“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.” Revelation 16:1.
Here we are shown the terrible seven last plagues that will fall on the wicked inhabitants of this world who are determined to destroy God’s waiting, faithful children. Who is this ‘Great Voice’ that speaks here from the Temple in Heaven? It is God the Father; because at this time Jesus has finished His work of interceding for mankind and probation is closed.
Jesus will not leave the Most Holy Place until every case is decided either for salvation or destruction. The wrath of God can not come until Jesus finishes His work in the Most Holy Place. Then Jesus will step out from between the Father and men, and God will keep silence no longer, but pour out His wrath on those who have rejected His truth.
When our High Priest has finished His work in the sanctuary, He will stand up, put on the garments of vengeance, and then the seven last plagues will be poured out.
The four angels hold the four winds until Jesus’ work is done in the sanctuary, and then will come the seven last plagues.
“And the first angel 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.” Revelation 16:2.
The first plague is a terrible and painful kind of sore that comes on the people, and no one can find a cure for it. Can you imagine sores all over your body. Notice, these gnawing, painful sores will afflict only those who have the mark of the beast and worship his image.
People by the thousands who have received the ‘mark’ for the purpose of saving their jobs and the comforts of life now find that their comfort is gone.
Instead of causing them to repent, and pray to God for forgiveness, these terrible sores only cause them to ‘blaspheme God’ and ‘gnaw their tongues for pain.’ God knows that if He gave them a million years more, they wouldn’t change.
Not everyone will get these awful sores. Those who so lately have been persecuted and mocked, are now safe. Angels of God protect them. They have loved and been obedient to their Lord, even unto death, and now Jesus is very close to them. Though they’ll be sentenced to death, God’s people will not die. Jesus will interpose to save them. While the wicked are perishing with pestilence and famine, God’s people are sheltered in His hand.
“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.” Revelation 15:3.
The second plague causes the water of the oceans to change into something that is like the blood of a dead man.
Those who have hated God’s people have tried to shed their blood, and now they are given blood; more than they know what to do with.
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.” Revelation 15:4.
The third plague causes the rivers and fountains of water to all become like blood. This is interesting, as the angel here says that this is only fair. They deserve it, in other words.
“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. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” Revelation 15:5-7.
All the beings of the universe as well as the angels declare that they deserve just what they are getting. One voice is the angel from heaven and the other voice comes from the altar, which represents the saved on earth. As terrible as these judgments are, they are righteous. You see, God is not an arbitrary tyrant. He moves ahead with His judgments only as fast as his created children are able to understand them and approve of them.
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 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.” Revelation 16:8, 9.
The fourth plague causes the sun to become so hot that it scorches people. This is also a very fair judgment, because these people are exalting sun-worship and seeking to force all to worship the ‘Sun-day’; so God gives them what they want, lots of sun.
Many who have worked miracles and done wonderful works, have trampled on God’s Sabbath and persecuted those who honored it. They’ve felt secure in God’s favor. But now their rage is great. Now their true character is revealed. They “blaspheme God and repent not.”
This plague is perfectly suited to the sin of the people. They have honored the “day of the sun” according to the traditions of men, and now God gives them sun, plenty of it. In that day, many will long for the shelter of God’s mercy which they have so long despised.
God’s people will be hiding in desolate places, but He who provided food for Elijah in the wilderness will care for them. While the wicked are dying from the heat and pestilence, angels will shield God’s faithful people and supply their wants.
God’s promise is; “When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them.” Isaiah 33:15, 16; 41:17.
“The Lord is thy keeper: the Lord is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.” Psalm 121:5-7.
”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, and blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” Revelation 16:10, 11.
The fifth plague brings dense darkness to the seat of the Beast; his kingdom is full of darkness. For centuries Rome has poured out spiritual darkness onto the world, now they find themselves in actual darkness.
In choosing to honor the beast and receive his ‘Mark’ instead of honoring God and His ‘Seal’, the people have chosen darkness. Now again, God gives them what they’ve chosen.
