THE BOOK OF REVELATION
~ The Revelation of Jesus Christ
Revelation Chapter 16
The Seven Bowls of the Wrath of God
Verse 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.
At the command of the Almighty Yahweh, whose presence in the temple filled it with smoke, the Seven Angels would go forth out of the temple to pour their vials (or bowls, which are vessels used in the temple) on to the earth. Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth expresses not only the severity but also the copiousness and finality of God's judgement upon the earth. God is now bringing to an end the Great Tribulation through which the remnant of His faithful ones, both Jews and Gentiles, are going through, by sending judgement upon the followers of the Antichrist.
Concerning the Great Tribulation, also known as Jacob's Trouble (Jer.30:7), Jesus said: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened (Matt.24: 21-22). The tribulation will be so great that God will have to shorten it or else no human being will be able to endure it and survive. How long a period will the Great Tribulation need to run its course before mankind is annihilated? Four years? Five years? Seven years? Ten years? No one knows. The Scriptures do not give us the answer except the fact that God will shorten it. But how long will God allow it to last before He shortens it?
In Daniel 9:27 it is recorded that the Antichrist shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” And in Daniel 12:11-12 it is recorded that from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.” From these verses of Scriptures, we know that the Great Tribulation will come upon the earth from the middle of Daniel's 70th Week when the Desolator shall lift himself up in the temple of Jerusalem and desecrate it. The Desolator will be destroyed by the Ten-horned Beast at the end of the second half of the week (1260 days). But the temple will remain in that state of desecration for another 30 days, a total of 1290 days. However, Jesus Christ will come and cleanse it and sit in there to judge the nations of the world (Matt.25:31-46) for 45 days before He begins His Reign over the earth.
Knowing the fact that the temple will be desecrated for 1290 days the shortening of the time of the Great Tribulation will take place within this period. And the Book of Revelation gives us the answer that God will shorten the Great Tribulation to 1260 days. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months (Rev.11:2). And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days (Rev.12:6). And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months (Rev.13:5). It is obvious that God has already determined Satan's fury against His elect to last for only 3½ years. With the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet the Day of the Lord, a day of reckoning for mankind especially the wicked, is quickly ushered in, thus shortening the Great Tribulation which might otherwise annihilate the human race. The Seven Angels with the Seven Bowls of God's wrath will go forth and pour out, one after another, the seven last plagues of God upon the earth. The plagues will last for 30 days!
The feeling of desperation and hopelessness will prevail upon humanity during these 30 days as God deals with the wicked one and his beastly system. The Ark of the Covenant, upon which the Sacrificial Blood of the Lamb of God was applied after it was shed at Mount Calvary for an atonement for sin, would have been put away, and God will cease to show His mercy. It will be too late for anyone to call upon the Name of God for mercy. Conversion will be impossible. Yes, grace, mercy and salvation will all cease.
Unlike the sounding of the Seven Trumpets, the outpouring of these Seven Vials upon mankind will not be a warning call for repentance but a direct judgement of God's wrath. There is a parallel between the Seven Trumpets and the Seven Vials. The Trumpets deal specifically with Israel for accepting a seven-year covenant to be made by the Beast. The sounding of the Seven Trumpets is a warning call to get Israel to repent and also a warning to the world of the impending evil and judgement to come. The events that will take place at the sounding of the Seven Trumpets will be localised in the third part of the earth which is the geographical area of the Bible World, the Middle East and the European countries. On the other hand, after the seven years have expired, the outpouring of the Seven Vials will deal with corrupt mankind as a whole, especially those who will side with the Beast and its Image.
The First Vial
Verse 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.
Notice that when the first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up (Rev.8:7), but when the First Vial is poured out, it caused noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. The expression noisome and grievous means bad and evil. By the time God's indignation is to be poured out upon the earth, mankind will become very corrupt. For those whose spirit, soul and body are one with the adversary of God and who worship the religious system and its image, God will punish them with a painful and loathesome affliction that cannot be healed a foul and pernicious suppurated sore (Expanded Translation).
The Second Vial
Verse 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.
At the sounding of the Second Trumpet only a third part of the sea will be affected, and that is the region of the prophetic world. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed (Rev.8:8-9). But when the Second Vial is poured out, all the seas on earth will be affected. Mankind in general will be judged and made to feel the great and terrible (yet glorious) wrath of the omnipotent God.
