Revealing Revelation - Part 9
We will now look at the last seven judgments so get your Bible and a pen and let's get started. Skipping over to chapter 16, we begin the “vial” or “bowl” judgments. These judgments are directly from God, not man’s recompense or satan’s activities. Jesus is in charge. In chapter 6 He begins to unveil the seal judgments which ushered in all the following events including the trumpet judgments and the vial judgments. In verse one we see Him still in charge as He orders the deliverance of the vial judgments.
He is marching on to victory. Nothing will stop Him. The power and the glory are all His as the Father commits all judgment to Him (John 5:22-27). But now, the time of rejecting is over. God will have His way.
Vial # 1 - In verse 2, the first vial is poured out upon the earth. These judgments parallel the judgments of Moses (Exodus 9:8-12). This could possibly be the fulfillment of Moses’ prophesy in Deuteronomy 28:15, 27, and 35. This was an incurable sore.
Vial # 2 - The second vial or bowl is poured out in verse 3. This is much more devastating than the second trumpet judgment in which 1/3 of the seas were attacked. Every living soul will perish that was in the sea. This goes with Moses plague in Exodus 7:20-25. It will be impossible to clean up and instead of the beautiful scent of the sea breeze, all that will come on the breeze will be the stench of rotting bodies and putrid blood.
Vial number 3—This also will be much more violent than the third trumpet judgment where just 1/3 of the fresh water was attacked. All the rivers will be turned to blood. Imagine turning on the faucet for a fresh, cool drink of water and being greeted by a cupful of thick coagulated blood. The water supply for all flesh will be cut off and the destruction of human life will be unparalleled.
Vial number 4 - “And men were scorched with heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory” (verse 16:9).
Vial number 5 - “…and his kingdom was full of darkness: and they gnawed their tongues for pain…” (verse 10). What could cause such great heat in verse number 9 and such great darkness in verse number 10? God who has the universe in the palm of His hand could very easily tilt the earth just one degree closer to the sun. The earth is perfectly placed in its orbit around the sun. If it were to change even slightly temperatures would be affected greatly. Could it be that during the Tribulation God will see fit to change that orbit bringing the earth closer to the sun and thus creating a scorching heat? Then move the earth away from the sun causing darkness and freezing conditions that would cause the ones then living to chew their tongues because of the pain?
Perhaps more likely is the phenomenon of “black light”. As the sun’s wattage would increase in temperature, the light given off by that heat darkens. Thus vials 4 and 5 work together causing great heat and black light or darkness. This plague is similar to Moses’ plague in Exodus 10:21, 22. It was also prophesied in Isaiah 62:2, Joel 2:1, 2, 31 and is also mentioned by the prophets Nahum, Amos, and Zephaniah.
Vial number 6 - Verse 12 tells us of the drying up of the Euphrates River to prepare a path for the kings of the east. The Euphrates River is the eastern border of the Promised Land as given by God to Abraham (Genesis 15:18). It will be miraculously dried up during the Tribulation so that the Gentile nations from the east will have access to Armageddon. The east is where the bulk of the world’s peoples are. It is also the driest area for the Gospel. So with no gospel knowledge these countries will follow the antichrist to the battlefield in the Megiddo valley. The Euphrates River was also the eastern border of the original Roman Empire.
Vial # 7 - In verses 17-21 we see the final seven of seven judgments. A voice from Heaven declares “It is done”. This has the same idea of Christ’s last words from the cross, “It is finished”. The work is complete. God has brought the world to the exact place where He wants it, to the final battle of mankind just before the return of our Saviour.
In the meantime, the world experiences the worst earthquake the world has ever seen. This will level all mountains and islands will be shaken from their foundations. Hailstones, the weight of a talent will rain from the skies to crush all that it comes in contact with. The Greek talent is 56 pounds. The Jewish talent is 114 pounds. Josephus, the Jewish historian tells us that Titus the Roman leveled the temple by catapulting stones of a talent’s weight. Not one stone was left upon another. What will be the result of these giant hailstones?
Next time, we will conclude our study. I hope you will be back as we wrap it up.