Oh, if they had only responded to God’s great kindness. His arms have been stretched out in love. Now it is too late, The disobedient have decreed that those who have received God’s Seal cannot buy or sell. Now they themselves are starving with famine and groping in utter darkness. This supernatural darkness is a fit symbol of the gross darkness that has come upon the minds of those who have turned away from the light of truth.
God’s people are hiding in remote areas. They’ve lost their jobs and homes, and fled for their lives before insane men, urged on by the religious leaders and evil angels. They’ve given up all for Christ. They’ve seen the wicked perishing, but angels of God provide food for them. To the obedient God’s promise is given: “Bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.”
“A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked … there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.” Psalm 91:3-10. Read this precious Psalm and memorize it, as it will be fulfilled to the faithful in those fearful days.
By the fifth plague, the whole wicked world is really angry. They’ve decided that those who honor God’s Sabbath of the Bible are the cause of the horrible convulsions of nature, and they determine to blot them from the earth. The date is set. When the clock strikes midnight on a certain day, God’s obedient people are to be put to death.
“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.” Revelation 15:12
The sixth plague talks about the dying up of a river. When literal Babylon was conquered, the river that flowed through the city was dried up and the soldiers came into the city through the riverbed. So this shows us that spiritual Babylon is about to fall, as the ‘waters’, which represent the people of the world who support it, turn away from supporting it, and start to fight against it.
This prepares the way for Jesus’ coming, represented as the ‘Kings of the East’.
“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. For they are 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.” Revelation 16:13-14
Always remember when you read the prophecies that they do not follow through in order like a story; the sixth plague of course does follow the fifth, but some things referred to here are reaching a climax that began long before.
These two verses, although they are mentioned in the time of the sixth plague, actually begin happening long before that. They are happening now, as Satan uses his miracles and tricks to fool people into disobeying God and seek to force everyone to disobey Him also.
Notice these three symbols; The Dragon, spiritualism; the Beast, Papal Rome; the False Prophet, Apostate Protestantism. Actually, the only true definition of ‘Protestant’ means to protest against Rome. Now that USA has formed an alliance with Rome it is no longer Protestant, but has become apostate; the false prophet. Satan gets them to join together and he gets the kings and mighty men of the earth to join in too, how? By performing miracles and wonders that cause people to believe the lies he is telling them. Only the people who know and believe the Bible will not be tricked.
Satan’s agencies in human form are active even now. Men have confederated to oppose the Lord of hosts. These confederacies will continue until Christ shall leave His place of intercession before the mercy seat, and shall put on the garments of vengeance. Satanic agencies are in every city, busily organizing into parties those opposed to the law of God. Professed saints and avowed unbelievers take their stand with these parties. This is no time for the people of God to be weaklings. We cannot afford to be off our guard for one moment.
“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Revelation 15:15
It is most interesting that Jesus inserts this warning here, during this period of final events. When this time actually comes, it is too late to get the garment of Christ’s Righteousness and put it on. If we are not to be naked in that terrible day, and the entire universe see our shame, we must accept that White Raiment now and cooperate with Jesus as He works to perfect our characters to reflect His.
If we think we are ‘good enough’ as ‘good as the next guy’ and our own good works are enough to take us to heaven, and we don’t feel the need to repent and plead with Jesus now to take all the sin out of our lives and make us pure, then in that day, we will be exposed to all, for what we really are; hypocrites.
“And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.” Revelation 15:16
It is this gathering of all the powers of earth together for the purpose of fighting against God’s Law and His people that is called the Battle of Armageddon. There have been many funny things taught about this subject, but it refers to the time when the powers of Babylon the Great, seek to force everybody to break God’s law. It is not a particular place, or a literal battle between earthly nations.
The word ‘Armageddon’ is made of two Hebrew words ‘Har’ and ‘Megidon’. This is not some local battle fought in the Valley of Megido as some have said. The word ‘Har’ means mountain, and there is no mountain in Megido. ‘Armageddon’ is a symbolic word Jesus uses to denote the great universal battle, where the wicked turn against God and His faithful people.
