- 1. Introduction
- 2. The Rapture
- 3. The Tribulation Opens
- 4. Stage 1 - The Seven Seals
- 5. Stage 2 - The Seven Trumpets
- 6. Stage 3 - The Seven Bowls
- 7. The Tribulation Closes
- 8. The Thread - traced in The Rapture and The Tribulation
Stage 3 - The Seven Bowls
Seven angels with seven plagues
Revelation 15 v 1 – 7
1 I saw in heaven another great and marvellous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed.
2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvellous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations.
4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
5 After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. 6 Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests.
7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
BOWL – 1 poured out:
On the land
2 The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.
Festering sores will torment mankind
BOWL – 1 explained:
Here we have a parallel with one of the ancient Egyptian plagues – the sixth plague of boils on the skin. This plague comes as a result of the mark of the beast and may well be a delayed allergic reaction to a micro-chip or radiation process.
It only affects those who bear the mark of the beast and worship his image. It must be recognised by those who suffer in this way that this judgement is not random but it is the specific penalty for rejecting Christ and for worshipping the Antichrist and receiving the mark of the beast.
BOWL – 2 poured out:
On the sea
3 The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.
Remember the plagues in Egypt?
BOWL – 2 explained:
Once again we see a parallel with the first Egyptian plague when the rivers were turned to blood. This plague is universal and affects all the creatures in the sea. The stench of death is everywhere.
BOWL – 3 poured out:
On the rivers
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, O Holy One, you who are and who were; 6 for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.”
7 And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.
BOWL – 3 explained:
Again we can visualise the connection with the plagues in ancient Egypt. All the rivers on earth as well as the sea are corrupted and the water is unsuitable for human consumption. Life and survival on earth itself is now threatened.
BOWL – 4 poured out:
On the sun
8 The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed 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.
Blistering heat from the sun
BOWL – 4 explained:
It may well be that the natural process of evaporation of water from the great rivers and oceans is interrupted by some adverse chemical reaction from the contaminated blood-like waters. This could exacerbate the effects of the sun rays as they scorch men with searing heat.
It may well be that God makes changes in the earth’s atmosphere or stratosphere and temporarily alters the normal behaviour of ultraviolet, radiation and heat waves from the sun so that they burn with intense heat.
However this is done, the magnifying effects of the rays from the sun become unbearable. The wording clearly states that the fourth bowl was 'poured out on the sun' so it is more likely that the behaviour of the sun is temporarily changed to bring about this dreadful phenomenon.
Listen to the graphic descriptions of the following scriptures; make no mistake about it, mankind will face the most awful judgement when bowl 4 is poured out.
Isaiah 24 v 6-7
Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earthʼs inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.
Isaiah 30 v 26-27
26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the Lord binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted. 27 See, the Name of the Lord comes from afar, with burning anger and dense clouds of smoke; his lips are full of wrath, and his tongue is a consuming fire.
Malachi 4 v 1
1 “Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them.
Little wonder we read in Rev 8 v 13, "Woe! Woe! Woe, to the inhabitants of the earth..." when the final three Trumpet Blasts were announced. We read in Rev 15 v 1, regarding these seven Bowls of Wrath, "... because with them God's wrath is completed."
These events are supernatural judgments of God on mankind; I have no difficulty in suggesting that they will happen in the near future, and yet people are oblivious to their imminence and reality!
See link at the bottom of this page to read about this temporary phenomenon on the Creation page - additional reading: Hypothesis - The Sun will not last forever.
BOWL – 5 poured out:
On the throne of the beast
10 The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony 11 and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.
Darkness of Egyptian plague revisited
BOWL – 5 explained:
No sooner do men seek refuge from the unrelenting heat of the sun – and they are tormented and disorientated with a dreadful darkness. We visualise the ninth plague in Egypt where the darkness was depicted as a thick and dreadful darkness.
God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. This thick and dreadful darkness emphasises expulsion from God and from his grace and mercy. The kingdom and realm of the beast is the particular target of this darkness. The beast is therefore identified and exposed for who he is.
The reaction of men to this plague is chilling; They gnawed their tongues in agony as they come to realise that they are doomed to destruction. They realise that for them there is no hope of redemption; they are lost forever.
Because there is the realisation of doom and destruction; they vent their hatred and frustration for their ruin on the very God who offered them salvation at one time in their life. They blasphemed the God of heaven!
They refused the gift of salvation and now realise their helpless and hopeless fate. This callous attitude toward God is not new; Job’s wife suggested that he ‘curse God and die’. Job knew better!
They refused to repent. Hardened by sin, rebellion and disobedience, this is the final condition of the lost. Tragic!
BOWL – 6 poured out:
On the great river Euphrates
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.
13 Then I saw three impure 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.
14 They are demonic spirits that perform 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.
15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” 16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called - ARMAGEDDON
The kings from the East
These could be massive troops from the Muslim nations or from as far as China and Korea
The kings from the whole world - Gog and Magog
The population of the earth will be decimated by the time of this sixth bowl judgment.
Nonetheless, the remaining armies of earth will be gathered to fight against the only remaining target that has any resemblance of the God who has poured out the three stages of judgment.
The target is of course - Israel. No surprise there!
