Revelation 14-16

Sunday Evening Bible Study

June 17, 2001

Revelation 14

:1-5  144,000 in heaven

:1  And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.

mount Sion – or, Mount Zion.  Zion is the hill that the city of Jerusalem is built on.  But the question is, is this the earthly Zion, or is this a heavenly version of Zion?

I’ve gone back and forth with this over the years.

I think that this is probably the “heavenly” Jerusalem.

“Zion” has been used to describe the heavenly Jerusalem –
(Heb 12:22 KJV)  But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
And as you read on, there are further references to heaven.
“a voice from heaven” (vs. 2)
“a new song before the throne” (vs.3)

Father’s name

Back in chapter 7, we were told that the 144,000 were sealed in their foreheads.

(Rev 7:3 KJV)  Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
Now we are told what the “seal” is, it is the name of the Father.  The Father’s name is YHWH (“Yahweh”).

:2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:

harpskithara – a harp to which praises of God are sung in heaven

:3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.

sungado – to the praise of anyone, to sing

songode – a song, lay, ode

were redeemedagorazo – to be in the market place, to attend it; to do business there, buy or sell

:4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.

defiledmoluno – to pollute, stain, contaminate, defile; used in NT of those who have not kept themselves pure from the defilements of sin, who have soiled themselves by fornication and adultery

virginsparthenos – a virgin; a woman who has never had sexual intercourse with a man; a man who has abstained from all uncleanness and whoredom attendant on idolatry, and so has kept his chastity; one who has never had intercourse with women

followakoloutheo – to follow one who precedes, join him as his attendant, accompany him; to join one as a disciple, become or be his disciple; side with his party

he goethhupago – to lead under, bring under; to withdraw one’s self, to go away, depart; the verb is subjunctive in mood, meaning that “wherever the Lamb should go, they will follow”.

firstfruitsaparche – to offer firstlings or firstfruits; to take away the firstfruits of the productions of the earth which was offered to God. The first portion of the dough, from which sacred loaves were to be prepared. Hence term used of persons consecrated to God for all time.; persons superior in excellence to others of the same class

:5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

guiledolos – craft, deceit, guile

without faultamomos – without blemish; as a sacrifice without spot or blemish; morally: without blemish, faultless, unblameable

Does this mean that these men were perfect?

No, it just means they are forgiven.  It means that Jesus is at work in their lives.


Let Him cleanse you.

This is God's work in our lives, not our work.
We don't clean up our lives, we let God do it.
Col 1:21-22  And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in [your] mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled  22  In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:   
Jude 1:24  Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present [you] faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

14:6-12  Three Flying Angels

:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

flypetomai – to fly

the midst of heavenmesouranema – mid-heaven; the highest point in the heavens, which the sun occupies at noon, where what is done can be seen and heard by all.  This could refer to outer space, which is considered the “second” heaven.  The “first” heaven is where the birds fly, the atmosphere, the “second” heaven is where the stars are, space, and the “third” heaven is where God’s throne is.

gospeleuaggelion – a reward for good tidings; good tidings; the glad tidings of the kingdom of God soon to be set up, and subsequently also of Jesus the Messiah, the founder of this kingdom; the glad tidings of salvation through Christ; the proclamation of the grace of God manifest and pledged in Christ; the gospel

to preacheuaggelizo – to bring good news, to announce glad tidings; in the NT used especially of the glad tidings of the coming kingdom of God, and of the salvation to be obtained in it through Christ, and of what relates to this salvation

Some have seen this being fulfilled by satellite transmission of television and radio signals.

In referring to His second coming, Jesus said,

(Matthew 24:14 KJV)  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Some have used this as a motive for missions, in getting the gospel out to the whole world.  We are to take the gospel to the world because Jesus commanded us to.  But in reality, it could be that this “angel” will be the one who finally finishes the job.


God gives everyone a chance.

People will not be able to say that they didn’t know.

:7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication


The witness of creation

God has built within His creation a natural witness of Himself.
It is a flawed witness, flawed from the corruption that came on the earth as a result of man’s fall, but it is still a witness.
David wrote of this witness in creation:
(Psalms 19:1-4 NLT)  The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display his marvelous craftsmanship. {2} Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. {3} They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies; {4} yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it.
Paul wrote that this witness makes man without excuse in looking for and worshipping God the Creator:
(Romans 1:18-20 NLT)  But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. {19} For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. {20} From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God.

:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Babylon – what is this “Babylon”?

We’ll get more into this when we get to Revelation 17-18, but basically Babylon is the “world”, it is everything that tempts us and leads us away from the Lord.  It is the source of all of the false systems of worship.

:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

the beasttherion – an animal; a wild animal, wild beast, beast; metaph. a brutal, bestial man, savage, ferocious; this is the antichrist.

worshipproskuneo – to kiss the hand to (towards) one, in token of reverence; among the Orientals, esp. the Persians, to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence; in the NT by kneeling or prostration to do homage (to one) or make obeisance, whether in order to express respect or to make supplication

imageeikon – an image, figure, likeness; this is the “image” that the false prophet made of the antichrist back in Rev. 13:14.

markcharagma – a stamp, an imprinted mark; this is the mark “666”, mentioned in Rev. 13:16-18.

:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

poured outkerannumi – to mix, mingle; to mix wine, water; to pour out for drinking.

without mixtureakratos – unmixed, pure

Most of the time in New Testament times, wine was not drank straight or undiluted.  Most of the time wine was mixed with water.  Here the idea is that there will be no “watering down” of God’s wrath.

indignationorge – anger, the natural disposition, temper, character; anger, wrath, indignation; anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself

tormentedbasanizo – to test (metals) by the touchstone; to question by applying torture; to torture; to vex with grievous pains (of body or mind), to torment

:11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

for ever and ever – hell is forever.  Some have the notion that the unrighteous are somehow annihilated, but this is not true.  They will exist forever, in eternal punishment.

restanapausis – intermission, cessation of any motion, business or labour; rest, recreation

As I mentioned last week, the receiving of the mark of the beast is tied to the worship of the beast.  I don’t think that the mark is something as simple as a credit card because it has to be tied to the worship of the antichrist.

Recent News (as of 6-10-01)

There is a device that is coming onto the market called “Digital Angel”.  The device is a melting together of physical monitoring of things like body temperature and blood pressure and emits a signal that can be monitored by satellite.  The device can be used in several different ways.  It could become a “homing beacon” for people who are lost (as in Alzheimer’s) or kidnapped.  It could monitor a heart-patient’s vital signs and send them to the hospital.  The company that is building the device, Applied Digital Solutions, is an e-business-to-business solutions provider, and is hoping that the device will be also used as a “tamper-proof means of identification for enhanced e-business security.”  Supposedly there is a version of the device that will be able to be implanted in an individual and powered by the person’s own muscles.  Though there isn’t any news on when the “implant” device will be ready, there will be a version of the device that doubles as a watch available by October of this year, and the company is taking pre-orders.

Could this be tied to the “mark”?  I don’t think this is the “mark”, but it is certainly the kind of technology that could be exploited by the antichrist to create his “mark”.


There will be fair warning.

People are not going to be surprised and wake up one morning to find out that they have accidentally taken the mark of the beast.  The world will be warned.  The world will know that they are making a choice to worship the antichrist in taking the mark of the beast.

:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

patiencehupomone – steadfastness, constancy, endurance; in the NT the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

We’ve seen this phrase back in chapter 13 –

(Revelation 13:9-10 KJV)  If any man have an ear, let him hear. {10} He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Here the idea is that the thing that the Christians will hold on to during this time is knowing the fate of those who compromise and are willing to take the “mark” of the beast.  Christians will be able to say “no” to the mark, knowing that it would result in hell forever.



Knowing the future helps in the present.

Sometimes it gets hard to keep resisting temptation and to keep following Jesus.  But it helps to know the “end of the story”.  It will all be worth it in the end.

14:13-20  The Two Harvests

:13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.

the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth – is this a signal that there will continue to be persecution for those who follow Jesus?

restanapauo – to cause or permit one to cease from any movement or labour in order to recover and collect his strength; to give rest, refresh, to give one’s self rest, take rest; to keep quiet, of calm and patient expectation

In contrast, those who don’t follow the Lord but take the “mark of the beast” –

(Revelation 14:11 KJV)  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

their works do follow them – they will be rewarded for all they have done.