This is a world-wide battle. America’s national Sunday law has spread to all the nations of the world, and a universal law is passed to wipe the hated sect of Sabbath keepers from the face of the earth in one day.
Satan has always worked for this end, because he thinks that if all of God’s faithful are wiped out, then God has to let him keep planet earth for his own kingdom. But this will never happen.
The spirits of devils, by their miracles, have prepared the rulers and people of the world and ‘gather them together” to fight against God and His people. This is earth’s final battle between good and evil. All have taken sides. The wicked are in the majority and seemingly have great advantage, like Goliath against David.
The people of God, some in prisons, some hidden in forests and mountains, still plead for God’s protection, while companies of armed men, hurried on by evil angels, are preparing to execute the death sentence. It’s now in the darkest hour, that the God of Israel will interpose to deliver His faithful people.
The date has been set to strike one stunning blow that will wipe the hated sect from the face of the earth. At midnight the death decree goes into effect, but the mighty God of heaven will interpose to save His people.
“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. 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. 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. And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 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 was exceeding great.” Revelation 16:17-21.
Here we see Great Babylon, made out of these three parts, which Satan has worked so hard to bring together, quickly fall apart again, and all the parts fight against each other.
The seventh plague takes place as Jesus comes back to get His faithful people. Babylon the Great – The Mother of Harlots, has caused all nations to drink of the wine of her mixture of Christian and pagan sun-worship. Now she drinks of the wine of the wrath of God. Satan’s attempt to enforce the death decree against God’s people fails, as God steps in to save His people. And what a deliverance.
The mountains shake like a reed in the wind, and ragged rocks are scattered on every side. There is a roar as of a coming tempest. The sea is lashed into fury. There is heard the shriek of a hurricane, like the voice of demons upon a mission of destruction. The whole earth heaves and swells like the waves of the sea. Its surface is breaking up. Its very foundations seem to be giving way. Mountain chains are sinking. Inhabited islands disappear.
Splendid mansions erected by the rich with money embezzled from the poor are dashed to pieces before their eyes. Prison walls tumble down, and God’s humble people, who have been held in bondage for their faith are set free.
Cities that have become like Sodom for wickedness, are swallowed up by the angry waters. Great hailstones, every one ‘about the weight of a talent’, (approximately 63 pounds) are doing their work of destruction. The proudest cities of the earth are laid low.
It is impossible to describe the horror and despair of those who have trampled on God’s requirements. The enemies of God’s law, from the ministers down, have a new conception of what is truth. Too late, they see the true nature of the counterfeit sabbath that the Roman church has brought in, and the shaky foundation they’ve been building on. Many now see that they are lost. They’ve chosen the easy, popular way, and have received the Mark of the Beast.
They’ve followed the religious leaders instead of the plain word of God. They’ve been led to believe that the majority couldn’t be wrong. Now they turn on their ministers and bitterly reproach them for their sorry state.
There appears in the sky a cloud which betokens the coming of the ‘King of kings and Lord of lords’. In solemn silence God’s people gaze upon it, as it draws nearer and nearer to the earth. Brighter and brighter it becomes, and more glorious, until it’s a great white cloud, its glory like consuming fire.
Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. “And the armies which were in heaven” follow Him. Revelation 19:11, 14. The whole heaven seems filled with dazzling forms; ‘ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands’.
No pen can describe it. No human mind can imagine the wonderful scene. As the living cloud comes still nearer, every eye beholds the lovely Jesus. There’s no crown of thorns on that holy brow, but now a crown of glory rests upon His sacred head. His face outshines the dazzling brightness of the sun. The King of Glory descends on the cloud amid terrific majesty, and wrapped in flaming fire.
The jokes have stopped. Cursing, lying lips are now silent. In the middle of their terror the wicked hear the voices of God’s people joyfully exclaiming: “Lo this is our God; we have waited for Him, and He will save us.” Isaiah 25:9. Are you ready? Are you sure?