Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Revelation
Revelation was taught by Dr. James Modlish

Chapter Sixteen

Seven Vials Of Wrath (Part 2)


Please review your notes on (Rev. 8) to see the parallel between the trumpet judgments and the vial judgments. In each case, the judgment is in the same area; but the vial judgments are more severe. It seems, too, that the vial judgments occur in quick succession, aimed especially at the Beast and his Satanic Kingdom. They prepare the way for Armageddon and the return of Christ to the earth to claim His kingdom.



This reminds us of the sixth plague of Egypt (Ex. 9:9) when boils broke out upon the enemy. The word "noisome" comes from an Old English word (similar to "annoy") that means "troublesome, vexing." God promised Israel this plague if they rebelled against Him (Deut. 28.27,35); and no doubt the unbelieving Jews will suffer along with the rejecting Gentiles. Note that these sores still trouble the world when the fifth vial is poured out (vs. 11). The affliction did not soften their hearts; men still blaspheme God and refuse to bow before Him.



Two of the vials are included here. The second angel turns the sea to blood, and the third angel turns the fountains and rivers to blood. Again, we are reminded of the first plague of Egypt (Ex. 7:18; Ps. 105:29), as well as the second trumpet (8:8ff). However, with the trumpet judgment, only a third part of the sea became blood; here we see the entire water system of the world polluted! The angels of the waters (see 7:1-2 and 14:18) praises God for this judgment, and explains that it is a fair judgment. The people of the earth have shed blood, so they must drink blood. We see this law operating throughout the Bible. Pharaoh drowned the Jewish boys, so his army was drowned in the Red Sea. Haman in the Book of Esther built a gallows to hang Mordecai, and he and his sons used it instead! Note that in (vs. 7) the souls under the altar are now satisfied; God has answered their prayers of (6:9).



The judgments from the fourth and fifth angels involve the heavens. The fourth angel causes the sun to scorch men. This is a reversal of the trumpet judgment in 8:12, where a part of the sun was darkened. In this case, God allows the sun to burn men, to give them, as it were, a foretaste of Hell. This is the day Malachi promised, that would "burn as an oven, (Mal. 4:1-2). Did men repent? No! Such is the hardness of the human heart.

The fifth angel reverses the situation and brings darkness. It is possible that this darkness covered only the immediate kingdom of the Beast, where his throne (seat) was located. This darkness takes us back to the ninth plague of Egypt (Ex. 10:21-23). Satan is the prince of darkness, so it is only right that darkness should invade his kingdom. Joel (2:1-2) prophesied that the day of the Lord would be a day of darkness! This is another foretaste of Hell. But they will not repent. 


When God delivered Israel from Egypt, He dried up the Red Sea to let them out. Here He dries up part of the Euphrates to allow the armies of the kings of the east to meet with the armies of the nations of the world at Armageddon. You will recall that Russia and her allies invaded Palestine about the middle of the tribulation (Gog and Magog, Ezek. 38-39), and were judged by the Lord. This left the Beast in complete control of the world system, ruling from Jerusalem. But Russia, the kings of the east, and Egypt, join forces to battle the armies of the Beast at Armageddon. The word "armageddon" means "mountain of Megiddo." You can find Megiddo on your Bible maps. This area has long been recognized as one of the world's great battlefields; and it is here that the last battle will be fought between Christ and the AntiChrist.

How are these armies gathered? The Satanic trinity uses demons to assemble them (13-14). These are not literal frogs, of course; rather, they are symbols of the demonic means (perhaps propaganda) Satan will use to assemble the largest army in the history of the world, to fight against the Lord. (See I Tim. 4:1; Ex. 8:5-7; 1 Kings 22:20-38). The armies will I gather to attack Jerusalem; but then the sign of the Son of Man will appear (Matt. 24:29-30) and the armies will unite to fight against Christ. The result is given in (Rev. 19:11-21). (See also: Joel 3:9-14; Zeph. 3.8; Zech. 12; Isa. 24:1-8).

Verse 15 is a promise to the saints on earth at that time. (I Thess. 5:2) makes it clear that the church of this age will not be caught "in the dark." Read (Rev. 18:4) and you will see that in this warning Christ Is asking His people to keep themselves out of the world and defilement of the Satanic system. Keep your garments clean! This is a good warning to saints today. 


In (10:6-7), God promised that "the mystery of God" would be finished when the seventh angel poured out his vial; and now we see this fulfilled. The events described in this section look forward to the fall of Babylon and the final return of Christ to reign. What occurs in the next chapters (17-19) is included In this seventh vial.

Why pour his vial out in the air? Because this is the realm, assigned to Satan, "the prince of the power of the air " (Eph. 2:2). The judgments thus far have touched the world of nature and the world of mankind, but not the "mastermind" behind it all - Satan. However, from this point on, Christ will deal with Satan's religious system (ch. 17), his political system (18), his armies (19), and the old serpent himself 20:1-3). When the seventh vial is emptied out, the throne and the temple of heaven unite in saying, "it is done!" The mystery of God is finished! The souls under the altar can no longer ask "How long!" This announcement reminds us of Christ's words on the cross, "it is finished!" When the new heaven and earth are ushered in, God will again say, "it is done!" (Rev. 21:6).

The earthquake divides Jerusalem (see 11:8) into three parts; see Zech. 14:4. But this is not the only city to be judged; other great cities on the earth fall, and great Babylon comes up for judgment. Babylon in Rev. 17 is the apostate church of the last days; Babylon of Rev. 18 is the political-economic system of the Beast.

The hall reminds us of the seventh plague (Ex. 9:22-26). Imagine hail stones that weigh 125 pounds, which is what a talent of silver weighed in John's day. Lev. 24:16 states that the blasphemer should be stoned to death, so the men of the earth who are continuing to blaspheme God (9, 11, 21) get what they deserve.

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