Archives For judgment

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons and Review

B. Text of Rev 16:1-11

1Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the seven plagues of God’s wrath on the earth.” 2So the first angel left and poured out his bowl on the earth. Then painful and harsh sores appeared on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his statue. 3Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea. As a result the sea turned into blood like from the dead, and every living thing in the sea died. 4Then the third bowl was poured out on the rivers and water springs. As a result they turned into blood. 5Then I heard the angel of the waters saying, ‘You are righteous. The One who is, was, the holy one that judges with these things, 6because the blood of the saints and the prophets has been poured out, so you gave them blood to drink, which they deserve.” 7Then I heard a voice from the altar saying, “Yes! Lord God, Almighty! Your judgments are true and just.” 8Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun and it caused the sun to burn up humans in fire. 9People were scorched with a scorching heat. So they slandered the name of God who holds power over these plagues, yet they did not repent and give him glory. 10Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast. As a result his kingdom was darkened and people were biting their tongues from the pain. 11They slandered the God of heaven because of their pain and sores. Yet, they did not turn from their evil deeds. (Rev 16:1-11)

The First Through Fifth Bowls (Rev 16:1-11)

Photo Credit: Matthias Gerung

C. General Remarks

“God will allow natural elements themselves (earth, sea, rivers and sun) to pass judgment on the human beings who have so grievously abused their position as God’s image-bearers with creation.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 142)

D. Opening Illustration

Well known Bible scholar and writer N.T. Wright, was cycling down the street one day when he came up beside a former teacher of his. Wright had studied the New Testament under him a few years earlier, but now Wright was neck deep in studying and writing about Rom 1:18-3:20. That section of Paul’s letter to the Romans is all about God’s wrath against all human wickedness. Wright confided in his former teacher saying, “I’m having a hard time with wrath.” To that statement his former teacher said, “Aren’t we all” and he cheerfully cycled off (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 141).

II. AN INTRODUCTION TO THE BOWL JUDGMENTS (Rev 16:1)

“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the seven plagues of God’s wrath on the earth.’” (Rev 16:1)

QUESTION: WHO IS IN CHARGE HERE? SEEMS TO BE THAT GOD IS IN CHARGE.

QUESTION: WHAT IS THE TIMING OF THESE BOWLS? FIRST OR LAST?

QUESTION: WHO’S VOICE DO YOU THINK THIS IS?

A. The Seven Angels

These are the same seven angels that are first mentioned in Revelation 15.

B. God’s “Wrath” Continue Reading…

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons and Review

B. Text of Revelation 15

“1Then I saw another great and marvelous sign in heaven. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues for they will complete the wrath of God. 2Then I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire and those who had conquered the beast and his statue and the number of his name were standing on the sea of glass holding harps of God. 3They sang the song of Moses—the servant of God—and the song of the saints saying,

‘Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, king over the nations.’ 4Who will not fear you—Lord—or glorify your name. Because you alone are holy for every nation will come and will worship before you, for your righteous deeds will be made known.’

5After these things I looked, and the temple (the tent of testimony) was opened in heaven. 6Then the seven angels who were holding the seven last plagues came from the temple. They were clothed in clean shining linen and wearing gold linen down their chests. 7Then one of the four living beings gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and his power. It was so thick that no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were complete.” (Rev 15:1-8) 1

The Song of Moses and Seven Last Plagues (Rev 15)

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst Collection

C. General Remarks

“These events are the ‘seven last plagues’ preceding the second coming of Christ. As previously indicated, the chronological order of events in Revelation is presented basically in the seven seals (6:1-17; 8:1). The seventh seal includes all of the seven trumpets (8:1-9:21; 11:15-19). The seven bowls of divine judgment are included in the seventh trumpet. The order of events forms a dramatic crescendo, the seventh seal being all-inclusive of the end-time events including the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet including the events described in the seven bowls. Christ then returns immediately after the seventh bowl. The intervening sections such as 10:1-11:14; 13-14; 17-18 do not advance the narrative chronologically. Chapter 19 follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 231)

“We are honing in on the greatest showdown of them all. We left the dragon and the two monsters behind, two chapters ago. They have drawn many into their destructive ways. It is time, now, for the destroyers to be destroyed. This is the purpose of the seven last plagues, and of the cataclysmic judgments which follow them.” (Wright, Revelation, 140)