:14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

like untohomoios – like, similar, resembling

crownstephanos – a crown; a mark of royal or (in general) exalted rank; the wreath or garland which was given as a prize to victors in public games

sickledrepanon – a sickle, a pruning-hook, a hooked vine knife, such as reapers and vinedressers use

sharpoxus – sharp; swift, quick

Who is this?

It seems that this is Jesus.  This is how John described Jesus back in chapter one:

Re 1:13  And in the midst of the seven candlesticks [one] like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

:15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

Thrust inpempo – to send; to send (thrust or insert) a thing into another

reaptherizo – to reap, harvest; proverbial expression for sowing and reaping; cut off, destroy; as crops are cut down with a sickle

ripe xeraino – to make dry, dry up, wither; to become dry, to be dry, be withered; of plants; of the ripening of crops. Some have suggested that the idea is “over-ripe”, almost as if the harvester is waiting too long.

harvesttherismos – harvest, the act of reaping

:16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.

This almost seems more like a vinedresser pruning his vine rather than actually reaping it for ripe fruit.

This all seems to be a picture drawn from

(Joel 3:12-16 KJV)  Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. {13} Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the vats overflow; for their wickedness is great. {14} Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. {15} The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. {16} The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

:17 And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

:18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

gathertrugao – to gather in ripe fruits; to gather the harvest or vintage

clustersbotrus – a bunch or cluster of grapes

grapesstaphule – grapes, bunch of grapes

fully ripeakmazo – to flourish, come to maturity; different word than that used in verse 15 (“withered”)

:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

the vineampelos – a vine

winepresslenos – a tub or trough shaped receptacle, vat, in which grapes are trodden; the lower vat, dug in the ground, into which the must or new wine flowed from the press

A winepress might be a large vat, where the grapes are piled up, and then people take off their shoes, jump in, and start squishing.

The picture of making wine from grapes is kind of a gory one in relation to the wrath of God.
These grapes are ripe, bursting with juice, and when you step on them, juice squirts everywhere, just as the blood will.

wraththumos – passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again; glow, ardour, the wine of passion, inflaming wine (which either drives the drinker mad or kills him with its strength)

:20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs.

was troddenpateo – to tread; to trample, crush with the feet

bridleschalinos – a bridle

Suggested to be about 4 ½ feet high.

furlongsstadion – a space or distance of about 600 feet (185 m); a race course

1600 stadia would be:  600 x 1600 = 960,000 feet, or, 181.8 miles.  Israel is currently 260 miles long.

It’s about 150 miles from Megiddo to the land of Edom.

What are these two “harvests”?

Frankly, this is one of those questions I don’t have a real good answer for yet.  But that’s okay.

Some have suggested that the first harvest is a good one, while the second is a bad one, since there's no mention of judgment.  It has been further suggested that the first one is an ingathering of believers, while the second one is that of unbelievers.

The problem I have with this, is that the harvest is described as “withered”.
It's not a word that has a very good connotation.

Others have suggested that these are simply two different judgments on sin.  The idea is that perhaps the first “reaping” is all the events up to the battle of Armageddon, while the second “reaping” is the battle of Armageddon itself.

Still others have suggested that these are somehow the same event, there is one harvest.

Some have suggested (Steadman) that this first harvest is from the wheat and the tares:

(Mat 13:41-42 KJV)  The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; {42} And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The idea is that there is a general reaping on the earth of those who do not believe in the Lord.

We are pretty sure that the second “reaping” is Armageddon.

At Armageddon, the armies of the world will be gathered (Rev. 16:13-16)
Jesus will fight the armies
Rev 19:19  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Jesus is the one who will be treading the winepress
Rev 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
We get the same picture from Isaiah, with a little more detail.
Isa 63:1-6  Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. {2} Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? {3} I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. {4} For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. {5} And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. {6} And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.

Treading the winepress alone refers to the idea that no one on earth will be with Him, but He'll have His armies behind him.

Revelation 15 – Seven bowls prepared

:1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

is filled upteleo – to bring to a close, to finish, to end; passed, finished; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

These last seven angels are going to bring to a finish God’s wrath upon the earth.  We’re now in the home stretch.

:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

mingledmignumi – to mix, mingle

We’ve seen this “sea before” –

(Rev 4:6 KJV)  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

This is the equivalent of the “laver” of the Tabernacle or “sea” of the Temple, the place where the priests washed.
Now this “sea” has fire in it.

gotten the victorynikao – to conquer

over his mark – I’ve come across some very important information …  (a little humor please!)

