Revelation 16:1-15 - The Seven Last Plagues

16 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; 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.

3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

5 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.

6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.

7 And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.

9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,

11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs 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.

14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, 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.

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Revelation 16:1-15

The mysterious language in Revelation is used in such a way that an entire event is told with limited detail in the initial telling.  To ensure our understanding of things that will shortly come upon our planet, the story is cyclical in its narrative.  Therefore, the author describes the same event repeatedly using more descriptive language to expand and enlarge demonstrating greater clarity as truth unfolds. 

Ask most Bible students where in the Bible you will find reference to the seven last plagues, and they will point to Revelation chapter 16.  However, the plagues are described in Revelation 14-19; therefore, more than 25% of the book of Revelation is used to describe the wrath of God.  God is not boasting regarding His Day of Vengeance.  Instead, He is encouraging us to hide in Him today and He will hide us in that day. 

For example, the wrath of God is introduced in Revelation 14:17-20.  Then again in Revelation 15 with greater detail.  He then repeats the outpouring of His wrath in Revelation 16 with even greater graphic description.  He then demonstrates the specific affects of His wrath upon the harlot in Revelation 17Finally, he again describes the catastrophic event of the plagues in Revelation 18 by detailing the reaction of the people that engage in Satan's false religion (the harlot).  Last of all, He describes in greater detail the battle of Armegeddon (the seventh plague - Revelation 16:16-21) fought at His coming in Revelation 19.

The Master of the Universe is a Creator God; therefore, this mass destruction is His strange act.  Isaiah 28:21-23  It is His great desire to reconcile every individual to Himself as Creator and be spared from His wrath.  He has not appointed anyone to wrath, but to salvation.  1 Thessalonians 5:9  Partaking of the plagues is a choice made by humans with free will.  And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.  Since Revelation 16 is describing the same event found in Revelation 15, we see the angels with the seven last plagues leaving the temple.  Please note that the wrath of God is being poured out on the planet.  It is not His desire that the plagues fall on people.  He has made a way for all that will to be sheltered during this time.

And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; 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.  And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.  And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.  The seven last plagues are not mixed with mercy and fall upon our natural resources totally consuming them.  It will be obvious to everyone witnessing these plagues that the planet God made to be inhabited will no longer be a desirable neighborhood.  Satan can not fix it since he is not a creator.  Sadly, just like Pharaoh before them, the hearts of the unrepentent are clearly hardened to their Maker.  

God is merciful so before he sends the plagues without mercy, the trumpets sound as an alarm.  The trumpets also affect the planet's natural resources, but only in part.  The trumpets sound to wake up  planet earth so we can prepare to meet our Maker. They encourage repentance.  The first nine plagues of Egypt are the Old Testament type of the trumpets.  As each plague fell, Pharaoh's heart got harder as will many hearts of the final generation.  The seven last plagues are like the tenth Egyptian plague in that it is a plague unto death because those that follow Satan will not let God's people go.  Therefore, when the death angels appear, only those that have received the blood of the Lamb will be passed over.

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.  For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.  And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.  God is a righteous and just God.  He is a creator God; therefore, destruction is out of character for Him.  It is His strange act.  His great desire is that all would be spared the wrath of God.  Isaiah 28:21-22  He has not appointed anyone to wrath, but to salvation.  1 Thessalonians 5:9   

Many in the world will partake of the plagues because they shed innocent blood. The plagues are the response of a just God to the souls under the altar (fifth seal). Revelation 6:9-11  Jesus told a parable of a just judge who made a righteous decision only because a widow woman was relentless in asking for justice.  He then made a comparison regarding God's own martyred souls.  Jesus clearly stated that God would speedily avenge His own that cry out to Him day and night.  He then continued with a strange statement, "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"  Luke 18:1-8 

The murderers of the final generation plan to kill all the men, women and children that have faith in the Creator God.  It is Satan's belief that if the population of planet earth does not contain at least one faithful soul, Jesus will not have a claim on the people or to the planet.  God can reclaim the planet at any time because of His right of design.  He made the earth and He can claim the earth.  Yet, there has always been at least one faithful man made righteous by his belief in the Creator.  God could have destroyed humanity and saved the planet; instead, He will save His people even if it means destroying the earth and the heavens.  His word is faithful and true.  In the word we are promised there will be a great multitude of living faithful ones at the return of Christ.  Revelation 7:9-17 

Satan will not readily relinquish rulership nor will he release God's own.  When there is no other resolution but wrath, it is our privilege to join the angelic beings in declaring God right in His ways.  The saints standing on the sea of glass declare Him just and righteous in His wrath as they sing the song of Moses.  The angel of the waters and those around the altar also declare His wrath a righteous act.  Those with enlightened minds and subdued hearts are willing to acknowledge Him as the Great I Am, the Maker of us all.  Their faith in God is a witness against those that deny Him.  God longs to explain Himself when He is misunderstood.  It is pleasing to Him when those that love Him defend His character.  Ezekiel 14:22-23 

And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.  And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.  Just as Pharaoh before them, those of the final generation that partake of the plagues clearly recognize the Great I Am as the one sending the plagues.  However, they refuse to repent and recognize their Creator.