“Chapters 15 and 16 bring to consummation the chronologically ordered events leading up to the second coming of Christ described in chapter 19.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 231)

“Chapter 15 is a sort of celestial interlude to introduce the pouring out of the seven bowls of wrath in chapter 16. The former facilitates an understanding of the latter. It is time for what has been anticipated in the cup of wine (14:10), the harvest (14:14-16), and the vintage (14:17-20) to be delineated in its chronological fulfillment.” (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 228)

“The whole scene is very symbolic of what is about to happen. The angels coming out of the sanctuary indicate that the judgments to be poured out step from the holiness of God and are properly required of God, who must do all things right.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 236)

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II. THE SEVEN FINAL PLAGUES (Rev 15:1)

Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο σημεῖον ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ μέγα καὶ θαυμαστόν, ἀγγέλους ἑπτὰ ἔχοντας πληγὰς ἑπτὰ τὰς ἐσχάτας, ὅτι ἐν αὐταῖς ἐτελέσθη ὁ θυμὸς τοῦ θεοῦ. 2

“Then I saw another great and marvelous sign in heaven. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues for they will complete the wrath of God.” (Rev 15:1) 3

A. Another Sign

The words “another . . sign” remind us John has seen previous signs. Those are the woman in Rev 12:1 as well as the dragon in Rev 12:3. We talked about how the woman is likely the nation of Israel and the dragon is Satan. There are other views, but this seems to be the beast biblical view.

B. Seven Angels? Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.
  2. Greek text used for my translations is the Nestle-Aland 28 edition of the Greek New Testament
  3. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Revelation 14:14-20

“14Then I looked and behold! A white cloud. The one sitting on the cloud was like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15Then another angel come out of the temple calling out in a loud voice to the one sitting on the cloud. ‘Send your sickle and harvest because the hour to harvest has arrived with the harvest of the earth dry and ready.’ 16So the one sitting on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth and the earth was harvested. 17Another angel went out from the temple in heaven holding a sharp sickle. 18Then another angel came out from the altar who had power over fire. He called out in a loud voice to the one who had the sharp sickle saying, ‘Send your sharp sickle and harvest the grapes of the earth because the grapes are ready.’ 19The angel swung his sickle on the earth and harvested the grapes of the earth and threw them into the wine press of God’s great wrath. 20The wine-press was trampled outside of the city and the blood went out from the wine press as high as a horse’s bridle for 184 miles.” (Rev 14:20) 1

The Earth Is Harvested (Rev 14.:14 -20)

Photo Credit: “The Harvest of the World” in the Phillip Medhurst Collection

You can get a PDF version of this blog post, a handout for small group study, & access my translation notes by becoming a patron of my blog.

C. General Remarks

“The whole passage is designed to convey a powerful message which we need today as much as ever. God’s time will come; God will bring his people safely home; God will take even the wickedness and rebellion of the world and make it turn to his praise and to the salvation of his people. In the meantime his people are to be encouraged in their suffering. Martyrdom itself will be part of God’s purpose to bring his wise, healing order – to bear upon the world.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 135).

“The implications of the message for today are only too plain. Today is a day of grace; but what is true of the tribulation is also true today, that God will ultimately judge all people. Today, however, the invitation is still open to those who will receive the grace of God by trusting in Christ and being saved from entering this awful period that may be impending for this present generation.” (Walvoord, Revelation, 230)

“There should be no doubt that this passage, describing the harvest and the vintage, is meant to be an occasion of great, uninhibited joy. We need a huge amount of evidence to force us to say anything else.” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 133)

QUESTION: IF SOMEONE KNEW THAT YOU WERE STUDYING THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND ASKED, “WHERE IN REVELATION DOES JESUS RETURN?” WHAT WOULD YOU SAY?

II. THE SON OF MAN (Rev 14:14)

Καὶ εἶδον, καὶ ἰδοὺ νεφέλη λευκή, καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν νεφέλην καθήμενον ὅμοιον υἱὸν ἀνθρώπου, ἔχων ἐπὶ τῆς κεφαλῆς αὐτοῦ στέφανον χρυσοῦν καὶ ἐν τῇ χειρὶ αὐτοῦ δρέπανον ὀξύ.