660 - Approximate number of the Beast.

666.0000 - number of the High Precision Beast.

1-666 - Area code of the Beast.

$665.95 - Retail price of the Beast.

Phillips 666 - Gasoline of the Beast.

Route 666 - Way of the Beast.

666k - Retirement plan of the Beast.

666i - BMW of the Beast.”

666 F - Oven temperature for roast-Beast.


Victory means not giving in, even to death.

Where are these victors standing?  They’re standing in heaven.  They’ve gotten the victory over the antichrist because they did not give in and take the mark.  But they’ve died for it.
Remember the victory in heaven between Michael and his angels against Satan, and how it was tied to the saints on the earth?  Remember those weapons –
(Rev 12:11 KJV)  And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

We have three places that could qualify as "the song of Moses" (Psalm 90; Deut. 32:1-43), but the one that fits best to me is Exodus 15:1-18

It starts out with:

(Exo 15:2 KJV)  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him.

Sung after being delivered from Pharaoh through the Red Sea.  A song of rejoicing in God's deliverance.
This is what these tribulation saints have experience, God rescuing them through the veil of death, from a foe far worse than Pharaoh.

The Jews, after returning from captivity in Babylon, used the same refrain in their dedication of their new temple:

(Psa 118:14 KJV)  The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.

When Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom, part of the song that is sung includes:

(Isa 12:2 KJV)  Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.


God alone is our strength.

The One who will deliver us is Him, and Him alone.
Sometimes we get to looking to people.
“Oh, if only I can get Brother So-and-so to pray for me”
It’s not wrong to ask people to pray for you, but are you trusting in them, or in God?

the song of the Lamb

This might be what was sung earlier in chapter 5:

(Rev 5:12-14 KJV)  Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

judgmentsdikaioma – that which has been deemed right so as to have force of law; what has been established, and ordained by law, an ordinance; a judicial decision, sentence; a righteous act or deed

:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

whitelampros – shining; brilliant; splendid, magnificent

:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

four beasts – these are the cherubim of Rev. 4&5.

vialsphiale – a broad shallow bowl, deep saucer

Seven new angels step onto the scene.

:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

fulfilledteleo – to bring to a close, to finish, to end; passed, finished; to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

This seems reminiscent of when the tabernacle and the temple were both first set up, and the glory filled the temple.

When Moses first set up the tabernacle, the glory filled the tent, and it was so thick, Moses couldn’t go in (Exo 40:34-35).

When Solomon dedicated the temple, the same thing happened, twice.  Once when the praise music started (2Chr. 5:13-14), and once when Solomon prayed.

(2 Chr 7:1-2  Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD filled the house. {2} And the priests could not enter into the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house.

Perhaps this might carry the significance that God is very strongly behind what’s about to happen.

Revelation 16 – The Seven bowls

:1  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.

a great voice out of the temple – If “no man was able to enter into the temple”, then whose voice is this?  Probably God the Father.

pour outekcheo – to pour out, shed forth; metaph. to bestow or distribute largely

the wrath of God

The world like to portray God's wrath as if He is some cruel tyrant, just waiting for the opportunity to lash out against man, that He enjoys it somehow.  Not so.

(Ezek 33:11 KJV)  Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

: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.

sorehelkos – a wound, esp. a wound producing a discharge pus; a sore, an ulcer

noisomekakos – of a bad nature; not such as it ought to be; base, wrong, wicked; troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

grievousponeros – full of labours, annoyances, hardships; bad, of a bad nature or condition; in a physical sense: diseased or blind; in an ethical sense: evil wicked, bad

Normally, these two words “noisome and grievous” are translated “bad” and “wicked”.

The world had been warned by the angel in 14:9; now the hard stuff begins.

Though we will see some parallels with some of the bowls and some of the trumpets, this first bowl seems completely different from the first trumpet.  The first trumpet brought hail and fire to the earth and burnt up 1/3 of the grass and green trees (Rev. 8:7).

: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.

Similar to the second trumpet (8:8-9), but instead of only 1/3 of the sea being affected, this appears to affect the entire sea.

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

This too is similar to the third trumpet (8:10-11), but instead of affecting 1/3 of the rivers, all the rivers seem to be affected.


Pay attention to God’s warnings.

