A. Past Lessons and Review
- The Lamb and 144,00 at Mt. Zion (Rev 14:1-5)
- Three Angels Fly Through the Air (Rev 14:6-13)
- The Earth Is Harvested (Rev 14:14-20)
- The Song of Moses and Seven Last Plagues
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)
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”