BOWL – 6 explained:
We pointed out on the sixth trumpet - Only seven verses describe the first four trumpet judgments whereas nineteen verses describe the terror of trumpets five and six; such is the terror of these two awful trumpet judgments!
Here also, only ten verses are required to describe the first five bowls, while ten verses are required to describe the final two judgement bowls. Such is their severity and finality.
The waters of the great river Euphrates are somehow dried up to prepare a way for the armies of the East to cross over and amass for war in Israel, 16 v 12.
The remaining armies of the world that have survived up to this point, are also summoned to join the battle of Armageddon, 16 v 14.
Zechariah 12 v 1-9
Jerusalemʼs Enemies to Be Destroyed
1 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares:
2 “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem.
3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.
4 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.
5 Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’
6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
7 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalemʼs inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah.
8 On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them.
9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.
This is the battle of Armageddon. The nations of earth will assemble in Israel and will surround the people of God in an attempt to wipe them out.
Please take careful note of the timing of this assault! The seven judgment seals and the seven trumpet judgments have been fully executed. We are now at the sixth bowl of God's wrath. Satan has mustered the armies of earth against the people of God - his chosen nation - Israel.
The seventh bowl of God's wrath - the final judgment on mankind - is about to be poured out as this battle of Armageddon is brought to its only justifiable conclusion.
Under this penultimate deception Satan gathers the armies of earth for the battle of the great day of God – the final deception is reserved for the end of the millennial reign of Christ.
For now, though, our attention is drawn to - The battle of Armageddon.
These events are precipitated by the miraculous signs of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet (see third parenthesis). The deception knows no bounds as the souls of men are led astray.
And now the righteous judgement of God is about to be completed...
BOWL – 7 poured out:
On the air
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!”
18 Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake.
No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind 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, each weighing about a hundred pounds, fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.
Earth's tectonic plates will shift as they did during the Flood
BOWL – 7 explained:
The final act of God’s judgement on mankind is marked with flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder and a severe earthquake of unprecedented scope and tremendous power.
The great city of Jerusalem split into three parts and then we read these chilling words:
"THE CITIES OF THE NATIONS COLLAPSED."
Devastation on an unprecedented scale
Major cities all across the earth will look like this.
Total devastation across the earth
Isaiah prophesied in great detail about God's judgement against mankind. This was written in circa 710 - 730 BC.
Isaiah 24 v 1-3 and 17-23
1 See, the Lord is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it; he will ruin its face and scatter its inhabitants— 2 it will be the same for priest as for people, for the master as for his servant, for the mistress as for her servant, for seller as for buyer, for borrower as for lender, for debtor as for creditor. 3 The earth will be completely laid waste and totally plundered. The Lord has spoken this word....
17 Terror and pit and snare await you, people of the earth. 18 Whoever flees at the sound of terror will fall into a pit; whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare. The floodgates of the heavens are opened, the foundations of the earth shake. 19 The earth is broken up, the earth is split asunder, the earth is violently shaken.
20 The earth reels like a drunkard, it sways like a hut in the wind; so heavy upon it is the guilt of its rebellion that it falls—never to rise again. 21 In that day the Lord will punish the powers in the heavens above and the kings on the earth below.
22 They will be herded together like prisoners bound in a dungeon; they will be shut up in prison and be punished after many days. 23 The moon will be dismayed, the sun ashamed; for the Lord Almighty will reign on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before its elders—with great glory.
Imagine the following major cities of earth simultaneously collapsing under the effects of a dynamic and global earth quake:
New York, Dubai, Chicago, Las Vegas, London, Glasgow, Belfast, Melbourne, Sydney, Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam, Moscow, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Beijing, Cairo, Johannesburg, Paris, Barcelona and Madrid.
Think of it like this; it is within the cities across the earth where the financial markets are controlled, it is where governments have their seat of power, it is where the 'red light' districts are and it is where the gambling dens are - in short, it is the cities of the world where man's unbridled sin and rebellion against the God of heaven has had its seat of power and control.
Now these cities fall under the righteous judgement of a Holy God. Along with the destruction of the earthquake, the islands are displaced and a great hail storm unleashes huge hails of ice which weigh one hundred pounds.
Haggai 2 v 6-7
6 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.
Hebrews 12 v 26
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.”
The destruction and devastation caused by the judgement of God is now complete. There is nothing left on earth for the nations to covet or fight over; the earth is desolate.
The armies of the East and of the Western World will be obliterated in this final act of judgement as the way is now being prepared for the coming Messiah. This time He will come to earth with Power and Glory to set up His Millennial Kingdom on earth.
This time there will be no 'babe in a manger', there will no Scribes and Pharisees questioning His authority. Every eye shall see Him, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the Glory of God the father.
The three awful stages of God's judgement on mankind are now completed. Seven seals have been opened, seven trumpets have been sounded and seven bowls of the wrath of God have been poured out
Earth's population will be decimated - reduced from the current 7 billion to much less than 3 billion within seven years – much more than 50% of earth’s population will perish during the seven year Tribulation! Why is the church so silent in this respect?
Next we shall see how this awful Tribulation period comes to a close.
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Regarding Bowl 4 - the sun scorching people; read more on the following page.
Read more: Hypothesis / The Sun will not last forever