This is very much in line with how God works.  When we are not walking with the Lord, He will give us a “wake up call”.  He does this because He loves us and wants us to turn around.  But if we don’t pay attention, He will get more serious to get our attention.

: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.

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; innocent, faultless, guiltless

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

shedekcheo – to pour out, shed forth; metaph. to bestow or distribute largely

This is the same word that is being used over and over to describe the angels “pouring out” the contents of their bowls upon the earth.  The people of the earth have “poured out” the blood of the saints and prophets.


People will get what they deserve.


Any thief knows that the easiest way to steal gasoline from a car is to siphon it from the other guy's tank into your own.  Stick a rubber hose in his gas tank, suck on the other end of the rubber hose until you get a mouth full of the gas, then spit it out.  From then on the gasoline will flow into your tank.  A thief decided to siphon gas from Dennis Quiggley's motor home in Seattle.  When Dennis, inside the motor home, heard the noises outside he investigated and discovered the thief curled upon the ground violently vomiting.  Intending to suck up the contents of the gas tank the thief had put his hose into the wrong hole -- and had sucked up the contents of the sewage tank instead. The thief, a boy 14 will not be prosecuted, Dennis and the police agree that he has suffered enough.
Associated Press, 8/7/91

Now we might laugh at that, but the truth is that what the world has done against God is far more offensive than we can ever imagine.

When God pours out His judgment, all heaven will stand back and say, “WOW”, what a PERFECT judgment!

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

truealethinos – that which has not only the name and resemblance, but the real nature corresponding to the name, in every respect corresponding to the idea signified by the name, real, true genuine; opposite to what is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretended; opposite to what is imperfect defective, frail, uncertain; true, veracious, sincere

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws


There will be no complaints

Sometimes we can get to thinking that God may be a little excessive in His judgments.
But those who know Him best, the angels in heaven who are watching everything from God’s perspective, will remind us that God is completely, exactly, perfect in His judgment.


Let God take care of it.

He will do a much better job of “getting even” than you could ever do.
DON'T do it like this …
I heard a story the other night about a truck driver who dropped in at an all-night restaurant in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The waitress had just served him when three swaggering, leather-jacketed motorcyclists—of the Hell’s Angels type—entered and rushed up to him, apparently spoiling for a fight.  One grabbed the hamburger off his plate; another took a handful of his French fries; and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it.
The trucker did not respond as one might expect.  Instead, he calmly rose, picked up his check, walked to the front of the room, put the check and his money on the cash register, and went out the door. The waitress followed him to put the money in the till and stood watching out the door as the big truck drove away into the night.
When she returned, one of the cyclists said to her, “Well, he’s not much of a man, is he?”
She replied, “I can’t answer as to that, but he’s not much of a truck driver.  He just ran over three motorcycles out in the parking lot.”
Instead …
Rom 12:19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

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

scorchkaumatizo – to burn with heat, to scorch; to be tortured with intense heat

Again, this is reminiscent of the fourth trumpet which will affect a third part of the sun, moon, and stars.  But now the sun will 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,

seatthronos – a throne seat

There are a few parallels with the fifth trumpet here.  The fifth trumpet (Rev. 9:1-12) was the opening of the abyss which brought smoke that darkened the sun.  The smoke was followed by the locust creatures that brought pain to the world.

This will bring a direct judgment against the antichrist’s kingdom.

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


Tough times reveal your heart.

Sometimes tough times surprise us, and things come out of our mouths.
Is it cursing or praise?
I’ve heard it described that your heart is like a cup, and when you get “bumped”, then the things in your heart come spilling out.
The things that come out of your mouth only show you your heart's condition.

(Mat 15:18 NLT)  But evil words come from an evil heart and defile the person who says them.

James presents the ideal:
James 1:2-3  Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.  And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

: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.

eastanatole – a rising (of the sun and stars); the east (the direction of the sun’s rising)

Again, there is a parallel with the sixth trumpet, where the four angels at the river Euphrates were loosed to prepare an army of 200 million horsemen from the east (Rev. 9:14-19).

The Euphrates River is 1700 miles long, is 3-12 miles wide, and has an average depth of 30 feet.

It starts out in Turkey, then runs through Syria, then through Iraq.

Over the centuries, it has been the great natural barrier between the east and the west because you don't easily take invading armies across it.

