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Revelation
Chapter Sixteen

Commentary by Tom Brown

 

16 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."

The following judgments resemble the plagues of Egypt.

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.

who had the mark of the beast. See notes 15:2.

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.

 

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;

just in these judgments. One of the great arguments of those who do not believe in eternal judgment is that it is not fair. God is always fair in judgment.

6 for they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets,

and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve."

they deserve. One of the greatest signs that sinners deserve judgment is how they treat true believers. Sinners often malign, persecute and judge us for our beliefs.

7 And I heard the altar respond:

"Yes, Lord God Almighty,

true and just are your judgments."

true and just are your judgments. God’s judgments are based both on truth and justice.

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.

they cursed the name of God. Rather than show contriteness they are angry at God for his true and just judgments.

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

throne of the beast. The judgment was not poured on the beast himself, but his current throne at the time, which was Rome. He is predicting that the Roman Empire will collapse, which it did on 476 AD. The beast continued to exist after Rome’s fall.

11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.

they refused to repent. This is exactly what Pharaoh did. 

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.

great river Euphrates. Eden was located here. He is describing kings coming from the place of the Garden of God, or another way to say it, paradise.

kings from the East. East is the good side. East is where the sun rises. The Garden of Eden was planted East of Eden. The cherubim were placed on the east side. Judah (where Jesus came from) was camped on the east side of the tabernacle. The wise men came from the east. Isaiah prophecies that the Messiah will come from the east (Isa 41:2). These are good kings.

13 Then I saw three evil a 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.

three evil a spirits. The unholy trinity will fill the other kings that are not from the east.

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.

kings of the whole world. These are kings that oppose the kings of the east. They are from the “world.” The term “world” speaks of that which is opposed to Christ.

battle on the great day of God Almighty. The battle will not be fought with natural weapons but with spiritual weapons. This great battle is a battle of “morality” and “faith.”

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."

keeps his clothes with him. This is clothes of righteousness and the full armor of God.

16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

Hebrew is called Armageddon. Armageddon was the site of epic battles. He uses this site to show that the great epic battle is not between nations but between worldly ideas versus Christian ideas.

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!"

It is done! Being the seventh and last bowl it is clear that this was the final judgment. The book will continue with parallel visions.

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.

 

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