The sea became as the blood of a dead man, that is, the sea turned into a loathesome and corrupting blood; clotted, ill-smelling and putrefying as when a dead man lies in his own blood. God is showing mankind the corruption within them and that He hates corruption. Corruption is evil and spreads like cancer. When LIFE is rejected, CORRUPTION sets in and DEATH is the result. The wrath of God will be felt all over the world as corruption affects the sea killing all creatures that come into contact with the bloody corrupting substance in the sea. (This substance may be 'red tide'.) It is obvious that not every part of all the seas will become as corrupting blood which would kill all marine lives, but rather, all lives in all the seas would die when they come into contact with the corrupting blood which spreads like infectious cancer all over the seas.
The Third Vial
Verse 4: And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.
Verse 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.
Verse 6: For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
Verse 7: And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
When the Third Trumpet was sounded the Apostle John saw there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter (Rev.8:10-11). But when the Third Vial was poured out, there came blood upon the rivers and fountains of waters. This is God's judgement on the wicked ones for shedding the innocent blood of His saints and prophets. He is returning to them blood for blood. This is a righteous judgement. It is like God is saying, You have killed my saints and my prophets and shed their blood; now drink it!” Fresh water will be scarce in that hour and many will die for lack of it as the water of many rivers and fountains around the world will turn noxiously red. However, God will spare those people who have a certain prayerful and godly attitude, such as those who fear Him, give glory to Him and worship Him (Rev.14:6-7), and those who have compassion and show kindness towards His saints (Matt.25:31-46).
The Fourth Vial
Verse 8: And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
Verse 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.
When this Fourth Vial is poured out God will cause the sun to burn hotter, thus scorching the inhabitants upon the earth with great heat. This is unlike the sounding of the Fourth Trumpet when the sun, moon and stars will withhold their light for a third part of the day and night: And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise (Rev.8:12). This results in a cold spell for a third part of day and night. It is done to get the attention of Israel to repent for their coldness toward the Word of Yahweh and for their making of a covenant with the Antichrist.
However, as God's accumulated wrath continues to pour out, the glorious power of God's righteous judgement also increases in magnitude. In this Fourth Vial He increases the heat and the brightness of the sun, perhaps, by as much as seven-fold (cf. Isa.30:26). Instead of repenting of their sins and giving glory to God, the wicked would revile God and blaspheme His Holy Name even more. There is no place found within them for repentance. That privilege is removed from them. (Remember, it is a great privilege to be able to repent as God, in His grace and mercy, deals with our life at this hour of time before mankind drifts into the period of great darkness.)
The Fifth Vial
Verse 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,
Verse 11: And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Where is the seat of the beast? It is in the Vatican, the headquarters and heart of the beastly Roman power. Rome is both a religious and political kingdom. Though the Pope will sit as a great religious figure in the temple of Jerusalem from the middle of the 70th Week of Daniel, after breaking the covenant, the control of his financial activities will continue to be in the Vatican City in Rome. The Vatican City is one of the richest, perhaps the richest, financial empires, in the world today. Even as the Pope has recently dedicated all of Europe to the sacred heart of Mary, investments in silver and gold are pouring into the countries belonging to the European Union from various other countries. Soon the strong currencies, such as the Japanese Yen and the American Dollar will crumble and become worthless as the nations around the world shift their attention to Europe. The Vatican City will control the Beast. It will also control the whole mysterious Babylonish religion called in the Bible Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and the Abomination of the Earth. Yes, the Roman Church, herself, the great whore, will ride on the Beast.
Today the Pope is looked upon as the only one who is capable of bringing in a new world system that will have a certain degree of order for this present chaotic world. It is certain that he will succeed in establishing a new world order through the beastly system. That's Thus Saith the Word of the Lord God Almighty! And the people behind this system will mainly be the apostate Christians of America. Since the early 1920s, powerful and influential men of America have been working to bring about a one world government. The Pope will have control over the lives of many men, women and children. As mentioned earlier, these words of Malachi Martin (in his book 'The Keys Of This Blood') warn of serious implications: Willing or not, ready or not, we are all involved The competition is about who will establish the first one-world system of government that has ever existed in the society of nations. It is about who will hold and wield the dual power of authority and control over each of us as individuals and over all of us together as a community Our way of life as individuals and as citizens of the nations; our families and our jobs; our trade and commerce and money; our educational systems and our religions and our cultures; even the badges of our national identity, which most of us have always taken for granted all will have been powerfully and radically altered forever. No one can be exempted from its effects. No sector of our lives will remain untouched.
