That’s Revelation 16. The end has come. In a very brief span of time, the long awaited moment has arrived. In seven swift strokes the desire of a world wanting no part of Jesus- is granted. God shows to us what life without Jesus will be like. These 7 bowls of plagues are for the lost. Revelation 16 is no less than a foretaste of Hell. Think of how the earth-dwellers in just a few moments begin an inexorable plunge toward Hell.
In 21 vivid verses John sees and records for us what happens when mankind joins fallen angels in living without God.
ü Human bodies oozing malignant sores,
ü Earth’s oceans become death washing up on every shore,
ü All water has the stench of corruption rising from every river, stream, faucet and well on the planet,
ü People’s bodies burning from a solar fire pouring down from the skies,
ü Then there is added to all that an instantaneous impenetrable darkness. And as all the earth-dwellers seethe with rage toward God, Satan’s trio of demons gathers the Earth as a vast army to fight God, and toward Armageddon they go in hatred of the Creator.
ü Finally, as they gather, the earth convulses in the greatest quake ever, all cities are leveled, islands sink and 60 to 120 pound hailstones raining down upon the Earth obliterating the monuments of Earth and the men that built them.
ENOUGH SAYS GOD! Let’s listen as we read the Word of God. For the redeemed, the glory of Jesus shines from each plague. Revelation 16 is an art gallery with seven divinely inspired PORTRAITs OF CHRIST. Against the darkened screen of Christ’s wrath poured out upon sin, are seven glowing pictures. Look at these riveting portraits of Jesus. Pause with me before each one:
- In v. 1-2: without Jesus is decay and corruption but with — Jesus has SANCTIFYING POWER as the One who cleanses and keeps (Jude 23-24)
- In v. 3 without Jesus is death and hopelessness but with — Jesus has LIFE GIVING POWER as the One who gives abundant life (Jn. 10:10)
- In v. 4-7 without Jesus is endless thirst but Jesus has SATISFYING POWER as the One who promises us we will never thirst (John 7:37-39)
- In v. 8-9 without Jesus life is a burning prison but with — Jesus has LIBERATING POWER as the One who sets us free (Jn. 8:31-36)
- In v. 10-11 without Jesus is impenetrable darkness but with Jesus is ENLIGHTENING POWER as the One who gives us daily light and true spiritual sight (Jn. 8:12; acts 26:18)
- In v. 12-16 without Jesus is only enslavement to demon masters but Jesus has CONQUERING POWER as the One who always leads us into triumph (I Cor. 2:14)
- In v. 17-21 without Jesus is only hopeless destruction but with Jesus is SECURING POWER as the One who gives us our ultimate eternal security (Rom. 8:31-39, Heb. 7)
So what is life like apart from Jesus? Without His power life is reduced to a living Hell.
ü First, sores ooze from their bodies as all the evil within starts to come out, a sign of inward corruption.
ü Second, the waters of the sea filled with life become a stench of dead blood a sign of man’s hopelessness apart from God.
ü Third, all the streams of water on Earth are poisoned; a sign of absolute desperation as water is imperative for life, as is Jesus.
ü Fourth, the sun that keeps life sustained on Earth flares up blazing and burning the planet. A sign of false worship that started with sun worship is now powerless before the Creator.
ü Fifth, from the brightness of a fiercely blazing sun to absolute blackness in the realm of the beast. This is a sign of the spiritual darkness Satan brings.
ü Sixth, the waters of the great dividing river Euphrates dries up. A demon trio rounds up the army of the antichrist and Armageddon is their destination.
ü Seventh, God unleashes the greatest quake of all time and more devastation occurs in that big one than in every other one combined. There are 5, 319 quakes on record at present.
Jesus is the Ultimate Security contrasted to the utter insecurity of earth-dwellers
bowl # 1 malignant sores
the HORROR OF LOCKED HEARTS
Revelation 16:1-2 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.” 2 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.
“The most terrible situation in life is when Almighty God is powerless to gain an entry into the citadel of the human heart, for God has given men the terrible responsibility of being able to lock their hearts against Him.”
First a malignant sore oozes out the unmitigated corruption, the filth of their unrepentant souls. This is the fulfillment of Moses’ prophesy of Deuteronomy 28:27, 35 “The Lord will strike you with the boils of Egypt, with tumors, with the scab, and with the itch, from which you cannot be healed. 35 “The Lord will strike you in the knees and on the legs with severe boils which cannot be healed, and from the sole of your foot to the top of your head.
