MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 15-16
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The First Bowl Judgment Angel
Vic Batista: In this segment of our study of the mighty angels of Revelation, we’ll begin to look at Revelation 16 and the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels. But first, let’s quickly recap chapter 15.
Nathan Jones: Revelation 15 is the prelude, a movie trailer if you will, for Revelation 16 and the coming Seven Bowl Judgments. Some 14 of the 21 judgments of God have been raining down during the first half of the seven-year time period the Bible calls the Tribulation. We have studied the Seven Seal Judgments and the Seven Trumpet Judgments. Now we are about to get into the worst of the worst — the Seven Bowl Judgments.
In chapter 15, we are given is a behind-the-scenes view of the throne room of God, which is called the Temple of God. There those who were killed for putting their faith in Jesus Christ during the Tribulation are there standing before God and singing a song glorifying Him. The Heavenly Temple is then cleared and seven angels emerge to perform their solemn tasks of releasing the worst destruction upon humanity that the world has ever known since the global Flood. When the seven angels pour out God’s wrath, Revelation 15:1 says His final judgments are completed. God’s wrath upon the world will be coming to an end as we also approach the last years of the Tribulation.
Vic Batista: Let’s read Revelation 16:1-2 and see this fantastic scene unfold.
Nathan Jones: Yes, hold onto your seats! Revelation 16 may not be a horror movie, but it outmatches anything Steve King writes.
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“Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.” So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.”
Vic Batista: Notice how the wrath of God in this particular judgment focuses like the Fifth Trumpet Judgment did solely upon rebellious mankind. This judgment interestingly doesn’t happen to affect the Tribulation Saints.
Nathan Jones: How sad that people today believe that God because He has been patiently waiting for everyone who is supposed to be saved, well that makes Him inept. There are people today who believe God is impotent. He can’t do anything about our rebellion, and He will never judge the evil of man. They expect that God will just let their crimes go unpunished. People are getting bolder and bolder these days cursing God and publicly denying He even exists. They would never have behaved that way so openly a few decades ago, but now they are openly mocking God and yet still think they are going to get away with it. God isn’t going to do anything? No, they’re seriously wrong.
The signs of the end times point to the fact that Jesus Christ is indeed returning soon. That means that the Tribulation is also coming soon. Judgment is coming!
This particular judgment in Revelation 16 appears to be aimed at those who continue in their rebellion against God. Bear in mind we have gone through 14 other judgments before these seven, and we have gone through probably 4.5-5 years of the Tribulation. There is no doubt in any body’s mind by this point that there is a God. They can choose God or they can choose Satan by taking the Mark of the Beast. This particular First Bowl Judgment affects only those who have taken the Mark and is not against those who have accepted Jesus. This judgment is totally geared toward those who have taken the Mark of the Beast in the second half of the Tribulation. There is no Mark to be taken, accidentally or otherwise, today.
Those who have taken the Mark are the worst of the worse. These are the God haters. They are the worst of sinners. Why? Because they are the ones who even though they fully know God is real and they know that He loves them because He sent His own Son to die for them, they spit on that love. They scorn God’s unconditional love and costly sacrifice. They shake their fists at God and align themselves with His enemy, Satan. These are thoroughly despicable people!
Vic Batista: Atheists in particular need to pay close attention to Revelation 16’s message. You can only deny God for so long before He acts. And, for Christians, we should not be fearful of wickedness going on in this world. There are a lot of hideous things that are happening every day to God’s children. There are people who are trapped in drug abuse which opens them up to demonic possession. Yes, there are some hideous things happening today, and the evil will increase. But, one day soon God will say, “Enough is enough!” I believe that justice is the righteousness of God, and people need to recognize what side of God’s wrath they will be on.
Nathan Jones: Exactly! What kind of God would we have if He was such a loving God but that He never dealt with sin? People could just kill and murder and assault each other and do terrible things to other people like rob, lie, and abuse children without any consequence. Would He be a loving God? That would be a God who couldn’t care less for us. If God didn’t step in with justice, He really doesn’t love us.
So, finally, here we are in Revelation 16 and we are seeing justice targeted against the wicked.