Yes, with the healing of the wounded head of the Beast in the early 20th Century and the making of an Image in honour of the Beast, the way has been paved for the Beast to bring in the One-World Order under the Roman Catholic Church. And a large proportion of mankind will perceive the proposed one-world order as politically and religiously stable. They will feel safe and secure. They will be enticed to worship the Beast who will give them a sense of security in their everyday life. They will mistake it for the light of God for that hour believing that God is in this whole setup. But the 'light' in this grand beastly system is the 'light of death', created by Satan, as an angel of light. The whole system has no foundation. It is simply a bottomless pit full of hellish demons. That's what the Apostle John saw at the blowing of the Fifth Trumpet. And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit (Rev.9:1-2). Satan has already set up this system to darken the heavenly realm of God and His Truth in order to deceive the people. And when the bottomless pit is fully opened up and made manifest in the middle of the 70th Week of Daniel the forces of hell will not be restrained. All hell will break loose!
However, when God pours out His Fifth Vial upon the seat of the beast, it will cause those who worship the beast, especially through the second half of Daniel's 70th Week, to realize that their belief is fallacious. When it dawns on them that they really have nothing spiritually tangible and beneficial under the dictatorial rule of the Mother Church and her beastly system, those men and women who worship her will become disobedient and rebellious to the Pope. They are the same people who will be judged with grievious sores and plagues under the first four vials of God's judgements. And they will still be suffering the effects of these judgements even when the Fifth Vial is poured out. This shows the cumulative effects of the outpouring of the bowls. Yes, the Antichrist will lose his grip and the whole Beastly system will plunge into total darkness. There will be chaos and confusion everywhere around the world as God gets ready to destroy the Roman Catholic Church and the Image of the Beast. This is God giving Satan his due punishment by returning darkness for darkness.
As anarchy begins to break out all over the world the communistic leaders of the United European Nations (the ten horns of the Beast) will realize that something is wrong. They will see that the majestic politico-religious system that they have trusted is not able to hold together. They will see the great system of one-world order under the Vatican, which they have supported, beginning to fall apart. However, they will see it as an opportune time for them to seize power and gain control. Having given their total allegiance to the whore, they will now begin to hate her. So right there and then, God will put into the hearts of these ten nations to destroy the great whore. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth (Rev.17:16-18).
With the Papacy completely destroyed, the 1260-day Great Tribulation is thus ended and the prophetic words of Daniel (9:27b) fulfilled for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The Sixth Vial
There are now dramatic turn of events. With the destruction of the Popery under the Fifth Vial, the outpouring of the Sixth Vial starts immediately.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
Verse 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.
The river Euphrates divides the Middle East from the Far East. It also serves as the border of the Old Roman Empire. Being 1800 miles long, about 3600 feet wide in some places and about 30 feet deep, it was practically impossible, in ancient days, to move an army across the waters quickly and safely. Of course, modern armies are not hindered by this great river of water or any difficulty created by natural topography around it. In a literal sense, the river Euphrates is actually drying up at this present time. As the protective layer of ozone, which blankets the earth, is broken down by chemical pollutions in the air, there are drastic changes in the atmosphere. Hence, rainfall is less abundant with each passing year. Also, in recent years, dams have been built on the upper part of this river near the mountains. Such action reduces the flow of water downstream.
Biblically, the great river Euphrates simply symbolizes a hinderance to the power of the Far East coming into that region of the world. Of course, its drying up symbolizes that the way is clear for the kings of the east to come over there to engage the west and the rest of the world in a great confrontation. Recall the Sixth Trumpet which only rallied the armies into their combat gear: And the sixth angel sounded, and I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men. And the number of the army of the horsemen were two hundred thousand thousand: and I heard the number of them (Rev.9:13-16). As the four angels loose the four winds (Rev.7:1), the demonic spirits, loosed from the bottomless pit, have total freedom to manipulate the powers in the world. Remember, they have a leader whose name is called Abaddon or Apollyon.
What is the dragon? What is the beast? And what is the false prophet?