Einstein said, “it is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man”. So judgment will not produce repentance because only God’s kindness does (Rom. 2:4). What is the lesson in v. 1-2? Only Jesus has SANCTIFYING POWER as the One who cleanses and keeps (Jude 23-24)
BOWL #2 the sea of death
Revelation 16:3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.
From time to time, off the coast of California and elsewhere, a phenomenon known as “the red tide” occurs. These red tides kill millions of fish, and poison those who eat contaminated shellfish. In 1949, one of these red tides hit the coast of Florida. First the water turned yellow, but by midsummer it was thick and viscous and countless billions of dinoflagellates, tiny one-celled organisms. Sixty-mile windrows of stinking fish fouled the beaches. Much marine life was wiped out, even bait used by fishermen died upon the hooks. Eventually the red tide subsided, only to appear again the following year. Eating fish contaminated by the tide produced severe symptoms caused by a potent nerve poison, a few grams of which distributed aright, could easily kill everyone in the world. An unchecked population explosion of toxic dinoflagellates would kill all the fish in the sea. The phenomenon is well known, but scientists do not know what causes the proliferation of these creatures or what normally limits it. One theory is that it is caused when cobalt in an area reaches a certain density. Using the sea as a dumping place for nuclear and other waste may one day raise the level of cobalt to the point where it triggers a dinoflagellate plague. This may not fully explain what will happen when the second vial is outpoured, but it certainly illustrates it. The disaster described is quite credible.
In v. 3 Jesus has LIFE GIVING POWER as the One who gives abundant life (Jn. 10:10)
bowl # 3 Jesus – Satisfier “TO THIRST
OR NOT TO THIRST” Revelation 16:4-7
Revelation 16:4-7 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. 6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” 7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”
Water, the Wonder Fluid; for a brew that’s colorless, tasteless, odorless, and calorie free, water takes a punch. It is the only substance necessary to all life. Many organisms can live without oxygen, but none can live without water. Life, and life to come can both be reduced to a simple common denominator. No life form known by us on earth can exist without water. And no life form will ever be able to exist in eternity without the Water of Life! Many creatures can live without oxygen, but none without water.
God gives an unbelieving world a graphic picture. No water, no life. Why? To portray a spiritual truth – Only Jesus is satisfies and can give the Water of Life! Not to thirst can only mean come to Him. Revelation 22 ends with a call, lets turn there 22:17.Psalm 42:2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? “Only Jesus can satisfy your soul”. And God promises to quench our thirst.
Each day the sun evaporates a trillion tons of water from the oceans and continents and pumps it as vapor into the atmosphere–the greatest physical force at work on Earth. Each day the same amount of vapor condenses and falls as rain, snow, sleet, and hail, replenishing its sources. But this is no natural lack of water. We cause our thirst by our sin. But in v. 4-7 we find Jesus has SATISFYING POWER as the One who promises us we will never thirst (John 7:37-39)
Bowl # 4 The Ultimate Sunburn
Revelation 16:8-9 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.
Jesus is revealed in Revelation 16:8-9 as the promised Sun of Righteousness, the Liberator. The last words of the Old Testament pronounce a doom upon those who won’t allow Jesus to be their sunrise (Luke 178) upon them He becomes the burning sun. Look with me in Malachi 4:1-2 “For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the Lord of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But to you who fear My name The Sun of Righteousness shall arise With healing in His wings; And you shall go out And grow fat like stall-fed calves. Lk. 1:78 Jesus is the Sunrise. But, Revelation 16:8-9 He is spurned
So Jesus who would free us from doom, liberate us from damnation is rejected. What a contrast, burned up or blessed beyond description. That is your choice! So in v. 8-9 Jesus has LIBERATING POWER as the One who sets us free (Jn. 8:31-36)
BOWL #5 utter DARKNESS
Revelation 16:10-11Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
Now God pours out a plague strikingly similar to the 9th plague upon Egypt in Ex. 10:21-29. Taste the Blackness of Hell Forever/Black as Hell – Jn. 8:12; (cf Ex. 10:21-29 gnawed tongues) Also, the scope of this bowl of judgment is limited, focused upon the kingdom of the beast — that is, the revived Roman Empire of Western Europe. This judgment encompasses a great area of the Earth, causing a sudden and unexplainable darkness to fall. The events in the sky or beyond the sky, which caused these midday nightfall’s, might have been the same as that which caused three hours of darkness during the crucifixion of Christ.
Note three penetrating truths:
- Closed hearts face judgment. So check to see if you have opened the door to Christ. “Perhaps the most terrible condition of human life is when the almighty God is powerless to gain entry into the citadel of the human heart … for God has given men the terrible responsibility of being able to lock their hearts against Him.”