There are now numerous dams that have been built along the Euphrates River.  Perhaps someone will shut off the water.

: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.

uncleanakathartos – not cleansed, unclean; in a ceremonial sense: that which must be abstained from according to the levitical law; in a moral sense: unclean in thought and life

frogsbatrachos – a frog

The idea is that each part of this “unholy trinity” produces an “unclean spirit” that looks like a frog.

: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.

These demonic spirits will go throughout the world and cause all the armies of the world to come into one place.

They are apparently, knowingly gathered together to do battle against Jesus when He returns:

(Rev 19:19 KJV)  And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.

Apparently, part of the deception from these demonic spirits involves telling the nations that they have to battle against Jesus.

: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.

See the end of the study …

:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

ArmageddonArmageddon – “the hill or city of Megiddo”

The exact meaning is not clear.

Some say it means "mountain of slaughter".
Some say “mountain” (har) or “hill” of Megiddo.
Others say “city” (ar) of Megiddo.
Megiddo is an ancient city that stood at the one pass between the valley of Jezreel and the Plain of Sharon.
It was an ancient site of many battles.

Several notes:

1.  This place by itself is too small. This valley is not big enough for all the armies of the world.  It is only 5 x 50 miles long.

2.  The fighting will stretch over 200 miles. (Rev. 14:20)

3.  There will be fighting around Jerusalem. (Zec. 14:2)

4.  There will also be fighting in Jordan (Bozrah). (Is. 63:1-4)

:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Whose voice is this?  It must be God because He's the only one left in the temple until this is all over with (Rev.15:8).

It is done – Here the word is gegonen “to come to pass, take place, happen” (not tetelestai, as in John 19:30)

Here, it seems to simply indicate that the last bowl has been poured out, that's all folks.

:18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.


Whereas all other earthquakes are localized, limited to a specific area, this one will be felt around the world.

This one will be a 9.9 or 10 on the Richter Scale.

Isa 24:18-20 And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. {19} The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. {20} The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again.

:19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

What is “the great city”?

There are two ideas as to what this refers to:

1.  Jerusalem. 
It is called “the great city” in Rev. 11:8
It will experience a splitting from an earthquake. (Zech 14:4)
2.  Babylon. 
The context would seem to indicate it (the next sentence).
The next two chapters are about the fall of Babylon.

:20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

If you are around by this point in the Tribulation, don’t take a trip to Hawaii.

:21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

talenttalantiaios – a weight or worth of a talent; a talent of silver weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg); a talent of gold, 200 pounds (91 kg)

That’s pretty big hail!

: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.

I can’t help wonder if this is a warning/word of encouragement meant not for the believers living during the Tribulation period, but for the church now, the church that is to be taken up in the Rapture.

The picture of “coming like a thief” speaks of surprise, and that speaks of the Rapture.

Jesus gives us two exhortations:

1.  Watch

gregoreuo - give strict attention to, be cautious, active
(Mat 26:40-41 KJV)  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? {41} Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The disciples didn’t think it was that important to pay attention to what Jesus was doing, and so they fell asleep instead of praying.
I think we need to be careful to pay attention to the things that keep us from stumbling.

2.  Keep your garments.

Garments in scripture refer to the lifestyle, the works of your life.
(Rev 19:8 KJV)  And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
keeptereo - to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard
It speaks of taking care of your clothes, to take care of your life and works.
What kind of condition do you want to be found in when Jesus catches you up to heaven?  What kind of lifestyle will He find you doing?

Are you ready?

A young man applied for a job as a farmhand.  When asked for his qualifications, he said, “I can sleep when the wind blows.” This puzzled the farmer, but he took a liking to the young man and hired him.  A few days later, the farmer and his wife were awakened in the night by a violent storm.  They quickly began to check things out to see if all was secure.  They found that the shutters of the farmhouse had been securely fastened.  A good supply of logs had been set next to the fireplace.  The farm implements had been placed in the storage shed, safe from the elements.  The tractor had been moved into the garage.  The barn had been properly locked.  All was well.  Even the animals were calm.  It was then that the farmer grasped the meaning of the young man’s words, “I can sleep when the wind blows.”  Because the farmhand had performed his work loyally and faithfully when the skies were clear, he was prepared for the storm when it broke. Consequently, when the wind blew, he had no fear.  He was able to sleep in peace.