The information presented in the following twenty-one verses should cause all men to examine their relationship with the Almighty God.
The events we are about to observe are both awesome and terrifying. In fact, the only consolation for the believer is that he will not be present when the forthcoming scenario actually takes place.
By the time our study is concluded, we will understand and appreciate more than ever before the words of the Apostle Paul in Titus 2:13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
The final seven judgments of the Tribulation hour are about to begin.
Rev 16:1-211)The third woe is revealed after the seventh trumpet judgment. This woe is parallel to the trumpet that sounds in Joel 1:2 and signals the consummation of God’s plan for the entire world. This third woe marks the finishing of God’s judgment on sin; it occupies the book of Revelation through the 19th chapter, when Christ’s Kingdom is established on earth. Incorporated within this third and final woe are the seven “bowls” of God’s wrath, described in Revelation 16:1-21. This series of judgments is the greatest horror the citizens of earth have ever seen. Jesus said, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive” (Matthew 24:22). source
The voice of Almighty God issues forth from the smoke-filled Temple, directing the angels to carry out their duties. Remember, God himself is sending forth these judgments.
His holiness has been offended.
Mankind has worshiped a man-the Antichrist, the devil in human skin-even bowing to his image, the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15).
The true and eternal God is justly angry. He cannot allow this iniquity to go unjudged.
In Isaiah 42:8 Jehovah says, I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Again, in Exodus 20:4-6: Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Because mankind, en masse, has grossly violated this commandment during the Tribulation period, the promised judgment must begin.
What a scene, as the first bowl is poured out and men become covered with ulcerated sores! They had the mark of the beast (666), and now they have the mark of God-ulcers. These festering infections probably obscure the beast's number.
Can this verse be taken literally?
The plague is similar to one of past history: And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains [ulcerated sores] upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast. And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians (Exodus 9:8-11).
What a terrible price men pay for not believing God!
Again history records a time when the waters turned to blood: Thus saith the Lord, In this thou shalt know that I am the Lord: behold, I will smite with the rod that is in mine hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. And the fish that is in the river shall die, and the river shall stink; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink of the water of the river. And the Lord spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the Lord commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood. And the fish that was in the river died; and the river stank, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt (Exodus 7:17-21).
If God did it once, He can certainly do it again.
He is the omnipotent, all-powerful God. His promises never fail.
Pausing momentarily to review our studies, we recall that the second seal (chapter 6:3,4)2)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6%3A3%2C4&version=KJV brought great bloodshed upon earth and the second trumpet blast (chapter 8:8)3)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+8%3A8&version=KJV caused a third part of the sea to become blood.
In the verse presently under study, every sea creature perishes when the water is turned to blood.
The result is an unbearable stench throughout the entire world as these organisms decease and decay. Think of it! That which always symbolized life-the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11)-and symbolized salvation-the blood of Jesus Christ [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7)-now becomes a symbol of condemnation and death.
There is more.
The third vial extends the destruction to all bodies of water internationally.
[4-7] v4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. v5 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. v6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. v7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.
By this time, one may have been tempted to believe that God is not just. To the contrary, God is always equitable, fair, and righteous in His dealings with men. Genesis 18:25 declares, Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
No man has all the facts in his possession.
Thus, he must wait until he meets God face to face.
Then and only then will he be able to make unbiased decisions.
Notice that angelic beings have different responsibilities upon earth. In our text, we see the angel of (or over) the waters justifying God's actions by saying, Thou art righteous, O Lord [the eternal one] ... because [of thy judgments].
In effect, the angel is saying, "The wicked beast worshippers who shed the blood of so many of Your saints and prophets may not satisfy their insatiable desire for blood by drinking it to their heart's content. They deserve what has happened to them. You have answered the prayers of Your saints under the altar" (chapter 6).4)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+6&version=KJV
As this message of vindication to the Almighty is concluded, a voice from the altar replies, "Even so," or "Amen."
Justice prevails. God's judgments are true and righteous.
Isaiah predicted this period of time in chapter 24, verses 4-6:5)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+24%3A4-6&version=KJV The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof, because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left.
The earth becomes so drastically hot during this judgment that God has to alleviate the suffering by shortening the daylight hours.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:22, And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
What did He mean?
Many scholars have proposed the idea of the Tribulation period being abbreviated, but this is an impossibility because God's predestined program for the Tribulation totals seven years-or eighty-four months, or exactly 2,520 days. Since the scheduled timetable is already prophesied, not one day can be cut from the program. Verse 2 of chapter 116)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+11%3A2&version=KJV mentions 1,260 days as one-half of this period and no one can change God's plan. Therefore, we must find another explanation.
Is there a solution?
God shortens the daylight hours and lengthens the night seasons to keep millions alive. He accomplishes this by darkening the sun, as predicted by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ: Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened (Matthew 24:29). This statement harmonizes with Revelation 6:12: And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair.
God's method of shortening the daylight hours hinders the sun's death purge of earth's inhabitants by reducing the amount of ultraviolet rays bombarding the planet. This act of mercy is for His people, the saved Tribulation saints, for He adds in Matthew 24:22, But for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Once again we need to remember that the Church, the elect bride of Christ composed of all those who were born again prior to the Rapture (chapter 4, verse 1),7)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+4%3A1&version=KJV is at home in glory during this time. The earthly group of Tribulation saints presently being discussed constitutes the election of Romans 11:28. They are also referred to as Jacobites, or Israelites, in Romans 11:26. These are Jews. They are not members of the bride of Christ, but rather members of the wife of Jehovah (See Isaiah 42:1, Isaiah 45:4, Isaiah 65:9, 22).
Mankind's reaction to the scorching with fire takes the form of further rebellion.
Instead of repenting and appealing to God who has power to stay the plague (verse 9),8)http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Revelation+16%3A9&version=KJV the people aim a barrage of four-letter blasphemies at the Almighty. The human heart is exceedingly wicked and callous (see Jeremiah 17:9). Even in the face of such agonizing judgment, repentance, restitution, and reconciliation are the farthest things from men's minds. Truly, they are hardened sinners.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE
First Published : Jun 20, 2014 | Re Published :
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||The third woe is revealed after the seventh trumpet judgment. This woe is parallel to the trumpet that sounds in Joel 1:2 and signals the consummation of God’s plan for the entire world. This third woe marks the finishing of God’s judgment on sin; it occupies the book of Revelation through the 19th chapter, when Christ’s Kingdom is established on earth. Incorporated within this third and final woe are the seven “bowls” of God’s wrath, described in Revelation 16:1-21. This series of judgments is the greatest horror the citizens of earth have ever seen. Jesus said, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive” (Matthew 24:22). source|