- Judgment that is most horrible is the blackness of darkness in hell. Jesus stands in the way and only you can turn Him down or take Him in.
- Jesus is light and salvation. Do you walk in light? Seek light?
Some CLOSED HEARTS of the past
who now AWAIT JUDGMENT
So, closed hearts face judgment.
The horrors of absolute darkness
Embracing the True Light of the World
What’s the hope? Well if:
- Closed hearts face judgment – open yours.
- Judgment in hell is blackest darkness. Avoid it. How —
- By meeting, embracing Jesus who is light and salvation.
ü John 1:5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
ü John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
ü John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
ü John 12:46 “I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. What does meeting, trusting, receiving, and embracing Jesus as light and salvation mean?
ü A TOTALLY NEW LIFE Hold on —
In v. 10-11 Jesus has ENLIGHTENING POWER as the One who gives us daily light and true spiritual sight (Jn. 8:12; acts 26:18)
BOWL #6 called to armageddon
Revelation 16:12-16 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to 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 am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
“The time has come for the fighting of that final war of the age, the name of which has become a byword among men since John first wrote it down–Armageddon! God has chosen the Holy Land as the stage upon which two crucial events take place, one on a mountain, and one on a plain. Mount Calvary and the Plain of Megiddo are the two altars of sacrifice that dominate the history of the world. We are told three things about the armies, which now begin their fateful march toward Megiddo. The Holy Spirit of God has chosen five capable authors to describe for us in clear and chilling language that most famous of all battles — Armageddon! The five authors include David, Isaiah, Joel, Zechariah, and John.
Thus there would seem to be at least four important names involved in the battle of Armageddon:
Marvin Vincent writes concerning Armageddon and its location, The reasons for the battle: What will draw all the nations of the world into the area of Armageddon? They will gather themselves there for perhaps various reasons. It would seem that the following are three of the more important reasons:
- The chronology of the battle:
- The drying up of the Euphrates River (Revelation 16:12).
Dr. Donald Barnhouse quotes Seiss in describing this: Thus, when this watery barrier is removed tens of millions of soldiers from China, India, and other Asian powers will march straight for Armageddon and destruction!
- The destruction of Jerusalem:
- Their end is inescapable
- 2. Their defeat is ultimate
- Our King is unconquerable
Are you triumphing? 2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. We are more than conquerors; Victory in Jesus. So, in v. 12-16 Jesus has CONQUERING POWER as the One who always leads us into triumph
bowl # 7 “THE BIG ONE”
Revelation 16:17-21 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the Temple of Heaven, from the Throne, saying, “It is done!”18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath.20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
“‘It is done!’ Here is the perfecting of the judgments, the consummationof God’s wrath, the final overthrow of all opposition. Once before our Lord uttered similar words from the cross when He Cried, ‘It is finished’ (John 19:30), and at the time there was an earthquake (Matthew 27:51). But then He was bearing the judgment for man’s sin. However, the next time He speaks of a finished work, it will be the consummation of judgment upon all who have rejected Him. It is the comprehensive finality of judgment upon the Earth and its inhabitants.
“The judgments in these verses I take to be literal. What is described here is both possibly and probable. With the exception of the hail and lightning, man could produce the same effects with the multi-megaton bombs now in his possession. Mountains will disappear and islands will be submerged.
“The seventh angel tips the seventh bowl of judgment in ‘the air,’ the present headquarters of Satan (Ephesians 2:2), followed by thunders, lightning, and hailstones weighing upwards to one hundred pounds. This is the final destruction of every religious, political, and educational institution that man has built apart from God. It is the collapse of all man’s hopes and dreams. But with all of this, men still refuse to submit to God’s rule. Men boast of their scientific progress, but it will all come to naught. All the men consider stable, they must watch crumble. Many people marvel at such descriptions of the severity of God. I marvel at the unconcern and wickedness of men’s hearts.”
Have you ever noticed a map of the Fault Lines of the earth? Note where they run: from Alaska to Chile, from Siberia to New Zealand, from the southern Med /Riviera to the Mideast like a fan across Asia and S. to the heart of Africa. And when those Teutonic plates move in 1 quake the power of 20,000 A-bombs is unleashed. With devastation like that ahead, only Jesus is ultimate Security. In just one quake the fall of 1985 in Columbia and Mexico 32,000 lost their lives.
