Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT
The Book of Revelation
We are now coming to the most abominable horror that will envelope this word during the Great Tribulation period. It started with the seven seals and then went to the seven trumpets, each increasing in intensity. And now we come to the seven vials. This is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “Great tribulation as the world has never seen before and will never see again.” It breaks down as follows:
1. The Great Voice Out of the Temple - Revelation 16:1
2. The First Vial: Sores on Men – Revelation 16:2
3. The Second Vial: Sea of Blood – Revelation 16:3
4. The Third Vial: Rivers Turned to Blood – Revelation 16:4-7
5. The Fourth Vial: Scorching Heat from The Sun – Revelation 16:8-9
6. The Fifth Vial: Dense Darkness Upon Antichrist’s Kingdom – Revelation 16:10-11
7. The Sixth Vial: The River Euphrates Dried Up – Revelation 16:12
8. Three Unclean Spirits – Revelation 16:13-16
9. The Seventh Vial: Great Earthquake and Great Hail – Revelation 16:17-21
The Great Voice Out of The Temple – Revelation 16:1
Several times John mentions “a voice” that would speak to him or a “great voice” that he would hear. The voice comes from the Temple. It is making an announcement to the seven angels (seven men) responsible for these terrible vials of judgment containing the wrath of God to be poured out upon the earth. They are told, “It is now time."
The time of the seven vials will be the latter half of the Great Tribulation period, probably in the last 2 ½ years. I want to again emphasize that the book of Revelation is a “behind-the-scenes account” of things that take place on earth. All of this is preceded by events such as we are reading in the book of Revelation taking place in Heaven. As I write these words, the Middle East war is raging. This did not just happen. There were things unseen by the natural eye that precipitated these events in the spirit world. Nothing on earth happens by chance. All occurrences take place as a result of one or two particulars:
The First Vial: Sores on Men – Revelation 16:2
The first angel will pour out his vial pertaining to great sores that will come upon individuals who have taken the mark of the beast and are worshiping his image. Remember, this fiercesome judgment will not come until the angel has flown through the heavens proclaiming it. The angel will warn them not to take the mark (Revelation 14:9-11).
The Second Vial: Sea of Blood – Revelation 16:3
The sea mentioned here is the Mediterranean Sea. The Bible says, will become as the blood of a dead man. It says that every living soul will die in the sea. This seems to refer not only to every person on every ship in the Mediterranean but also to the fish as well. Understand these statements are not symbolic. They will happen. No doubt, the world of science will attempt to give some type of reason as to why this terrible thing is taking place because people on earth will have no knowledge whatsoever as to what has actually happened with one exception, those reading their Bibles will know what has occurred and many reading the Word of God will be cognizant of the reason for these happenings.
The Third Vial: Rivers Turned to Blood – Revelation 16:4-7
God intends all water in the area of beast worship to be turned to blood. The second vial will cause the Mediterranean to be turned to blood. And the third vial will pertain to the rivers, streams, wells, and all waters “…and they became blood.”
As I write these words, due to the tremendous oil slick in the Mediterranean, the country of Saudi Arabia is disturbed that their great desalinization plants will be clogged with oil. This is minor in comparison to what is going to take place in the Great Tribulation period. Think of an area as large as United States totally without water. How long the waters will remain in this condition is not stated, but no doubt, it will be three or four months.
In verses 5, 6, and 7, God is praised for justice in these plagues. He has given people ample warning. There is no reason for them not knowing. And in the next vial we will see why, among other things, that these terrible plagues are being poured out.
The sixth verse indicates God’s vengeance for all the blood shed by saints and prophets through the centuries. If a bucket is pulled from a well, it will contain blood. Water faucets will produce blood “…and thou has given them blood to drink;…”
In the seventh verse, the Altar of Incense (Altar of Worship) is mentioned. So, once again the emphasis is placed on the prayers and the pleas of all the saints of God down through the ages that have begged God for justice and for judgment. It is as if The Lord is saying, “now those prayers will be answered.”
