet to be will be the largest ever in man’s time on Earth. Science knows the great devastations that have happened in the past, (see: Velikoski "World in Upheaval”), but this one surpasses them all. (See note at the beginning of Chapter 9). As is known from Scripture (Zech. 14:8 & Ezk. 47:8 and other verses of those Chapters) at some stage in the future prior to the Millennial Reign, Jerusalem will apparently become a sea port. This is possibly due to the great Earth quake quoted in verse 18, however, as the reading of the above text show water apparently flows from the site of the Temple in Jerusalem, and is fresh! There is also the statement that the Dead Sea is "healed", which almost certainly means that it will support marine life. As at present the Dead Sea is approx. 1300 ft. below Sea level, the volume of water flowing from Jerusalem clearly will be very large. As Jerusalem is presently inland from the Mediterranean Sea and is approximately 700 metres above current sea level, the possibility is that the same earthquake will reduce the height quoted, (Isa. 40:4); or Jerusalem will sit at that future time high above the sea port that will exist. It seems that the new sea way would run from the Mediterranean from West to East via. Jerusalem to the Dead Sea flowing south eventually into the Gulf of Aqaba and on into Red Sea.
V.19 And the (a)great city was divided into three parts, and the (b)cities of the Nation's fell; and (c)great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.
(a) “The great city”; Jerusalem.
(b) “Cities of the Nation's fell”; unimaginable devastation as New York, Toronto, Boston, London, Sydney, Tokyo, to name a few, the skyscrapers falling, the panic, the destruction, the desolation.
(c) “Great Babylon”; the source of all the world’s pagan religions and Satanic systems, (see Dan. 4:30), (Gen. 10:10), & (Gen. 11:9). See also earlier notes. (See also Mystery Babylon:).
V.20 And every (a)island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
(a) The result of the great quake, will be no mountains, and movement of the world's islands! Knowing as we do today that land masses are floating on a sea of molten rock, the violence of the upheavals will possibly push land masses together, as in the Ancient past. (Isa. 24:19-23).
V.21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of Heaven, every stone about the weight of a (a)talent: and men (b)blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
(a) “Talent”; about 114 lbs. (approx. 52 KG). Obviously deadly.
(b) The usual response from totally unredeemable people. See: 14:1(c).
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