What should this truth do to us? Perhaps set some PRIORITIES FOR us as CHRISTIANS? Remember God offers us in Heb. 12:25-29 an Unshakable kingdom. He also calls us in 2 Peter. 3:10-18 to an Unwavering focus. So we see Jesus in v. 17-21 Jesus has SECURING POWER as the One who gives us our ultimate eternal security (Rom. 8:31-39, Heb. 7)
The end is coming. The world is going to fall apart. Mankind will cease to be, as we now know life to be. So what about it. What does God want now that we are listening? He wants us to worship His Son.
Revelation 16 is an art gallery with seven divinely inspired PORTRAITs OF CHRIST. Against the darkened screen of Christ’s wrath poured out upon sin, are seven glowing pictures. Look at these riveting portraits of Jesus. Pause with me before each one:
ü In v. 1-2: Jesus has SANCTIFYING POWER as the One who cleanses and keeps (Jude 23-24)
ü In v. 3 Jesus has LIFE GIVING POWER as the One who gives abundant life (Jn. 10:10)
ü In v. 4-7 Jesus has SATISFYING POWER as the One who promises us we will never thirst (John 7:37-39)
ü In v. 8-9 Jesus has LIBERATING POWER as the One who sets us free (Jn. 8:31-36)
ü In v. 10-11 Jesus has ENLIGHTENING POWER as the One who gives us daily light and true spiritual sight (Jn. 8:12; acts 26:18)
ü In v. 12-16 Jesus has CONQUERING POWER as the One who always leads us into triumph ( I Cor. 2:14)
ü In v. 17-21 Jesus has SECURING POWER as the One who gives us our ultimate eternal security (Rom. 8:31-39, Heb. 7)
On Mount Calvary grace redeemed the world by the sacrifice of God’s Son. On the plains of Megiddo vengeance offers up the armies of the world in a sacrifice of doom.
ü Both are blood baths:
ü Both are the descent of wrath upon sin;
ü Both are brought about by God’s bitterest foes that work out, despite themselves, God’s perfect and sovereign will.
ü Across both can be written the words of Peter, “The Gentiles, and peoples of Israel, were gathered together, for to do whatsoever they hand and thy counsel determined before to be done” (Acts 4:27-28).
ü From each proceeds a supper: one a feast of remembrance for the people of God, and the other a feast of retribution for the carrion.
ü At Calvary there rang up to the gates of Heaven a victorious cry, “It is finished!”
ü And at Armageddon there rings down to Earth an answering cry from the temple gates in glory, “It is done!”
ü Both events shake the earth in Mt. 27:51-54 Quake + Christ’s Res.; Revelation 16:18 The Greatest Quake
ü Both events attack and conquer Satan’s domain. At Christ’s death the graves opened and saints raised from death (contrary to Satan’s power) and in Revelation 16 the bowls are poured on the air the present headquarters of Satan
There have been continuous global earthquake monitoring and studies going on for over a century. There is also an interesting source on the web that has catalogued all recorded quakes from 2100 BC to 1995 AD. Not all of the available records of earthquake activity and events agree among themselves. There seems to be considerable divergences, omissions and even errant conclusions. Careful study and analysis is always vital.There seems to be a 30-year cycle of tectonic activity. This cycle is also seemingly on a downward or lessening trend as would be implied from the Genesis Record of the Flood and the volcanism associated with those events.Twentieth-Century Earthquakes as “Birth Pangs”
The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of earthquakes as “signs” of His coming again to receive His saints. He said, “There will be earthquakes in divers places” (Matthew 24:7; Mark 13:8), a fact now verified by the global distribution of earthquakes recorded on seismographs. Most noteworthy is Jesus’ statement that the earthquake sign is the “beginning of sorrows” (Matthew 24:8; Mark 13:8). The word translated sorrows in many English Bibles is the Greek word for “birth pangs.” Just as we know from birth pangs that a pregnant woman is about to give birth to a child, Jesus says we know that the intolerable anguish of God’s judgment and the return of His Son is at hand. The 30-year cyclic curve of earthquake frequency in figure is consistent with Jesus’ statement about birth pangs.”
The apostle Paul also develops the birth pang theme when he notes that the whole creation is “groaning in travail” (Romans 8:22) awaiting the new birth of the world. The apostle John speaks of a “great earthquake” associated with the opening of the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12), followed by the sign of the pregnant woman (Revelation 12:2), and followed by the greatest earthquake since men have been upon the earth (Revelation 16:18- 20). This future “Armageddon earthquake” will be associated with the return of Christ to Jerusalem (Acts 1:9-1 1; Zechariah 14: 1-1 1) and is described as inflicting severe topographic and geologic changes on a global scale. After God’s voice shakes the Earth mightily (Hebrews 12:26) and fully accomplishes these extraordinary geologic changes, His saints will receive a “kingdom which cannot be moved” (Hebrews 12:27-29).