The dragon is the fallen Lucifer who is called Satan, the Devil, the accuser. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world (Rev.12:9a; cf. 20:2). The spirit of the dragon is wicked and evil, always opposing the Almighty God and seeking to be worshipped. It is the Devil the spirit of Satan Himself!
The beast is that First Beast of Revelation 13. Read verses 1 to 8. It is the Revived and Revised Roman Empire which is controlled by the Roman Church, the great religious whore MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH (Rev.17:1-5). In order for this foul Beast (empire) to have life, a demon must possess it. The devilish spirit is called the Beast (Rev.17:8). It is a spirit of Satan an Antichrist spirit!
Of course, under the Fifth Vial and at this point of time, the ten horns of this Beast will have already gored the religious whore to death. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire (Rev.17:16). Yes, Communism (the Ten-Horn Nation) will destroy the Roman Catholic Church. The spirit of this Roman beast is political in nature. It is always desecrating the sacred things of God and exalting itself above the laws of God.
The false prophet is not the Pope (as Popery would have been destroyed under the Fifth Vial) but the Second Beast of Revelation 13. (Read verses 11 to 17.) This two-horned beast is no longer seen as a beast for it will have lost its power as a beast in the battle as prophesied in the Book of Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39 (which should happen sometime before the beginning of Daniel's 70th Week). However, this powerless two-horned beast will continue to speak as a dragon. As we have already studied, in Revelation 13, it is not the voice of the President or the government but fallen Protestantism which speaks as a dragon. Through the Papacy Satan has managed to lure Protestantism to his side. Yes, its voice comes from the Protestant-American spirit which has created Ecumenism. It has already built an Image to the First Beast and caused it to prophesy deceit. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed (Rev.13:15). This is the voice of false prophecies. It's a false prophet. The spirit of the false prophet is religious in nature. It is always seeking for personal gain and is ever so self-righteous. It is a spirit of Satan a spirit of false prophecies (deceits and lies)!
Unlike the holy trinity the Almighty God, His Church and His Ministers in the (5-Fold) Ministry which has the sharp two-edged sword of Truth and grace proceeding from their mouths, the unholy (Satanic) trinity the dragon (Satan), his beast and his false prophet has unclean spirits like frogs coming out of their mouths. Now, frogs generally look loathsome and repulsive. Even their guttural croak sounds unclean, offensive and ominous in the dark. The unclean spirits coming out of the mouths like frogs shows that the breath (spirit) and the speech of the unholy trinity are of evil intents and influences. They are demonic spirits going forth to do miracles. But these are not miracles of healing the sick or raising the dead. These are miracles which will bring about a concentration of powers and hosts of evil for a wicked purpose. Through these three great enemies of God the nations of the world will be deceived and drawn into the great battle to come. Nations that are at odds with one another will unite or align themselves together. The kings of the east, especially the communist nations which will not be much affected by the power of the Beast, his Image or his Mark, will join forces together.
The four winds (of religion, politics, economics and militarism) which have been loosed earlier from the blowing of the Sixth Trumpet would have done their job to prepare the world for this particular hour of time. So, being unrestrained, unclean spirits will come forth from the mouths of the Dragon, the Beast and the False Prophet to bring about the miracles of uniting the nations of the world for the Battle of Armageddon (which in the Hebrew means 'rendezvous' or 'gathering') for their ultimate destruction. Of course, it is the ordained will of the Almighty God.
[Note: It is clear from the Scriptures that the kings of the east refers to the kingdoms or nations of the Far East, especially the communistic ones. Both Communism and Romanism (Popery) overtly oppose the One True God belligerently. Romanism usurps the authority of God, whereas communism pronounces that there is no God. As sure as God will destroy Popery, He will also destroy communism.
Today, there are three families of communism. The first and the most powerful one is that of Russia. (Don't be fooled by its present day political and economic weaknesses.) It even had the audacity to send its astronauts up into space to declare that there was no God. It had defiled the Name of the Creator of the heaven and earth. However, the Almighty God will sanctify His Name when He brings the godless and wicked men of Russia and its allies down to Israel for a battle only to have them destroyed in a great earthquake. This battle of the Russian army against Israel, which is recorded in Ezekiel chapters 38 and 39, will happen just before the beginning of the 70th Week of Daniel.
