The Seven Plagues #54
“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 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. 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. 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.” (Revelation 15:5-8).
John’s attention is now turned to the tabernacle in heaven, and he witnesses seven angels exiting in single file. Each one has in his hand a bowl, which was used in temple worship. This time the bowls were not filled with perfume or oil for the lamps, but with the wrath of Almighty God!
The seriousness of the hour could not be more ominously portrayed. There is no levity here. All is determined, and every face is fixed and intent on carrying out the command of God. They are seven in number. There is perfection in their purpose. They are clothed in pure white. They are pure in their intent. They have golden girdles about their loins. They are restrained as to their mission. They are God’s servants for the hour.
The fact that the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and that no one was able to enter it, speaks of His righteous judgments and that there can be no intercession for those who have received the mark of the Beast. The hour of God’s mercy is past.
In this chapter the seven angels are commanded to go forth and pour out their vials on the earth. Each one is described in detail as he completes his assignment.
The First Vial
“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. 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.” (Revelation 16:1-2).
The command to pour out the vials on the earth is, no doubt, limited to the kingdom of the beast. The first vial caused a “grievous sore” upon all who had the mark of the beast. This vial is similar to that experienced by the Egyptians. (See Exodus 9:9-11.) The only people who escape this judgment are those who refuse to receive the mark.
The Second Vial
“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.” (Revelation 16:3).
Under the second trumpet one third of the sea is turned to blood. (See 8:8.) This judgment is similar also to the plague in Egypt, (see Exodus 7:20-25), which was poured out on the Nile. The sea, not the seas, under judgment could be the Sea of Galilee, or possibly the Mediterranean. All life in the sea dies and the water is turned to blood.
The Third Vial
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 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. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.” (Revelation 16:4-7).
This third vial is poured out on the rivers and water sources, and they became blood. This judgment is also similar to that in Egypt. (See Exodus 7:19-24.) The great whore has been the murderer of God’s people and prophets since the time of Nimrod, the mighty hunter. That brutality has continued until this day and will until the final vial is poured out. The angel declares that God is righteous in His judgment. Because of their thirst for the blood of the righteous, God gives them blood to drink. No doubt this vial is confined to the kingdom of the beast also. In addition, God will provide drinking water for those who have not taken the mark of the beast. If He did not, all flesh would die within three days.
The Fourth Vial
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 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.” (Revelation 16:8-9).
Under the fourth trumpet the sun, moon, and the stars are effected, but in a different way. There, they are darkened and shown not for a third of the day and the night. Here, the heat of the sun is intensified. Men are burned from its intense heat, yet they refused to repent or turn to God. This shows the deceitfulness and hardening effect of sin. A man or woman can resist the call and the grace of God until there is no hope for them. You can get to the point where you are unwilling to repent, even if it means your destruction in this life and an eternity in hell.
The Fifth Vial
“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, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:10-11).
This vial is poured out on the throne of the beast. His headquarters, at this time, will be in Jerusalem or in Babylon. The darkness will be literal and matches the darkness over the land of Egypt. (See Exodus 10:21-22.) This darkness is confined to the kingdom of the beast within the revised Roman Empire.
The Sixth Vial
“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.” (Revelation 16:12).
The river Euphrates is mentioned also in chapter 9:14, under the sixth trumpet, where four demonic angels are bound in it. They are released and come forth to marshal an army of two hundred million! The events under this sixth vial are a continuation of that release.
The Euphrates River dries up to allow this massive army to cross over. These are those in that region who will be drawn to the battle of Armageddon as discussed in chapter 14. We cannot be certain who they are. Take your Bible map, look east of Israel and beyond the Euphrates, and make your guess.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.