- Rene Noorbergen, A.D. 2000:A Book About the End of Time(New York, Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1984), p. 80.
- Ibid. The statement comes from inside the front of the book’s dust jacket.
- Lester Sumrall, “Famines, Pestilence, Earthquakes, as Man Rebels,” in Bob Anderson et al.,Earth’s Final Days(Green Forest, AR, New Leaf Press, 1994), pp. 63-76.
- Gary Stearman, “Are Earthquakes on the Increase?” Prophecy in the News (June 1996). See Stearman’s apology for the Philadelphia Inquirer’s incomplete data in “Earthquakes are Indeed on the Increase” (pp. 27-28) in the next issue of Prophecy in the News.
 The talent of ancient times was reckoned as: Jewish talents of silver were 120 pounds Troy or 96 pounds avoirdupois; other materials were a 135 pound talent; Babylonian talents were heavier; a Greek talent was 86 pounds; the lightest talent was an attic talent at 57.7 pounds (Barnhouse, Revelation, p. 309).
 Time Period Qty : 1100-1149 6; 1150-1199 8; 1200-1249 14; 1250-1299 12; 1300-1349 6; 1350-1399 12; 1400-1449 4; 1450-1499 24; 1500-1549 10; 1550-1599 50; 1600-1649 90; 1650-1699 82; 1700-1749 48; 1750-1799 88; 1800-1849 72; 1850-1899 172; 1900-1949 506; 1950-1997 670
 Malignant Sores Ooze unmitigated corruption – Ex. 15:26; 23:25; Dt. 32:39
 William Barclay.
 Sea of Death – food chains, hydrological cycle
 Dying of Thirst – Jn. 7:37; Is. 24:4-6; Mal. 4:1
 It comes closest to being the universal solvent; while you drink from a tumbler, the water is busily dissolving molecules from your glass. It travels upward in defiance of gravity. So strongly do water molecules adhere to one another that when one evaporates from the leaf of a tree, it pulls up those behind like links of a chain. This molecular attraction forms the surface film on which water bugs race without wetting their feet, and which permits you to float a darning needle atop a glass of water. The average American uses 87 gallons a day to drink, flush, shower. 120 gallons to produce one hen’s egg, 3,500 per steak. With these indirect uses our daily need soars to some 2,000 gallons each. Four trillion gallons of precipitation falls on the United States each day, and we use a mere tenth of it. None is lost; the water that John used for baptizing Jesus still exists, its billions of molecules now dispersed around the world.
 National Geographic, Water.
 Jesus is liberator to all who look to Him in 3 powerful ways: 2 Cor.14 Leads us in triumph; Gal. 2:20 crucifies our flesh; I Cor. 15:31 we die daily; Revelation 1:5 Washes us (salvation = garments). Are you in the triumphal procession? Are you dying daily to flesh? When you fall do you let Him wash you? #308 Are You Washed?; #369-Nothing But The Blood; #289-Jesus Thy Blood; #265-There Is A Fountain
 The Unexampled Catastrophe to the Sun (16:8-9) (Phillips, Exploring Revelation, p. ___?)
 The earth is surrounded by a field of radiation, the magnetosphere, which protects it from full exposure to this deadly assault. The solar radiation which penetrates the magnetosphere is trapped in turn by the Van Allen belts…The changeover is thought to take place about every five thousand years, at the midpoint of which the magnetosphere is reduced to a mere five percent of its normal strength… “…The sun itself is subject to violent weather patterns of its own. From time to time, tongues of flame leap out from the seething surface of the sun, erupting hot solar plasma as far as a million miles from the sun, and projecting X-rays, radio waves, light waves, electronic clouds, and destructive high-energy protons toward the earth. When the earth is in a direct line with these eruptions, magnetic storms occur on earth, which disrupt communication systems and play havoc with sophisticated modern equipment. These giant flares, which follow three well-known cycles (one of eleven-year intervals, one of eighty-year intervals, and one of four hundred-year intervals), cause the phenomena in the sun known as sunspots. One such flare occurred at 2:37 p.m. on November 12, 1960. The resulting cloud of solar hydrogen gas measured ten million miles across and trailed halfway back to the sun, ninety-three million miles away, and bombarded the earth at a speed of four thousand miles a second. It set off violent weeklong disturbances on and around the earth and precipitated an electrical and magnetic storm of enormous proportions. Compass needles wavered erratically, communications were blacked out, and the northern lights flared majestically. Yet this was a mere ripple in the steady flow of energy from the sun. The disaster on earth caused by the fourth vial might easily result from some such explosion of the sun. “Or perhaps the sun will die a premature death. The sun, known to astronomers as a “second-generation star” is built up of cosmic dust and gas. It has been radiating for only a comparatively short time, astronomically speaking, and its hydrogen content has been only moderately depleted….”
