The Book of Revelation Revealed - 16 (Giudici)
Segment 34 - 16.01 - Seven bowls of the wrath of God
Then one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of a wrath of God, so they got seven angels with seven plagues, and they’re given seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God. Does that sound live Jesus in a message of love? No, but you have a blend here of Old Testament and New Testament thought, okay? You have a blend. As we said before, Revelation is anything but a book of love. It’s a very war-like book, but there are loving moments within the book, of course. All right, then finally this destruction is poured out. This is similar to the results of the seven seals, and the seven trumpets. There’s a lot of earthly destruction, okay? A lot of earthly destruction, but a big difference here is that the antichrist, who was revealed in Chapter 13, now becomes the brunt of this destruction, okay? Before the destruction was laid out on mankind, on nature and mankind, now the antichrist, who was revealed to us in Chapter 13, becomes the brunt of this destruction that unfolds as the result of their pouring out these bowls of wrath, okay?
When they pour out the bowls, then seven plagues hit, and you can go right on down with the line here, down the line. Chapter 16. It describes all the plagues. Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the Earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.” The first angel went and poured his bowl on the Earth, and foul and evil sores came upon the men who bore the mark of the beast, and worshiped its image, the unfaithful, and also the Romans, too, had the mark of the beast on them, who involved themselves in emperor worship. If you would go down, and just take a look at all of these, most of these plagues, you would see at least with the first five that there is an identification with the plagues that were inflicted upon the Egyptians during the time of Moses. You’ve got sores upon the unfaithful. The second one has to do with the sea turning into blood. What happened to the Nile? It turned into blood, okay, and the rivers into blood, all right, just like the Romans had poured out the blood of the martyrs.
Then you’ve got scorching heat that comes into the picture. Then you’ve got darkness on the throne of the beast in Rome, but the unfaithful still do not repent, so with the first five plagues, there is kind of an identification with the plagues during the time of Moses, all right?
Segment 35 - 16.12 - Sixth plague - Harmagedon
Then when you get to the sixth plague, it’s something a little bit different. Where is this sixth plague? Here in verse 12. Take a look at verse 12 because the whole temple now begins to accelerate somewhat. It says, “The sixth angel poured his bowl on the great river Euphrates and the water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the east.” What did I say last hour about the Parthian Army? They were on the other side of the Euphrates. Here’s the map over here.
Well, if you would just check your Bible maps, you would see that east of this area of Asia Minor is a whole area during these times designated as the land of the Parthians. Around the river Euphrates might have bee some kind of a dividing line between those two sections. So, what he see now was all the waters of the river Euphrates dried up. What does that mean? The Parthians can get you now. They’re going to come. Who are they coming after? They’re coming after the Romans.
So, here once again, let’s go back to, I keep losing the page here, to first verse 12, “to prepare the way for the kings from the east. And I saw issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of a false prophet.” The dragon is Satan. The beast is the Roman Empire. The false prophet has to do with the officials of the Roman Empire. Maybe they can be interpreted a little bit differently, but basically it’s that idea.
But get this, “I saw issuing from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of a false prophet,” he’s got some more to bring into the picture, “three four spirits like frogs.” During the time of Moses one of the plagues had to do with an infestation of frogs. Do you remember that? So, there is a tie in once again. “For they are demonic spirits performing signs who go abroad to the kings of the whole world to assemble them for the battle on the great day of all God the Almighty. Lo, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is he who was awake keeping his garments that he may not go naked and be seen exposed.” A little something inserted there. “And they assembled them at the place which is called in Hebrew Armageddon or Harmageddon.”
So, here you see these three four spirits like frogs, demonic spirits and so forth, the false prophet, the dragon and the beast. They pull all the armies of the earth together for this great battle against the armies of God. So, now we’re almost there. We’re ready for the battle of Armageddon. Here the writer introduces the battle of Armageddon. He has all of the evil powers of the earth gathered together under the dragon, the beast, and the false prophets, under Satan and Satan’s worker on earth, which to him was the Roman Empire. He’s gathering all these armies and they’re prepared to do battle with God at Armageddon.