The Fourth Vial: Scorching Heat from the Sun – Revelation 16:8-9
The fourth vial will affect the sun. This angel will have power to increase the heat from the sun that touches the earth. It will be so increased that the Bible says, “…to scorch men with fire.” Imagine the shock of seeing great ulcers on the bodies of all taking the mark of the beast and worshiping his image. Then, couple that with all the water being turned to blood. In addition, the intense heat will increase unbearably. The Bible says, “And men were scorched with great heat,...” Instead of repenting, they will blaspheme the name of God. The scripture says “…the name of God, which hath power over these plagues:…” meaning that the people on earth will know that God is the cause of these terrible plagues. Vaunted science will cease trying to explain the phenomena taking place. More than likely, many will point out in the Word of God these very scriptures. The world will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is God doing these things but strangely enough, men still will not repent. Twice The Lord speaks of men not repenting: “…and they repented not to give Him glory.” “…and repented not of their deeds.”
Repentance is the bedrock of the Christian faith. But it is seldom spoken of today. Regrettably, anyone who repents is considered some type of spiritual freak. Repentance was the basic message of the prophets of old, of Jesus, and of the apostles. Five times Jesus told the seven churches of Asia to repent. In the Great Tribulation, the message will still be, “Repent.” Repentance involves humbling oneself before God. Many people in the area of beast worship will have taken the mark of the beast. Plus, they could not repent even if they wanted to (Revelation 14:9-11). However, many will not take the mark or worship the beast yet will not repent. If they would, instant mercy would be given by God and salvation would come as it always has come to true repentance. But they will not humble themselves. Repentance also means that the individual sees and speaks of himself as God does. This is very difficult. The church is adept at confessing other men’s sins, but it has little desire to confess its own. True repentance does not confess others’ sins. It confesses its own.
The Fifth Vial: Dense Darkness Upon the Antichrist’s Kingdom – Revelation 16:10-11
In addition to sores, blood, and scorching heat, we now have darkness. The tenth verse mentions “the seat of the beast” which is Jerusalem. The antichrist will have moved his capital from rebuilt Babylon to Jerusalem. The Bible said “…his kingdom was full of darkness;…” referring to much, if not all, of Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Northern Africa.
It seems that the first vial concerning the sores will still be in effect when other vials are poured out. Normally, one vial, seal, or trumpet runs its course before the other comes in. However, this terrible first vial will remain in effect possibly through all seven vials.
They will know this terrible darkness is from God. They will blaspheme Him because of their pain and sores. Again, the Scripture states “…and repented not of their deeds.”
Under the fourth vial, there will be scorching heat from a sun much brighter than normal. Then, the world will be plunged into darkness, bringing extreme cold. The nightmare cannot be imagined. Thank God Paul said, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1 Thessalonians 5:9). The child of God will have been taken in the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
The Sixth Vial: The River Euphrates Dried Up - Revelation 16:12
This may seem strange. It refers to the coming battle of Armageddon when the kings of the east will join hands with the antichrist to destroy Israel. On the world map, we can see tiny Israel in the midst of a sea of Arabs. The animosity is great. This is strange when one considers that they are really brothers so close in many respects, and so far away in others.
It started long ago with Abraham and the promised seed. Because of Abram’s impulse, Ishmael was born. (Genesis 16). And then later Isaac was born (Genesis 21:1-8). Both Ishmael and Isaac had the same father, Abraham. But God said to Abraham “…for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.” (Genesis 21:12). But The Lord also said this of Ishmael “And also of the son (Ishmael) of the bondwoman will I make a nation, because he is thy seed.” (Genesis 21:13)
So, the battle has raged from the very beginning between the two “seeds.” One is “the seed” God ordained through whom the Messiah, His Son, would come. That was Isaac. Through the “other seed” (Ishmael), mohamed has come. Today the Arab threatens to destroy Israel. When the antichrist determines to carry out the “final solution,” the great river Euphrates in Iraq will literally dry up, so nothing will impede the progress of the kings of the east. This could well consist of India, China, and Japan. This will take place close to the conclusion of the Tribulation period.
The Three Unclean Spirits – Revelation 16:13-16
John said he saw three unclean spirits that look like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, the beast, the antichrist, and the false prophet. This unholy trio, which will be satan’s imitation of the divine trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, will now make their great debut for world dominion. It is coming down to the end. Unclean spirits will be heavily at work during this time. These unclean spirits will work many miracles and will cause many to be deceived. Satan (the dragon) will unleash a flood of demon spirits causing two things to happen. First, the beast (the antichrist) with his great oratorical ability, will persuade millions to follow him. He will speak as no other man has spoken. “…and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished:…” (Daniel 11:36). The world will not realize that the antichrist’s ability to persuade people will be from demon spirits. Likewise, the false prophet will work many miracles and hundreds of millions will, no doubt, be deceived by the miracles he speaks into existence.