 This is not the first time such a phenomenon has occurred. In the middle of the day on May 19, 1780, the entire region of New England was covered by darkness –a day which has become fixed in New England history as The Dark Day. The mysterious blackout lasted for several hours.
In the early afternoon of March 19, 1886, a similar zone of darkness moved across central Wisconsin, causing the sky to turn from a bright cloud-dappled blue to midnight black in the space of about a minute. This darkness blanketed several villages and towns to the west of Lake Winnebago and lasted about ten minutes. Similar unexplained occurrences of sudden darkness have occurred in Memphis, Tennessee (December 1904), Louisville, Kentucky (March 1911), and other places and times in the United States and around the world. All of these events have two things in common: (1) no one was ever able to explain these events in terms of a known phenomenon such as an eclipse, and (2) most of the people who experienced these events were filled with terror, believing the end of the world had come.
 Barclay, Revelation 16.
 Have people done that? Most terribly so. Let’s just note four tragic closed hearts. Four lives that locked their hearts against God, and the blackness of judgment they face.
- Cain – acquisition – Gen. 4 – Salvation By God’s Way – self righteous – false faith
- wanted to be in God’s family without entering God’s way
- 2d generation Christians – by good works. Stay put? Mark where God put. So sin starts.
- Balaam – pilgrim or Lord – Num. 22-24 – Submission to God’s Word – spiritual reprobate – false obedience
- wanted to be God’s man without obedience to God’s word.
- Fruit of the spirit – His fruit in the soil of my life.
- Achan – trouble – Jose 16:7 – It’s lonely: Enoch, Abraham, Noah, Daniel – Separation into God from World-stopper of revival – false separation.
- Wanted to be home in the heart of God’s camp while having the world at the heart of his home.
- Busy procuring provisions for this physical frame – man only lives in this body!
- Therefore, lost life, family, home, people of God defeated.
- Elisha’s Gehzai – diminisher or denier – II K 4-5 Service in God’s Work – Seeker of riches – false sacrifice.
- Wanted to be God’s servant without sacrifice to God’s work.
- 3 steps down:
- 4:27 – pushed Shunamite woman lack perception.
- 5:20 – ran after things – dedicated.
- 5:22 – like to Naaham – truthfulness.
 Secondly, the most horrible judgment of all is associated with the blackness of darkness. Look up these verses with me: Ex. 10:21-29. Egypt and the plagues prefigures – parallels the final judgment of God. Joel 2:2, 10; Amos 5:18,20; Zeph. 1:15. Jesus warned of the ultimate judgment that the plagues on Egypt (Ex.) and the Day of the Lord (Revelation 6-19) only foretaste listen to-Mt. 8:12; 13:42,50;22:15;24:29,50; 25:30. 2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 13.
 Starts with:
- (Daily) new choices
ü Romans 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. (KJV)
ü All Clear 1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God. (KJV)
ü First Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus. (KJV)
- New Salvation 2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? (KJV)
- New Softness: Hard = Dark Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: (KJV)
- New walk Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (KJV)
- New Attitude Ephesians 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. (KJV)
- New Battle Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (KJV)
- New Hope Colossians 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: (KJV)
- New Confidence 1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (KJV)
- New Identity First Thessalonians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (KJV)
ü Hebrews 12:18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, (KJV)
ü First Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: (KJV)
ü Second Peter 1:19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: (KJV)
ü Second Peter 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; (KJV)
ü Second Peter 2:17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved forever. (KJV)
 (1) We are told where those armies are delayed. John says, “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.” Babylon and all it stands for is about to be overthrown. History repeats itself in a way, for ancient Babylon was overthrown when the armies of Cyrus the Persian diverted the waters of the Euphrates to expedite their march into the city. But here is a suggestion of delay. Before the armies of the east can converge on the capital of the beast, a hindrance must be removed. That hindrance is described as “the great river Euphrates.” They drying up of the Euphrates could be literal, for the river is indeed a great river. It is eighteen hundred miles long and in places it is thirty-six hundred feet wide and thirty feet deep. In ancient times it was a formidable barrier to an invading force from the east, and for centuries it has been the dividing line between east and west. A literal interpretation of the text is likely enough, but that does not seem to exhaust the meaning of the text.”