“Then I looked and behold! A white cloud. The one sitting on the cloud was like the Son of Man. He had a gold crown on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand.” (Rev 14:14)

QUESTION: WHERE ELSE IN THE BIBLE IS THE PHRASE “SON OF MAN” USED?

QUESTION: WHAT IS A “SICKLE?”

A. The Son of Man

The phrase, “Son of Man” is first used in Dan 7:13 and then in the Gospels, most notably in the Gospel of Luke as Jesus’s favorite way to describe himself. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (called the Septuagint or LXX) the phrase is very similar to this passage here in Rev 14:14: Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the Nestle-Aland 28 Greek text

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 9:13-21

“13Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet and I heard a voice from the corners of the golden altar before God. 14The voice said to the sixth angel (the one who holds the sixth trumpet), ‘Release the four angels which have been bound at the great Euphrates River.’ 15The four angels which were ready for this hour, day, month, and year were released in order to kill one-third of mankind. 16The number of their calvary army was 200,000,000 troops. I heard their number. 17Then I saw horses in a vision and the ones riding the horses had breastplates that were fiery colored, violet, and yellow. The heads of the hourses were like the heads of lions. Fire, smoke, and sulfur came from their mouths. 18From these three plagues one-third of mankind was killed. This was due to the fire, smoke, and sulfur which came from the mouths of the horses. 19For the power of the horses was in their mouths and in their tails. For their tails were like snakes which had heads that hurt people. 20The rest of mankind which was not killed by the plagues would not repent from the work of their hands because they did not want to stop worshipping the evil spirits nor the gold, bronze, stone, or wooden idols. These idols do not have power to see nor hear nor walk. 21And they would not repent from their murders or magic or sexual immortality or from their stealing.” (Rev 9:13-21) 1

The Sixth Trumpet Releases the Second Terror in Rev 9.13 to 9.21

Photo Credit: Phillip Medhurst “Four Angels Let Loose”

C. General Remarks

“It is as though John is systematically saying, ‘Think of your worst nightmares; now double them; and then imagine them coming true all at once together. That’s what it’s going to be like. This is God’s way of letting evil do its worst, so that it may eventually fall under its own weight.’” (Wright, Revelation for Everyone, 92)

“It is poor hermeneutics to try to see them [the plagues] as prophetic modern weapons of war like tanks, planes, or nuclear missiles. John was thinking of ancient warfare, and the terrible fire and smoke caused by the siege engines of the Roman army. By giving each a separate place John is trying to capture the terrible devastation of the demonic cavalry as it goes to war again the peoples of the earth” (Osborne, Revelation, 384).

II. THE SIXTH TRUMPET RELEASES WRATH (9:13-16)

A. A Voice from the Altar (v. 13)

“Then the sixth angel blew his trumpet and I heard a voice from the corners of the golden altar before God.” (Rev 9:13)

B. Instructions for Release (v. 14) Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own based on the NA28 Greek Text.

I. INTRODUCTION

A. Past Lessons

B. Text of Rev 8:1-5

“1When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2Then I saw seven angels who had been standing in front of the throne and they were given seven trumpets. 3Then another angel came and stood near the altar holding a golden censer and a large amount of incense was given to him so that he can give the prayers of the many saints on the golden altar. 4Then the smoke of the incense from the prayers of the saints ascended up out of the hand of the angel in front of God’s throne. 5Next the angel took the censer and filled it with the fire from the altar and threw it on the earth. Then there was thunder, noise, lightening, and an earthquake.” (Rev 8:1-5) 1

The Lamb Breaks the Seventh Seal (Rev 8:1-5)

Matthias Gerung: “The Opening of the Seventh Seal and the First Four Sounding Trumpets, Revelation 8:1-13”

II. OPENING SILENCE (8:1-2)

A. The Seventh Seal’s Silence (v. 1)

Καὶ ὅταν ἤνοιξεν τὴν σφραγῖδα τὴν ἑβδόμην, ἐγένετο σιγὴ ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ ὡς ἡμιώριον.

“When the Lamb opened the seventh seal there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” (Rev 8:1)

1. The Sound of Silence Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are my own. The Greek text is from NA28.