Satan is a very religious being. Most, if not all, of the world’s religions were started by satan. Christianity is not a religion, it is a relationship with a person, and that person is Christ. We learn from this that all miracles are not necessarily from God. Yes, God performs miracles. He still does it today through those who would dare to believe Him. But just because a miracle is performed does not necessarily mean it is from God. People are easily deceived in this vein. Many think that if God is spoken of, and then a miracle is performed, that it has to be The Lord. That is not true. Demon spirits working through false prophets can perform miracles as well. I believe this spirit is already at work in the world. It is a very religious spirit which will deceive many. I believe it will increase in intensity until it flowers into full bloom during the Great Tribulation period, when deception will be the order of the day. The child of God must understand that God performs miracles. He still does it today, but the child of God must also understand that all miracles, even in the very religious setting, are not necessarily of God. We are importuned in the Word of God to “…try the spirits…” “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (1 John 4:1) Someone has said, “Anyone who will fall for anything will fall for everything.”
So, these spirits of devils working miracles will persuade the leaders of mighty nations to help the antichrist in this great battle of Armageddon. The part of the world (kings of the east), being spoken of, is not under the control of the antichrist. If he controlled it, as many have taught, he would not need the help of demon spirits to persuade these kings of the east to help him. The unclean spirits will inspire ambassadors, and do miracles through them, to convince the kings of the earth that the success of their future lies in the world cooperating to stop Christ from taking over at His Second Coming. They will inspire nations to oppose Christ fulfilling Psalm 2. Just as Ahab was allured to destruction by demons in 2 Chronicles 18:18-22, nations will be led to Armageddon in the vain hope of defeating Christ.
In the 15th verse, Christ, once again, announces His Second Advent (The Second Coming). We must remember that the Rapture has already taken place at the beginning of the Great Tribulation period. What is being spoken of here is the actual Second Coming, where The Lord will interrupt the battle of Armageddon and set His feet upon the mount of Olivet. At this time, He will take over the world. The term, “…I come as a thief” means this, the world in that day will little believe that Christ coming back. The antichrist will convince most of mankind that he (the antichrist) is God. Therefore, there is no need to think of the future. No doubt, the world will laugh at the idea of Christ coming back. The newspapers will print their editorials, television news commentators will make fun of those who look forward to this coming event, but this is what the Bible says, “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3:3-4) Peter also said this, “But the day of The Lord will come as a thief in the night;…” (2 Peter 3:10). In spite of men’s scoffing, the Word of God will be totally fulfilled. Just as Peter said that day will come upon us as a thief comes, unexpected in the night, that day will surely come. Jesus Christ will return. The Lord associates the Second Advent with Armageddon, and He tells us this in verse 16. The Lord will come in the middle of the battle of Armageddon according to Ezekiel Chapters 38 and 39.
Zechariah commented further in the 14th chapter of his book. “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:1-4)
The Seventh Vial: Great Earthquake and Great Hail – Revelation 16:17-21
Verses 13 to 16 spoke of the unclean spirits, and had little to do with the vials. This was inserted between the sixth and seventh vials, and the events will be fulfilled in the order given. Verses 13 through 16 explain the events that were taking place in the spirit world, causing events on the earth to occur.
Now, we come to the seventh vial. Once again, there is a great voice out of the Temple of Heaven from the Throne, and it says, “…It is done.” The meaning is that of all the sealed judgments, the trumpet judgments and now the vial judgments signal the end of this horror. The great earthquake spoken of in the 18th verse is the same one spoken of in Revelation 11:13.
In the 11th chapter of the Book of Revelation, we learn of the two witnesses (Enoch and Elijah). The passage tells us of their ministry and their death. We know that their death will take place at the end of the Great Tribulation period at the time of the seventh vial. Their ministry will begin at approximately at the midpoint of the Great Tribulation period, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days. Then they will be killed and raised from the dead. When they are raised from the dead at the conclusion of the Great Tribulation period, a frightful earthquake will take place. It will be the greatest earthquake the world has ever known. At this time, rebuilt Babylon will be destroyed.