And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,  And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.   By the brightness of the presence of Christ, the kingdom of Satan is thrown into full darkness revealing to everyone that they have been duped by the doctrine of the devil.  We will see in the next two chapters that they will hate Satan's false religion known as the harlot, but they will also grieve for her.  Clearly their minds have been enlightened, but their hearts are not subdued.  Even when they fully realize that their belief system is false and their trust in Satan is fruitless, they continue to curse the Almighty One that created everything for the joy of all mankind. 

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up,  The river Euphrates drying up symbolizes many things to us.  Babylon of old sat upon the Euphrates River making it impregnable.  However, the Medes and the Persians diverted the river allowing them to enter Babylon and take over the city.  The drying up of the Euphrates River is code for us in the last days.  Just as Babylon of old fell when the Euphrates was diverted, the one world order of the final generation will collapse.   Revelation 14:8; 16:19;17:5; 18:2,10, 21  The people of the final generation will be forced to admit their belief in Satan's deception is a lie.  Their convictions dry up and the harlot falls to the ground.

The spiritual intent by the writer of Revelation is that the Euphrates River is a type of the valley of decision and its waters are raging with people (including the kings of the earth) supporting the great harlot, Babylon.  Revelation 17:1, 15; Joel 3:13-16  God will not pour out His wrath or come to take us home until every man, woman and child of the final generation has come out of the valley of decision.  Many will make a decision for God, many more will choose Satan.  Only God knows that moment and closes the door to mercy displayed in His wrath.  However, their heart condition is revealed to the rest of the universe when they see the error of their ways, refuse to repent and curse God during the plagues.

As He did with Noah at the time of the flood, God will shut the door to mercy when He recognizes their heart condition.  Genesis 7:13-16  Christ will no longer knock at the door, but destruction crouches there.  When will the door shut?  When they slaughter the prophets.  This fills their cup of iniquity and consumes God's mercy.   Revelation 16:5-6 

The seven days Noah and his family waited on the ark represent the week of Unleavened Bread.  During those days Noah and his family were tested because it didn't rain, but they held fast to their belief in the word of God.  Those in the ark had swept their heart clean of the leaven of unbelief.  During those days the ones that perished in the flood could have sought the mercy of God, but they did not.  God read everyone's heart and shut the door to the ark and seven days later, the flood came and took everyone else away. 

Likewise, the prophets are killed and God shuts the door to mercy.  Unleavened Bread begins as the saints stand on the sea of glass waiting for their Savior to act and God's plagues to fall.  It is a highly charged pause in time.  Like Noah, they will not leave their safe place; and like the anti-deluvians, the evil ones of the final generation do not seek shelter.  During the midst of the week, the prophets are resurrected and the faith of the saints is rewarded.  Then the plagues fall.  Today is the day of salvation.  Enter in while you can.

that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.  God has been parting the sea for His people for many years.  When it is time to cross over, He will make a way.  He did so for the Israelites when they left Egypt and Pharaoh's army was in pursuit.  He did it again by parting the Jordan River for Joshua for the next generation of Israelites.   This generation believed  God could conquer the giants so they could enter Canaan Land.  They were tired of being sojourners in the wilderness.  They wanted a home where their God would reign and they could live in relative peace and safety. 

We are also sojourners in this place. Like Abraham, we are looking for a Heavenly home. Hebrews 11:8-16  Our kingdom is not of this world at this time. We are kings of a place that is east of here.  The believers of the last days and the dead in Christ are the kings of the east.  Revelation mentions the kings of the earth many times.  Only once is it in reference to the righteous.  Revelation 21:24  Our kingdom is not of this world.  It is east of here in Heaven's Canaan Land and we, like Israel of old, will cross over dry shod.  Isaiah 11:15-16  Only when we return at the end of the 1,000 year period known as the Millennium will we become kings of the earth. 