Vic Batista: This First Bowl Judgment remind me of the book of Exodus and the ten plagues that God brought upon Egypt because Pharaoh refused to let the Israelites go free. Here we see these plagues again being enacted, but this time to a greater degree as its scope is worldwide.
Nathan Jones: Yes, the ten plagues of Moses were terrible and particularly directed against Egypt’s populace. But, now we have the Seven Bowl Judgments directed against the entire planet. This First Bowl Judgment is one of the few judgments as we read of the 21 that isn’t just a blanket judgment that affects all people across the entire planet. And, though worldwide, this judgment in particular is targeted against those who have taken the Mark of the Beast.
The judgment is that the enemies of God end up covered in foul and loathsome sores, rather like boils. One of the ten punishments against Egypt during the ten plagues was boils. A boil emerges from under your skin and kind of bubbles up due to water, lymph, or whatever that clear stuff is, and it’s painful and hurts like the dickens. When you scratch it breaks open and oozes and exposes the raw skin underneath. This is what we’ve got going on here.
Some Bible teachers have wondered that since there will be weapons of mass destruction used during the Tribulation that maybe these boils are some kind of radiation poisoning. Maybe it is a disease that God particularly sends just on these people. Maybe the boils are caused by whatever makes up the Mark of the Beast that is harmful to humanity. It could be the Mark is some sort of skin tattoo ink or other technology involved, but whatever it is, it’s detrimental to mankind. Whatever causes the boils, whoever takes the Mark of the Beast will be covered in them and so be in agony.
Vic Batista: We need to recognize that this is serious business. As the Tribulation goes on, the judgments of this time period becomes more focused and more targeted. God is targeting those who have rejected Him. They made their choice by accepting Satan, and there is at that point no going back.
Nathan Jones: They can’t go back. For those who have taken the Mark of the Beast, they had all the evidence they needed to accept Christ, but instead they declared their allegiance with Satan. As we’ve read earlier in Revelation 14, there can be no salvation for those who have accepted the Mark of the Beast. This First Bowl Judgment is aimed right at them.
Vic Batista: And isn’t it the same as today? God has been giving the world all sorts of opportunities to accept Jesus as Savior. Preachers abound sharing about the Bible and telling the truth. God also sends other people alongside us, other Christians, to let us know the love of God. Even with so many opportunities undreamed of in past ages for people to hear the Gospel and read the many Bibles that are out there, it is still flabbergasting to see that people still reject the Lord.
Nathan Jones: Theologians don’t call our era the Age of Grace for nothing. Surely, it’s terrible out there right now, but it’s nothing compared to how awful the Tribulation will be. Right now is the time when we have the Gospel all around us permeating society. You can hear the Good News on the radio, television, books and the Internet. The Gospel is pretty much everywhere! Rejecting it now shows a real hardness of heart and a real rebelliousness towards God, for it’s the rejection of God’s love. That is why these people will live through the Tribulation. They have rejected the love of God.
Second Thessalonians 2 indicates that those who have heard the Gospel and rejected it today may have no choice but to continue to reject it during the Tribulation. Like Pharaoh, God will harden their hearts so that they will become incapable of faith. I pray for those who today have rejected Christ that they haven’t hardened their hearts so much like Pharaoh that God finishes the hardening so that they can never accept Jesus as Savior. Accept Jesus now as Savior and so not risk losing all hope of salvation.
Vic Batista: That is why deception is so dangerous. People need to learn that they can only recognize deception by the false gospels that are being taught by reading the truth of the Bible. The more false teachers and false religions water down what the Bible teaches, the more deception people are going to fall for.
Nathan Jones: Right, the best way to deceive someone is to give them some truth but to wrap it up in a lie. They’ll conclude, “Wait a minute, that teaching is kind of truthful, so it must be okay.” Then they believe the lie as well. It is hard to believe a boldface 100% lie, but if you mix in a little truth, then the teaching gets confusing and deceives people. We have tons of deception today. Jesus even said in Luke 21 that in the last days there will be a proliferation of false prophets and false teachers. They are boldly attempting to muddy the waters of the Gospel so that people cannot see the purity of Christ’s sacrifice. We live in such a time period.
In the thirty-seventh segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the second of the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels of Revelation 16 will pour out God’s wrath upon the world.