As I write this, war is raging in the Middle East. After this conflict ends, events will not diminish in the Middle East. This area of the world will be predominant until the end. The tide may ebb and flow, and events of great significance will take place in other parts of the world as well, but the center of attention will remain on the Middle East. I predict that when this present conflict in the Middle East is over, whoever is in power in Iraq will turn his attention from the past. Whereas under Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s efforts have been expansionist through military efforts, it will ultimately change to commercial. In other words, the vast resources of the Middle East, with 60% of the world’s oil reserves, is going to become a center of commerce. Babylon will be rebuilt. It will become one of the great trading centers, even one of the great religious centers of the world. No doubt, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, and London will remain influential. But Babylon will become more and more powerful because of the oil reserves in the Middle East.
The great city in the 19th verse is Jerusalem. At this time, Jerusalem will be greatly affected by the powerful earthquake. Other cities in the Middle East will be affected as well, “…and the cities of the nation fell:…” Here, the prophecy is given as outlined in Revelation 18 of the destruction of Babylon, which will be caused by this tremendous earthquake. God’s wrath will be fierce at this time. Islands will sink beneath the sea. Entire mountains will be moved by the quake. It will be the most powerful earthquake the world has ever known. In the midst of this, tremendous blocks of hail will fall from heaven, many weighing over 100 pounds. One can well imagine the destruction that will take place under such a bombardment. Amazingly, men still will not repent but will continue to blaspheme God. The distress of this hail falling over the seat of the beast will be much more frightful than the bombing power of Allied forces in the Middle East. If one can imagine millions of blocks of hail falling from heaven, weighing over 100 pounds apiece, one can then perhaps imagine the horror of this time. The Scripture simply says “…for the plague thereof was exceeding great.” This is not symbolic. It is literal and will happen exactly as the Scripture says it will happen. Considering the hail with the great earthquake, no wonder cities of the nation shall fall. Again, this will take place at the very conclusion of the Great Tribulation period immediately before the Second Coming.
The Great Voice Out of the Temple
1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels,
-This is the “great” chapter of the Bible, the word occurring 11 times.
Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.
-This refers to the kingdom of the antichrist and not to the entirety of the earth. That kingdom will be comprised of North Africa, the Middle East and much of Europe according to Daniel 7:7.
The First Vial: Sores on Men
2 And the first (angel) went, and poured out his vial upon the earth;
-constitutes the first plague
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.
-This proves that these plagues will be poured out only on the kingdom of the beast.
The Second Vial: Sea of Blood
3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; (the Mediterranean) and it became as the blood of a dead man:
-pertains to the entire Mediterranean sea. The blood of a dead man is almost black and coagulated.
and every living soul died in the sea.
-should have been translated “living creatures,” therefore every person on ships in the Mediterranean will die along with the fish.
The Third Vial: Rivers Turned to Blood
4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters;
-speaks of all underground rivers as well. In other words, all the water throughout the kingdom of the beast is poison.
and they became blood.
-This is not to be explained away as being merely symbolic. This will actually happen.
5 And I heard the angel of the waters say,
-In the book of Revelation, we find a great variety of ministries are assigned to angels. This angel is the “…angel of the waters…”
Thou art righteous, O Lord,
-proclaims the fact that what The Lord is doing is righteous. In fact, everything He does is righteous.
which art, and wast, and shalt be,
-refers to the fact that God doesn’t change
because thou hast judged thus.
-proclaims the fact that God would be unrighteous if he didn’t judge accordingly
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
-refers to those who will be murdered by the antichrist during the time of the Great Tribulation because of their allegiance to The Lord Jesus Christ
and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
-This proclaims the fact that the beast worshipers are getting their just desserts.
7 And I heard another out of the altar say,
-should have been translated, “And I heard the altar say,” referring to those who have been murdered by the antichrist and are asking for vengeance. (Revelation 6:9-11)
Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
-This proclaims the fact that the prayers of those at the altar who cry for vengeance are about to be answered.
