Morning Bible Study
John found himself caught up into heaven before the throne of God.
He saw Jesus
take a scroll from the hand of God that had been sealed with seven seals.
As Jesus broke each seal and unrolled the scroll a little further, events begin to take place
on the earth and the seven year period we call the Tribulation begins to
We have now passed the
middle of the Tribulation period when the antichrist has been unmasked as pure
evil, and we now turn to see the final judgments brought on the world.
We saw the
preparations in heaven for the final judgments as seven angels came out of the
Temple in heaven and each angel was given a bowl filled with God’s wrath.
16:1-22 Seven Bowls
:1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels,
“Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
His offering was one silver platter, the weight of
which was one hundred and thirty shekels, and one silver bowl of seventy shekels, according to
the shekel of the sanctuary, both of them full of fine flour mixed with oil as
a grain offering;
Who drink wine from bowls,
And anoint yourselves with the best ointments, But are not grieved for the
affliction of Joseph.
The Lord of
hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They
shall drink and roar as if with wine; They shall be filled with blood
like basins, Like the corners of the
However there were not made for the house of the Lord basins of silver, trimmers, sprinkling-bowls, trumpets, any
articles of gold or articles of silver, from the money brought into the house
of the Lord.
:2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and
loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who
worshiped his image.
– kakos – of a bad nature; wicked; destructive
This word is
usually translated “evil”
– poneros – of a bad nature; wicked,
This is another
word that’s usually translated “evil”, maybe an even worse “evil” than the
:2 upon the men who
had the mark
It seems appropriate
that the “evil” people who have the mark of the “evil” beast would be afflicted
with “evil” sores.
:2 a foul and
We’re going to
see that more than a couple of these bowl judgments are very similar to the
plagues in Egypt when Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt.
In Egypt, the 6th
plague involved dust that became boils on people.
8And it will become
fine dust in all the land of Egypt, and it will cause boils that break out in
sores on man and beast throughout all the land of Egypt.”
:3 Then the second
angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man;
and every living creature in the sea died.
:3 the sea
– thalassa – could be all the oceans,
could be the Mediterranean Sea
:3 blood as of a
Perhaps this is speaking of a dark colored ocean, kind of like an oil
:3 every living
creature in the sea died
With the Second
Trumpet judgment (8:8-9), a third of the sea was turned to blood and one third
of living creatures in the sea died.
Now the entire sea is affected. Total
:4 Then the third
angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became
:4 the rivers and
springs of water
With the Third
Trumpet judgment (8:10-11), a third of the rivers are polluted and many died
from the bitter water.
Now it seems
that all the fresh water is affected and turned into blood.
In Egypt, this
is like the first plague where the Nile River was turned to blood.
:5 And I heard
the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and
who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things.
:6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given
them blood to drink. For it is their just due.”
:6 have shed
This is the same
Greek word that’s used to describe the angels “pouring out” their bowls.
The people have
“poured out” the blood of the saints, now something is being “poured out” on them.
:6 just due
– axios – having the weight of
another thing of like value, worth as much
This is the
word we often see translated as “worthy”. It’s the picture of a merchant with a pair of
balance scales. You ask for one pound of wheat. He puts a one pound weight on one side of the
scales and then pours out wheat until the scales are balanced, and the wheat is
equal to the weight of the one pound weight.
getting what they deserve.
thief knows that the easiest way to
steal gasoline from a car is to siphon it from the other guy's tank into your
own. Stick a rubber hose in his gas tank, suck on the other end of the rubber
hose until you get a mouth full of the gas, then spit it out. From then on the
gasoline will flow into your tank. A thief decided to siphon gas from Dennis Quiggley's motor home
in Seattle. When Dennis, inside the motor home, heard the noises outside he
investigated and discovered
the thief curled upon the ground violently vomiting. Intending to suck up the
contents of the gas tank the thief had put his hose into the wrong hole -- and
had sucked up the contents of the sewage tank instead. The thief, a boy age 14
will not be prosecuted, Dennis and the police agree that he has suffered
:7 And I heard another
from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are
:7 another from the
altar saying …
At the beginning of the Tribulation, there were souls under the altar:
NKJV) And they
cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You
judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
That time has now come and God’s judgment is being poured out.