For a thousand years the Master Teacher will instruct us at His knee along with righteous Noah and greatly beloved Daniel. We all have much to learn. Then, we will return to earth with wise minds and merciful hearts ready to judge the ungodly of every nation from every era.  Christ, the second Adam, as the Son of Man will reclaim dominion for us.  He is the redeemer kinsman that reestablishes the right of dominion given to the first Adam and his descendants.  This has been stolen from us by an usurper known as Lucifer.  We will return at the end of the millennium.  Satan will rally his own to the battle of Gog and Magog, but our King will win this war.  However, before He comes to claim the earth, He comes to rescue His people. 

And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs 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.  For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, 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.  God fought to free His people from the bondage of the Egyptian nation.  God did not ask for Pharaohs' land.  He only said, "Let my people go!"  Pharaoh agreed then regretted his decision and pursued the people of God.  God destroyed Pharaoh's mighty army and did so with the waves of the same water he parted to let His people cross over dry shod.  The battle with Pharaoh is a type of the war of Armageddon.  Armageddon is a war over the people and is fought at the coming of Jesus.  Bible students often get confused regarding the war of Armageddon and the war of Gog and Magog.  I will share my understanding regarding these two greath battles.

The war of Gog and Magog is a battle that is fought after the 1,000 year millennium and is a battle over the land.  Jesus, like Joshua, also fights this battle and wins.  After Moses dies and all the grumblers that were afraid of the giants died, Joshua fought for the land and won. The walls of Jericho, one of the most fortified cities of ancient Canaan Land, just fell to the ground.  Jesus will eventually fight and win the land  (earth) in the war of Gog and Magog.  At that time the Son of God will reclaim what is rightfully His just so He can give it back to us.  Our God will restore all things making them brand new.  As an added bonus, this time we will be there to witness God's creative acts.  We have seen much destruction, it is His desire to show us what He does  best, CREATE!  The battle of Gog and Magog takes place when the New City Jerusalem comes down from Heaven after the millenium.  Armageddon is fought at the coming of Christ before the millenium.

Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.  Finally, because of my own trembling heart, the pre-tribulation secret rapture theory is my personal favorite.  I wish I had more confidence in it.  However, as much as I want it to be true, in searching the scriptures I just can not find support for this teaching.  One of the scriptural statements used in support of the pre-tribulation rapture is that Jesus will come as a thief in the night.  The following verses are usually quoted: 1 Thessalonians 5:1-2; Matthew 24:43-44; Luke 12:39-40; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 3:3 

If the coming of Jesus as a thief in the night occurs between the 6th and 7th of the seven last plagues, His coming can not be pre-tribulation.  Still not persuaded?  Consider what Peter had to say about the coming of Jesus as a thief in the night.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up2 Peter 3:10  

Peter is clearly telling us that the coming of Jesus as a thief in the night brings destruction to the heavens and the earth.  Therefore, it must be post tribulation. It is amazing to me that after all the display of the seven last plagues that His coming could come as a surprise to anyone.  However, the power of delusion has no bounds on the human mind.  Please consider the reality that the mind will believe what the heart wants. 

Why would Jesus require us to go through the tribulation?  To further the Kingdom of God.  The same reason all the saints ever suffered tribulation.  My heart is heavy with concern for those that consider the pre-tribulation rapture as the only plausible end time solution.  I am concerned that Jesus may have been considering pre-triblation rapturists when He told the parable of the ten virgins.  Five were wise and five were foolish.  The five foolish heard the midnight cry, but did not have enough oil in their vessel to wait on the Lord.  When they went looking for oil and came back, the door to the kingdom was closed.  Matthew 25:1-13  I am concerned that the period of time between the midnight cry and the coming of Christ is the tribulation.  If a man or woman does not settle certain things in their heart and mind beforehand, then the hardship of the tribulation would certainly consume their faith represented by the oil.

Right now, as we speak, saints are suffering horribly so the kingdom of God can be offered to those without hope.  Why would God ask us to do such a thing?  Because the souls of the yet-to-be saved are worth more than the bodies of the saints.  Matthew 10:28, 39  Ponder that for a moment.  Is eternity in Heaven with your lost loved one worth more to you than an extra moment in this world?  Would you suffer and yield your will to God if your child, spouse, sibling, parents, etc. could be saved?  Have you like Joshua clearly stated that as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord?   He is coming, and He is coming for you and yours.  We will soon be crossing over.  Are you ready?

Turn the page to learn more about the coming of Jesus and the rescue of His saints in the War of Armageddon.

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