The Fourth Vial: Scorching Heat from the Sun
8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun;
-refers to that which is totally beyond the scope of man
and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
-adds to the “boils” and as well, exacerbates the problem of the water shortage. Evidently, the sun, at that time, will pour out more heat on the earth than ever before. As well, it seems this plague will also be confined to the generalized area of the antichrist. If that is the case, The Lord will have to stop the heat from affecting other parts of the globe.
9 And men were scorched with great heat,
-As the next verse states, this is done only in the geographical area of the antichrist.
and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues:
-Those in the geographical area of the antichrist will know that God is doing this but yet will continue to blaspheme His Name.
and they repented not to give him glory.
-This tells us something about the hearts of men. It is seldom that miracles bring men to repentance. Repentance must come from the heart and stem from faith, which must ever have Christ and The Cross as its object.
The Fifth Vial: Dense Darkness upon Antichrist’s Kingdom
10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast;
-specifies that its coverage and area is “…the seat of the beast;” The core of this could refer to Jerusalem, which is now the religious headquarters of the antichrist.
and his kingdom was full of darkness;
-these plagues are possible to faith, though not to reason
and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
-refers to the “boils” described in verse 2
11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores,
-They blamed God for their situation, even though He plainly told them not to take the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:10).
and repented not of their deeds.
-This presents the fact that the heart of man is so incurably corrupt that even the fiercest judgements fail to affect its attitude, spirit, or conduct.
The Sixth Vial: The River Euphrates Dried Up
12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up,
-refers to preparations for the coming battle of Armageddon
that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
-actually says in the Greek, “the kings of the sun rising.” This will, no doubt, include the armies of China and Japan plus others which will join the antichrist in the coming battle of Armageddon.
Three Unclean Spirits
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs
-While John saw these demon spirits in his vision, they will be invisible to all others. These invisible creatures are functioning presently on the earth, even as they have since the fall, and there is only one power that affects them, and that is the Name of Jesus (Mark 16:17).
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.
-This concerns the fact that that ungodly trio connives to secure the help of other nations regarding the coming battle of Armageddon.
14 For they are the spirits of devils,
-refers to a flood of demon spirits working in conjunction with the three unclean spirits
-which will probably be done through the false prophet and others; proclaims the fact that all miracles aren’t necessarily from God
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.
-As is obvious here, there are nations the antichrist does not control whose help he will seek, but while he thinks all of this is his plan, “God Almighty” is actually orchestrating all events. The antichrist will think to destroy Israel, but God will, in fact, destroy him.
15 Behold, I come as a thief.
-refers to the fact that the antichrist has been so successful with his propaganda that very few in the world at that time will actually be expecting Christ to return
Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments,
-points to those on earth who worship and serve The Lamb and that they must be constantly vigilant, lest their loyalty to Him be diverted through satanic deception (Matthew 24:43; 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4)
lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
-This refers to being naked to the judgment of God and suffering the consequences at the Second Coming or even before that event.
16 And he gathered them together
-The pronoun “he” refers to God.
into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
-This refers to a literal place where the battle will be fought. It is the mount of Megiddo overlooking the plain of Megiddo west of the mount and apparently including the plain of Esdraelon, i.e., the valley of Megiddo.
The Seventh Vial: Great Earthquake and Great Hail
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air;
-This is the last judgment. It signifies an earthquake such as the world has not previously known which will affect not only particular cities but also entire nations.
and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
-The mighty voice that shouted “finished” from The Cross will now shout “finished” from the throne.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings;
-The divine purpose in grace was finished at The Cross. Here the divine purpose in wrath is finished. This vial judgment could well take place simultaneously with the Second Coming.
and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
-presents the last cataclysmic upheaval
19 And the great city was divided into three parts,
-refers to Jerusalem
and the cities of the nations fell:
-refers to the Middle East and probably parts of Europe as well
and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
-This earthquake, the greatest of them all, will center on Babylon and will completely destroy the city that is scheduled to be rebuilt. The first organized rebellion against God began at Babylon and will end at Babylon (Genesis 11:1-9).
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
-pertains to the colossal magnitude of this earthquake
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent:
-about 100 pounds. One can well imagine the damage that such would cause.
and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.
-Once again, those in the kingdom of the beast will know that this plague is from God, but instead of repenting, they will continue to blaspheme Him.