Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Revelation 15 & 16: Is the Apocalypse Almost Over?

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The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues (ch 15 v. 1-8)

There will now be seven angels with seven plagues, and once that is done the wrath of God will be finished.


John saw the people who had conquered the beast celebrating and singing to God. After the party was over, 7 angels were given bowls full of the wrath of God which they are supposed to pour out as seven plagues to mankind.

Let's have a party and kill people!

The Seven Bowls of God's Wrath (ch 16 v. 1-16)

The first angel poured out his bowl onto the earth, and anyone who had the mark of the beast was covered in harmful and painful sores.

So they are all like Job?

The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, the sea became blood and everything in the sea died.

What did the fish do to anybody?

The third angel poured his bowl into the rivers and springs of water and they became blood too. Then the angel fell all over himself telling God he was good and just for doing this.

There is no way this kind of large scale devastation is just. Although I suppose the other side of the argument would be that God hand picked all of the good people out and killed those who are left. But we have the same problem as always, people are judged as good for worshiping God, not for actually being good.

The fourth angel poured his bowl on the sun and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. The people who were burned cursed the name of God, they did not repent.

The people who are being attacked by the almighty God are essentially giving him the finger here? That makes sense, if anyone was going to be swayed by these kinds of tactics you would think they have done so long ago.

From the commentary of Guzik
The failure of men to respond with repentance shows that knowledge or experience of judgment will not change man’s sinful condition. Those who are not won by grace will never be won.
I find this hilarious, because this entire book is all about winning people over by fear, not by grace.

The fifth angel poured his bowl on the throne of the beast and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. The people complained but did not repent.

The sixth angel poured his bowl on the Euphrates and it dried up. Out of the mouth of the dragon came 3 false prophets who would perform signs to foreign kings to prepare for the final battle against God. They assembled at a place called Armageddon.

Again, we see the people who are fighting for the beast are being tricked! I'm sure later these people will be punished for following the beast, and yet right here we see that they have been sent a false prophet. They probably think they are on the side of good.

The Seventh Bowl (ch 16 v. 17-21)

The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice from the temple said "it is done!" There was lightning, thunder and a great earthquake. The earthquake was so great that cities were destroyed, there were even no islands or mountains to be found. Great hailstones that were 100 pounds each fell on people from heaven. they cursed God for the plague of hail, because it was so severe.

Out of all of this carnage, the hailstones were the ones people complained about. 

What are the lessons from today's reading?

Of course, the overall story here is the same as in the rest of Revelation, follow God or else this could happen to you, this entire book is about following God out of fear. But there was one verse that caught my eye apart from this, Satan sent out false prophets to gather an army. So there are people who will be tricked into fighting for Satan, and then later they will presumably be punished by God for it. I suppose I'll categorize this under justice


Revelation 16:13-14 People are tricked into following Satan

"And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty."


  1. It's pretty messed up, isn't it? The beatings will continue until moral improves!

    This is actually out of the OT playbook. "Before" the Israelites were exiled from their homeland, God often lamented (through the prophets) that the Israelites didn't listen to Him and repent, despite afflicting them with plagues, droughts, etc.

    You know what they say, if at first you don't succeed, try, try again. But they also say trying the same things but expecting different results is the definition of insanity!

    1. That's hilarious. "why don't they love me, I sent them plagues, droughts, famine, what else could I possibly do for these people?"


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