Where is this Armageddon? Once again, the writer draws on Jewish history. If you would go back to the fifth chapter of the book, don’t turn to it now, the fifth chapter of the book of Judges, you will see something called the song of Deborah. Deborah was a judge of Israel during the days of the judges. She went into battle along with Barak, her commander, against the Canaanite commander, Sisera, and she defeats. She and Barak defeat Sisera, the Canaanite commander. All this takes place in the fourth chapter of Judges. Then in the fifth chapter, characteristic of that style, they would sing a song of deliverance and Deborah sings the song of deliverance.
In the fifth chapter, you’ll see that it’s indicated that the battle that she fought was on the plains of Megiddo. So, Megiddo was a place up here on the north. I won’t take time on the map, but you can find it on some of your ancient maps in the northern part of the Holy Land called Megiddo. It was the site of a number of famous battles in Jewish history. This refers to the plains of Megiddo. Harmageddon means the mountains of Megiddo. So, we can say that this battle is going to take place on an elevated level, in a higher consciousness. Can you see the thrust? So, the writer simply picks up on something that he and his people could identify with, these famous battles that were fought at the plains of Megiddo.
As a matter fact, in the 23rd chapter, chapter 23 of second Kings, a very famous king of the southern kingdom of Judah named King Josiah. He turned out to be one of the good kings. King Josiah is slain in battle by Pharaoh Neco, by an Egyptian Pharaoh on the plains of Megiddo. So, that’s the site of another battle. So, the writer simply picks up on something that people could identify with and says this is where the great final battle between the powers of darkness and the powers of life is going to take place, at Armageddon.
Here, he simply announces the battle. The battle does not take place yet. We’re going to see the battle in just a short while. This battle is to be once again in the mountains, not on the plain, which means it’s represents a higher state of consciousness and that sort of thing.
Segment 36 - 16.14 - Seventh plague - Rome split in three parts
That’s all with the sixth plague that is announced here. Then if you just go on a little bit you’ll see the seventh plague is announced. I keep losing the page here. Down to verse 17. “Then the seventh angel poured his bowl into the air and a great voice came out of the temple saying, ‘It is done.’” We’re just about there, looks like it’s almost finished. In the seventh plague, there’s an earthquake that comes along and it splits Rome into three parts. Rome is split into three parts. Then he’s describing here now the destruction of Rome. In that part of the country, especially in Asia Minor, earthquakes are not uncommon. He’s talking about Rome, which is over in Italy, but that part of the country, they knew about earthquakes. Some of the most terrible earthquakes we’ve had in this whole planet, on this planet, have taken place in Iran around Tehran and so forth. That part of the country is familiar with earthquakes, so he uses that to describe the fall of Rome. That’s one way in which he describes the fall of Rome.
It’s interesting here too, but he kind of adds to it. He’s got it against Rome so much. Look at verse 19 of chapter 16. “The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered great Babylon,” means Rome, “to make her drain the cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away and no mountains were to be found. And great hailstones, heavy as a hundred weight, dropped on men from heaven till men cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague.”
Not only does the writer destroy Rome with an earthquake, but it’s like rubbing salt in the wound. Then he has great hailstones drop on the people. He’s really got it in for Rome. You see the message there? That’s the way he presents it in his very descriptive style.
Once again, these plagues are an identification with the time of Moses. The people knew that during the time of Moses, when the plagues came, it meant that deliverance was right at hand. Because shortly after the plagues hit, then what happened? Then the Israelites were able to flee Egypt. The writer was telling us now with these plagues, these seven plagues, deliverance once again is almost at hand. He places it in the context of this great battle at Armageddon that’s supposed to take place. Then he goes on from there. Let’s see what happens next, okay?