With the destruction of the Russian might, the Pope, who have been looked upon as the man of peace, will seize the opportunity to establish himself and his church once again to regain power (Rev.13). He will move into Israel and make a 7-year agreement with many political and religious leaders concerning the Middle East crisis (Dan.9:27). The European Union (Euro-Communism) will still be as iron and clay unable to reach total political accord. However, the Vatican is right there in their midst. They will look to the Papacy for support because the Roman Catholic Church has the power and money to manipulate and exploit the whole world. Slowly and surely the ten-horned Beast will agree unwittingly to submit themselves to the great harlot.
So, by the middle of the period of the 7-year covenant, the power of the Roman Catholic Church will be recognized and feared by the whole world. Its leader, bearing the title Vicarius Filii Dei is the Antichrist who will kill the Two Witnesses. The Antichrist will take away Israel's right to offer sacrifices and oblations. Then he will sit in the temple of God in Jerusalem and declare himself God who should be worshipped. At this time the ten horns of United Europe will have submitted themselves to the great Roman Catholic Church and be crowned by the Pope, thus securing their kingdom status in the world (Rev.17:12-13). However, they will be under the reins of Popery. Yes, the great religious whore will ride on the Beast. This is the seventh head of the Beast even he is the eighth from the bottomless pit as the Devil is cast down and is incarnated in the Pope (Rev.12:12; 17:7,8,11). The Devil knows that he has only a short time (3½ years) left. This makes the Devil one with the Beast. This fulfills the words which the angel had spoken to the Apostle John in Revelation 17:8a,10b-11: The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.
Under the control of the great whore, the Beast will comply with her order and will seek to destroy the people of the nation of Israel and the Foolish Virgins. The ten horns will increase their power and prominence as they work under the leadership of the Pope, the man of sin. Nevertheless, when God pours out the Fifth Vial upon the seat of the Beast, He judges the great whore that sits on the Beast, and the ten horns will turn against her to utterly dispose of her like a menstrual pad (cf. Isa.30:22). Amen!
While all these are taking place the kings of the east will be biding their time and watching. Just as soon as the great whore is destroyed, and the Sixth Vial is poured out, the unclean spirits will descend on the rest of the world, especially the Far East, and stir them up for a great battle in the Middle East. These nations will be made to feel that it was now their time to conquer and take control of the Middle East.
The Oriental Communism is the second most powerful and godless force in the world, and God will cause it to battle against the communistic European Union (the ten horns) and its allies. But Oriental Communism will be defeated in the valley in Megiddo.
Now, one of the allies of the ten horns is the Second Beast of Revelation 13 (verses 11-18). Though it will have lost its glory and power as a mighty nation during its confrontation with Russia in the battle described in Ezekiel 38 and 39, the spirit of the Second Beast (Protestant-Americanism) will still have a lot of influence in the world, especially the European countries and its allies. Remember, what the Apostle John saw in his vision. After it had started out a little while, the Second Beast began to speak like a dragon. It also built an Image to the First Beast and directed mankind to worship the First Beast and its Image and to receive its mark. By its false teachings it is identified as a False Prophet. That's right. And with the Mother of all Religious Harlots utterly destroyed, the Image to the Beast will crumble but the spirit of the False Prophet, alias the Second Beast, will continue to speak like a dragon for the First Beast.
The ten horns of Euro-Communism is the third and last of all communist powers. These ten horns will thrust themselves into battle against the Holy One of Israel when He returns with His saints to fight in the final hour of the Battle of Armageddon. This is shown to John the Beloved in Revelation 19. Undoubtedly, the remaining armies of those other nations will join forces with them to fight against Christ.]
Verse 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.
This warning is given to the people of God. Yet there are those who will teach that all Christians will go through the 3½-year Great Tribulation and that they will be raptured before God's Wraths are poured out at the end of that period. If that is so, how could Christ come as a thief since He will return at the end of that period of 1260 days?
The Mystery of both the First and the Second Advents of Christ are hidden from the eyes of the wise and the prudent. Assuredly, as Christ was revealed to a small group among the chosen people of Israel in His First Advent, so will Christ reveal Himself to a little flock among the Christian people in His Second Advent. Therefore, let him who has received the revelation of Jesus Christ watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame for we are living in a generation of great spiritual darkness. Truly, it will be a shame to lose your garments of salvation (Isa.61:10).