“In the judgment of the sixth bowl of wrath, the judgment upon the Euphrates is again depicted as a prelude to ultimate war. As the bowl is poured out, the river dries up, preparing the way for invading armies of the “kings of the East”–that is, from nations which possibly include China, India, Japan, and other Asian countries.
“We have seen in recent years that some of these countries have risen to great prosperity and military power. The transformation of Japan from a humiliated and devastated nation in 1945 to one of the most powerful economic forces of the late twentieth century is nothing less than amazing. The transformation of China from a backward agrarian economy to near-superpower status is equally amazing. We can be virtually certain that these historical changes have been in preparation for the Day of Judgment that is coming at the end of this age.
“People are fond of quoting Rudyard Kipling’s line, “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.” But that’s not the entire quotation:
“Oh, East is East, and West is West, and
Never the twain shall meet.
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at
God’s great Judgment Seat.
“Kipling knew! There is a time coming when East and West shall come together. It will happen in a place called Armageddon!
“The Euphrates River will be dried up, and the barrier to invasion from the East will be removed. You may remember from news reports of the 1991 Gulf War how the Euphrates River formed an impassable barrier to the armies of Saddam Hussein as they attempted to retreat from U.N. forces. They were bottled up with the armies of 30 countries before them and the Euphrates at their backs. But in the day of the sixth bowl of judgment, invading armies will roll across the cracked, dry riverbed of the Euphrates–right into the jaws of World War III!
“Here we are given insight into the way nations are moved by unseen forces. Leaders of nations think that they control events, when it is actually they that are controlled by events–and by unseen spiritual forces. In this passage we see three evil spirits in the appearance of frogs, which proceed out of the mouths of the satanic trinity–the red dragon, the scarlet beast, and the false prophet. With demonic miracles they deceive the nations, manipulating and maneuvering them into launching the final war of human history.
“It is a time of terror and unparalleled destruction. All the nuclear arsenals of the world will be unleashed. The armies of the world–200 million warriors–will gather into Palestine to bathe the Holy Land in blood.”  Why? To who Jesus is ultimate conqueror, King of Kings, Lord of Lords!
Ps. 2:1-5, 9: “What do the nations rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He who sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his great displeasure. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel”
Is. 34:1-6: “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye peoples; let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth from it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies; he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stench shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll; and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree. For my sword shall be bathed in heaven; behold, it shall come down upon Edom, and upon the people of my curse, to judgment. The sword of the Lord is filled with blood; it is made fat with fatness, and with the blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the kidneys of rams; for the Lord hath a sacrifice in Bizrah, and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.”
Is. 63:3, 4, 6: “I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples 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. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. Any I will tread down the peoples in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth.”
Joel 3:2, 9-16: “I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and will judge them there for my people and for my heritage, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land….Proclaim them among the Gentiles, Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up; beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye nations, and gather yourselves together round about; there cause they mighty ones to come down, O lord. Let the nations be wakened, and come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; for there will I sit to judge all the nations round about. Put 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. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 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.”
Zech. 12:2: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege against Judah and against Jerusalem”
Zech. 14:2, 3, 12: “I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle….And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will smite all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem: their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their month”
Revelation 14:14-20: “And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in they sickle, and reap; for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 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 they sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth, for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 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”
Revelation 16:16: “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon”
Revelation 19:11-21: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; and his name is called The Word of God. “And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. “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. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. “And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. “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. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. “And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth; and all the fowls were filled with their flesh”
 “A former president of the Norwegian Academy of Sciences, helped by historians from Britain, Egypt, Germany and India, and using a computer, has found that since 3600 B.C. the world has known only 292 years of peace. In this period of more than 55 centuries that have been 14,531 wars, large and small, in which more than 3.6 billion people were killed. Since 650 B.C., there have been 1,656 arms races, all except 16 ending in war, and those 16 ended in economic collapse for the countries concerned.”1
By this coming War of Armageddon will be by far the biggest, boldest, bloodiest, most brazen, and most blasphemous of all times! We shall now consider the negative and positive elements of this war.
Why? To show Jesus as King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Conquerors – 2 Cor. 2:14.
 Armageddon is not the same as the Russian invasion of Ezekiel 38. Note the differences: Russia invades from the north, but at Armageddon the nations come from all directions. Russia invades to capture Israel’s wealth, but this invasion is to destroy the Lamb and his people. Gog leads the Russian invasion, but the antichrist leads this one. Armageddon is not the final war in the Bible — the final war occurs after the millennium (Revelation 20:7-9). Armageddon takes place at the end of the Tribulation.