:7 true and
righteous are Your judgments
This is one of my favorite verses to remember when I come up against
something I don’t understand, like a tragedy that just doesn’t seem fair no
matter how you look at it.
Another verse I like to remember is from Genesis, when Abraham is haggling
with God about the destruction of Sodom.
NKJV) Far be it
from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so
that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of
all the earth do right?”
You and I might wince at some of the things that will be happening on the
earth, but that’s because we don’t see things as they truly are.
For the angels in heaven who see things from God’s perspective, they see
that God is completely appropriate in the judgment that is being carried out.
Evil people are
getting evil sores (v. 2)
The pouring out
of saints’ blood brings God’s wrath poured out.
Sometimes things happen that just don’t seem fair. We don’t like the way
things seem to be turning out.
You and I might be angry
at what seems to have been a great tragedy to a boy. But that’s not the whole story.
A few years later, Louis began attending a school for blind children. He was such a good student he became a
teacher’s aide. When he heard about a
communication system devised by a French Army captain called “night writing”
using raised dots on paper, he
adapted it into his own alphabet.
He was only fifteen years old.
The letters would be created using an awl, the same kind of instrument that had blinded him
in the first place. Louis Braille and his new
alphabet opened up a new world for blind people, all because of an accident.
The story of a boy that seemed so tragic ended up being a
good thing for many people. But you
wouldn’t see it that way until you got to the end of the story.
Here in Revelation,
we are seeing the end of a story, as seen from heaven’s perfect perspective.
Those who are watching
from the balcony of heaven realize that God knows what He is doing.
Sometimes we are the ones who have screwed things up and we are the ones
who deserve to be punished.
Some of us take it upon ourselves to punish ourselves whether it’s by
ruining our lives with alcohol, or taking it out on our family.
If we were to be pinned down about our behavior, we’d have to be honest and
say, “Well I deserve it for what I’ve done”.
Beloved, someone has already paid for your screw up.
died on a cross in order to pay for our sins.
(Is 53:5 NKJV) But He was wounded for our
transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for
our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
Instead of us being wounded for our transgressions, He
was. Instead of us being bruised or
chastised for our sins, He was. He paid
And now, if we will come to God and ask for forgiveness, God can forgive
our sins and still maintain justice.
(1 Jn 1:9
NKJV) If we
confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The Greek word
for “just” is the same
word that’s translated “righteous” in our passage.
Justice (righteousness) requires that every offense be paid for.
Our sin has already been paid for when Jesus died on the
When we confess our sin to God and God forgives us, it’s
because the offense has been paid for – no cutting of corners.
:8 Then the
fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to
scorch men with fire.
:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of
God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him
because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were
thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were
This is serious global warming.
:10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast,
and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because
of the pain.
:10 his kingdom …
In a sense, the world has become the kingdom of the antichrist, but more specifically the
revived Roman Empire (Europe) is the kingdom of the antichrist.
Could this be some sort of eclipse? Could it be a power blackout?
The darkness is combined with pain.
It might be pain from the sores they have, or it could be pain from the
The ninth plague in
Egypt was also about darkness, and it was a darkness that could “even be felt”
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Stretch out your
hand toward heaven, that there may be darkness over the land of Egypt, darkness which may even be felt.”
:11 They blasphemed
the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of
:11 They blasphemed
the God of heaven
They gnaw their tongues, but they don’t hold back from using those same
tongues for blaspheming God.
The world is angry with God and is unrepentant. They do not want to change.
There will be weeping
and gnashing of teeth.’
2knowing that the
testing of your faith produces patience.
:12 Then the sixth
angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried
up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
:12 great river
Euphrates … dried up
Euphrates runs from Turkey, into Syria, through Iraq, and empties out into the
If the Euphrates dries up, then the nations east of the Euphrates are able to head west to Israel
and the battle of Armageddon.
Some of the nations east of the Euphrates include Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China.
:12 its water was
Each country on the Euphrates has dams to stop the river.
:12 the east
The Greek is
literally “the rising sun”
call their nation Nippon or Nihon, both literally mean “the sun’s
origin”, or the Land of the Rising Sun.
:13 And I saw
three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon,
out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
:13 unclean spirits
John sees demons involved with Satan, the antichrist, and the false
With the plagues
of Egypt under Moses, it is interesting to note that the second plague involved
frogs coming up from the river and covering the land.