Beloved, the world will not go on for another decade. The fig tree and all the trees have already put forth their leaves since 1948 (Matt.24:32-34; Lk.21:29-33). The stage is set for the climactic fulfillment of God's prophetic words. We are living in the last days. Selah.
Verse 16: And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
Yes, the unclean spirits will gather the kings of the east for the final battle the Battle of Armageddon. Ar-Magedon means City of Slaughter or Har-Magedon means Hill of Slaughter. The Battle of Armageddon will not be fought in a city or on a hill, but rather by the waters of Megiddo (Jdg.5:19) and in the valley of Megiddo (Zech.12:11). These words characterize a great slaughter where blood will flow like waters in a great valley. The battlefield of Armageddon will cover an area spanning Megiddo on the north (Zech.12:11; Rev.16:16) to Edom on the south (Isa.34:5,6; 63:1), a distance of 1600 furlongs or about 200 miles, and from the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the hills of Moab on the east, a distance of nearly 100 miles. It will embrace three important valleys the Valley of Esdraelon (which is part and parcel of the Valley of Jezreel), the Valley of Megiddo (Zech.12:11) and the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3: 2,12). And at the center of the entire war zone will be the City of Jerusalem (Zech.14:1,2).
The Seventh Vial
Verse 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.
The end has come! All the plagues have been poured out. The final effects of the vials will be felt after the last vial is poured out and heightening God's judgement on the Antichrist and all powers that withstand God's plan concerning His kingdom.
It is done expresses the comprehensiveness and the finality of God's judgement, fulfilling the words of Hebrews 12:26b-27: Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.
Verse 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.
Once again John saw much excitement in Heaven. Great events are taking place on earth. A great earthquake an earthquake that mankind have never experienced before strikes the earth. This is the same earthquake John saw under the Sixth Seal (Rev.6:12) and after the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet (Rev.11:15-19). But the earth will begin to quake only on the outpouring of the Seventh Vial.
Verse 19: 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 is Jerusalem, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified (Rev.11:8). God will shake this city and cause some wreckage but it will not fall. The cities of those nations around the world, which are in league with the Babylonian system, will fall from the effects of the great earthquake. They will lay in ruins.
And great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.” This statement does not mean that Babylon will be judged after the earth has quaked. (See Acts 10:31 for the expression.) Though the Apostle John described each of the outpouring of the Seven Vials, as he saw them in his visions, the Seven Vials were poured out one after another in quick succession. But the divine intent is to make Babylon drink the cup of the wine of God's fierce wrath. The judgement of Babylon is described in details in the subsequent visions in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.
Verse 20: And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
Verse 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.
Notice closely. This will be the fulfillment of the Sixth Seal. And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev.6:12-17).
Beloved, this precious earth has travailed long enough (Rom.8: 21-22). So, as soon as the last vial is poured out into the air, which is the very realm of Satan, the prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2 cf. 6:12), and when the angel proclaims It is done! all nature within the atmospheric heaven of this earth will go into a spasm. Jesus said, Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken (Matt.24:29). These are signs of the Son of Man returning to earth. When Christ Jesus comes, He will judge the world with power and great glory, and the heaven and the earth will be released from their pangs of corruption caused by the sins of man. Beside these signs, prodigious hailstones, weighing about sixty times heavier than those known to men, will strike the earth causing destructions in their paths. Being unrepentant, men will blaspheme God with their last breath. With a great and powerful earthquake that mankind have never experienced before our Lord Jesus will reshape the earth with mountains falling down and islands disappearing. With that He will bring in a new age, the millennial Age of Regeneration, where He will be the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
The Seven Vials actually hark back to the blowing of the Seventh Trumpet which introduces a time period for the outpouring of the Seven Last Plagues of God's wrath. And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail (Rev.11:15-19).
What we see here is this: when the fierceness, the boiling-over outburst, of God's wrath starts, it will not stop until God has raised the Godly dead (both His servants and His saints) who died as martyrs during the Great Tribulation. Then He will judge the living wicked persons of the earth, and cleanse the earth for the kingdom of our Lord. It will begin right after Daniel's 70th Week has run its course. The Day of the Lord will begin with the outpouring of the Seven Vials of wrath. After the Seventh Vial the judgement of God will be complete. It is done, and there is no more wrath.
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Revelation Chapter 17
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