 “The staggering dimensions of this conflict can scarcely be conceived by man. The battlefield will stretch from Megiddo on the north (Zech. 12:11; Revelation 16:16) to Edom on the south (Is. 34:5, 6; 63:1), a distance of sixteen hundred furlongs — approximately two hundred miles. It will reach from the Mediterranean Sea on the west to the hills of Moab on the east, a distance of almost one hundred miles. It will include the Valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:2, 12) and the Plains of Esdraelon. At the center of the entire area will be the city of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:1, 2). Into this area the multiplied millions of men, doubtless approaching 400 million, will be crowded for the final holocaust of humanity. The kings with their armies will come from the north and the south, from the east and from the west…. In the most dramatic sense this will be the ‘Valley of decision’ for humanity (Joel 3:14) and the great winepress into which will be poured the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God (Revelation 19:15).”
22 Herman A. Hoyt, The End Time (Chicago: Moody, 1969), p. 163. Used by permission.
(1) The Valley of Jehoshaphat — a valley situated just east of Jerusalem, between the Holy City and the Mount of Olives. See Joel 3:2, 12.
(2) The Valley of Esdraelon — a valley twenty miles long and fourteen miles wide, situated north and west of Jerusalem between the Holy City and the Mediterranean Sea.
(3) Megiddo — a flat plain located in the Valley of Esdraelon (Zech. 12:11).
(4) Bozrah — a city in Edom, east of the Jordan River and near Petra, the capital of Edom. These two cities will play an important role during the Second Coming of our Lord. See Isaiah 34:6 and 63:1.
 “Megiddo was in the plain of Esdraelon, which has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in Palestine from the days of…Assyria unto the disastrous march of Napoleon Bonaparte from Egypt into Syria, Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian Crusaders, and anti-Christian Frenchmen; Egyptians, Persians, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors of every nation that is under heaven, have pitched their tents on the plains of Esdraelon, and have beheld the banners of their nation wet with the dews of Mt. Tabor and Mt. Hermon.”3
In addition to church history, a number of battles took place in this area, as reported by the Old Testament: It was here that Deborah and Barak defeated the Canaanites (Judges 4, 5). It was here that Gideon defeated the Midianites (Judges 7). It was here that the Philistines defeated and killed Saul (1 Sam. 31). It was here that David defeated Goliath (1 Sam. 17). It was here that an Egyptian king killed Josiah (2 Kings 23).
-  Because of the sovereignty of God. In at least five distinct passages we are told that God himself will gather the nations here:
- “…he hath delivered them to the slaughter” (Is. 34:2).
- “I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat…” (Joel 3:2).
- “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle…” (Zech. 14:2).
- “…For my determination is to gather the nations….to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger…” (Zeph. 3:8).
- “And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon” (Revelation 16:16).
- Because of the deception of Satan (Revelation 16:13, 14). In this passage we are told that three special unclean spirits will trick the nations into gathering at Armageddon.
- Because of the hatred of the nations for Christ.
- A number of passages tell us of this devilish hatred (Ps. 2:1-3; Revelation 11:18).
- The nations, led by the antichrist, will doubtless realize the imminent return of Christ (Revelation 11:15; 12:12).
- They will also be aware of his touching down on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:9-12).
- Thus it is not unreasonable to assume they will gather in that area to destroy him at the moment of his return to earth!
 “From time immemorial the Euphrates with its tributaries has been a great and formidable boundary between the peoples east of it and those west of it. It runs a distance of 1,800 miles, and is scarcely fordable anywhere or at any time. It is from three to twelve hundred yards wide, and from ten to thirty feet in depth; and most of the time it is still deeper and wider. It was the boundary of the dominion of Solomon, and is repeatedly spoken of as the northeast limit of the lands promised to Israel….History frequently refers to the great hindrance the Euphrates has been to military movements; and it has always been a line of separation between the peoples living east of it and those living west of it.”4
 Perhaps the saddest event during the Tribulation will be the siege and destruction of the Holy City. This will be the 47th and last take-over of the beloved city of David. The following passages bear this out: “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege…” (Zech. 12:2). “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half the city shall go forth into captivity…” (Zech. 14:2). “And when ye sill see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh” (Luke 21:20).
When these two events transpire both the angels in paradise and the demons in perdition will surely hold their breath. The reason for their suspense will be discussed in the next major section.