:14 For they are
spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the
earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of
:14 to gather them
to the battle
These frog-demons will perform miracles that will deceive the nations to gather
to fight against God at Armageddon.
When the battle actually begins to take place, the nations won’t be
fighting each other, but they’ll
be waiting for Jesus to return and fight Him.
NKJV) And I saw
the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat
on the horse and against His army.
:15 “Behold, I am
coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments,
lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
We’ll come back to this verse later.
But know this, that if the master of the house had known
what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house
to be broken into. 44
:16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew,
– Armageddon – the hill of Megiddo
The ancient city of
Megiddo used to be an important city in the north of Israel. It sat on a
major trade route and controlled the business that flowed into the prosperous
valley of Jezreel. The
ruins at Megiddo have over twenty layers of various civilizations that
have been built on that spot. Many battles were fought in this area due to its
View Map clip.
:17 Then the seventh
angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple
of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
The last bowl of God’s wrath has been poured out.
:18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a
great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since
men were on the earth.
:18 a mighty and great
Last year’s (2011) earthquake in Japan was a 9.0 on the Richter scale. The largest earthquake so
far was a 9.5 in Chile in 1960.
This one will
be the biggest one ever.
:19 Now the great city
was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great
Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the
fierceness of His wrath.
:19 the great city
This could be
talking about Jerusalem (Rev.
11:8; Zech 14:4)
It’s probably talking
about Babylon – which we’ll talk about in chs. 17-18.
:20 Then every
island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
If you are around by this point in the Tribulation, don’t take a trip to
:21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about
the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail,
since that plague was exceedingly great.
:21 great hail from
hail to fall in the United States was 8 inches in diameter, weighing just under
two pounds in South Dakota.
weigh between 75 to 200 pounds each (a talent).
:15 “Behold, I am
coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments,
lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”
:15 I am coming as a thief
It’s not too late
I think that the Lord interrupted John’s frantic writing and has inserted
these comments to remind us that for those of us reading this now, it is not
turning around – the world will be experiencing disaster but will be unwilling
to turn around.
For us, it’s not too late to turn around.
Let’s pretend that
today’s date is April 10, 1912.
You and I are standing on the docks at Southampton in England, and you
have a ticket in
your hand to board the RMS Titanic. But
I’m a little strange, and in fact I’m a time traveler from the future, and I
tell you that you shouldn’t get on that boat.
I argue with you. I try to steal
your ticket. I even try to tackle you
just before you walk up the boarding ramp.
But you are determined to get on the Titanic. You’ve been told it’s the safest ship in the
It’s not too late to turn around.
There may be times when God allows difficulty into our lives – not because
He hates us, but because He is trying to get our attention to turn around. He
knows the future.
Jesus is trying to remind us that this world is heading for disaster. It’s going down. It’s time to stop counting on the world.
Pay attention to the warning now so you’ll be ready.
:15 Blessed is
he who watches, and keeps his garments
The language speaks of staying awake and keeping your clothes clean (which
is living a good life).
If you were to get a call from someone you like, and they invite you to a
night out on the town: A nice restaurant
and maybe a show.
What condition would you be in when they came to the door?
Asleep? Sitting on
the couch, eating potato chips and drinking root beer in your underwear in
front of the TV?
What kind of condition do you want to be in when Jesus says it’s time to
come home with Him?
12:1–2 NKJV) —1 Therefore
we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay
aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us
run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of
our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
If you want to run a race well, you ought to be wearing the right clothes. You ought to be in training. You ought to be ready for when the starting
gun goes off.
A young man applied
for a job as a farmhand. When asked for
his qualifications, he said, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” This puzzled the farmer, but
he took a liking to the young man and hired him. A few days later, the farmer and his wife
were awakened in
the night by a violent storm. They
quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure. They found that the shutters of the farmhouse
had been securely fastened. A good
supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace. The farm implements had been placed in the
storage shed, safe from the elements.
The tractor had been moved into the garage. The barn had been properly locked. All was well.
Even the animals were calm. It was then that the
farmer grasped the meaning of the young man’s words, “I can sleep when the wind
blows.” Because the farmhand had
performed his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was
prepared for the storm when it broke. Consequently, when the wind blew, he had
no fear. He was able to sleep in peace.
Are you ready? Can you “sleep when
the wind blows”?