Keys to Revelation – Chapter 16
AUTHOR: Capoccia, Tony
PUBLISHED ON: May 12, 2003
PUBLISHED IN: Bible Studies

                        Keys to Revelation – Chapter 16

Taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (C) 1978 by the New York
International Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

          BIBLE TEXT                                  COMMENTARY

REV 16:1  Then I heard a loud voice      [the temple] – The tabernacle of   
from the temple saying to the seven      Testimony.  In the OT it was called 
angels, “Go, pour out the seven          the “tent of the testimony” and     
bowls of God’s wrath on the earth.”      contained the ark with the stone   
                                          tablets from Sinai (NUM 17:7; 18:2; 
                                          EXO 32:15; DEU 10:5).  It was the   
                                          place where God met with man.       

                                          This earthly temple was modeled after
                                          a heavenly tabernacle where God     
                                          dwelled. In this verse, it represents
                                          the very presence of God in Heaven.

                                          [seven angels] – In REV 15:1 these
                                          seven angels were identified as the
                                          seven angels with the seven last
                                          plagues.  They bring God’s final
                                          phase of judgment to a close.

                                          [bowls] – In REV 5:8 there were     
                                          golden bowls filled with incense   
                                          which represented the prayers of the
                                          saints.  God now answers these prayer
                                          requests, for judgment upon sin and 
                                          “His Kingdom Come” by filling golden
                                          bowls full of His wrath.           

REV 16:2  The first angel went and        [poured on the land] – The Apostle
poured out his bowl on the land,          John sees the first angel tip his
and ugly and painful sores broke          bowl and pour its contents on the
out on the people who had the mark        land (vice the sea REV 16:3).
of the beast and worshiped his           
image.                                    [sores] – This is a very similar
                                          plague to the one God caused to fall
                                          upon the Egyptians in EXO 9:9-11,
                                          where festering boils broke out. The
                                          Christians alive at this point in the
                                          Tribulation Period are exempt from
                                          being “marked” by the boils because
                                          they refused the mark of the beast
                                          (see REV 13:16).

                                          It is interesting to note that many
                                          countries presently have canisters
                                          and missiles loaded with Chemical
                                          Agents which will cause painful
                                          blisters to appear on mankind. They
                                          are intended for use on the enemy in
                                          a time of war.  God may actually use
                                          man’s chemical weapons to effect His

REV 16:3  The second angel poured        [on the sea] – This judgment is upon
out his bowl on the sea, and it          the waters of the sea.
turned into blood like that of a       
dead man, and every living thing in      [blood like…a dead man] – This is
the sea died.                            not like the bright red blood that
                                          appears from a fresh cut on the skin,
                                          rather, it is the coagulated and
                                          rotting blood of a dead man.

                                          [every living thing…died] – Because
                                          of the blood all the creatures of the
                                          sea died.

REV 16:4  The third angel poured          [rivers, springs…became blood] –
out his bowl on the rivers and            After a span of time, God then caused
springs of water, and they became        the rest of the earth’s waters to be
blood.                                    turned to blood.  When only the seas
                                          were blood man still had drinking
                                          water, but now all water was turned
                                          into the rotting blood of a dead man.

REV 16:5  Then I heard the angel in      [angel in charge of the waters] –
charge of the waters say: “You are        Appears that certain angels are given
just in these judgments, you who          particular assignments.  In REV 7:1
are and who were, the Holy One,          we saw angels in charge of the winds,
because you have so judged;              in 14:18 we saw an angel in charge of
                                          the fire, and of course the angel
                                          Michael given the charge over Israel
                                          (DAN 12:1).

REV 16:6  for they have shed the          [blood to drink] – God has issued a
blood of your saints and prophets,        a punishment tailored to fit the
and you have given them blood to          crime, for the wicked had poured out
drink as they deserve.”                  the blood of the saints and now
                                          receive blood to drink.  Since they
                                          liked blood they now can drink it in
                                          lieu of water.

REV 16:7  And I heard the altar          [the altar respond] – Most likely the
respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty,        voices are the saints under the altar
true and just are your judgments.”        as seen in REV 6:9-10, for the blood
                                          judgments would be a direct answer to
                                          their “cries” of REV 6:10.

                                          [just] – No one can fault God for His
                                          judgments being too harsh when seen
                                          in the light that He offered Grace
                                          and Mercy to them first, but they
                                          refused to repent, believe, and
                                          submit to Jesus Christ. 

REV 16:8  The fourth angel poured        [scorch people] – Fire is commonly
out his bowl on the sun, and the          connected with judgment in Scripture
sun was given power to scorch            (DEU 28:22; 1CO 3:13; 2PE 3:7).  Here
people with fire.                        the sun’s power is greatly increased
                                          to the point where people on the   
                                          earth a burn as with a fire.

REV 16:9  They were seared by the        [cursed…refused to repent] – The
intense heat and they cursed the          people on the earth are aware of the
name of God, who had control over        source of the judgments, yet they
these plagues, but they refused to        willfully chose to curse God rather
repent and glorify him.                  than cry out for forgiveness.

REV 16:10  The fifth angel poured        [plunged into darkness] – Just like
out his bowl on the throne of the        the ninth Egyptian plague (EXO 10:21-
beast, and his kingdom was plunged        29), it was a darkness that could be
into darkness. Men gnawed their          felt and no one could see anyone else
tongues in agony                          nor be able to leave their place. I
                                          would imagine that not only did God
                                          cause the Sun to go black, but like-
                                          wise all batteries and lighting would
                                          also fail, in order to make God’s
                                          judgment complete.

REV 16:11  and cursed the God of          [pains and sores] – The suffering
heaven because of their pains and        from the previous judgments are
their sores, but they refused to          cumulative and make the curse of the
repent of what they had done.            searing heat and darkness all the
                                          more severe.

                                          [refuse to repent] – They will not
                                          repent of their sins and therefore
                                          will face the full force of the
                                          wrath of God for an eternity.

REV 16:12  The sixth angel poured        [water dried up] – Similar to the
out his bowl on the great river          time when God dried up the Red Sea
Euphrates, and its water was dried        to save the Jews from Pharaoh (EXO
up to prepare the way for the kings      14:21) and the drying of the Jordan
from the East.                            (during flood stage) in JOS 3:14-17).
                                          Here, the Euphrates is dried up to
                                          allow a devastating army cross over
                                          into Israel.

                                          [kings from the East] – This is the
                                          same 200 million man army of REV
                                          9:16.  Many of the judgments actually
                                          occur simultaneously even though they
                                          are revealed separately.

REV 16:13  Then I saw three evil          [looked like frogs] – Interesting to
spirits that looked like frogs;          note that Satan is said to look like
they came out of the mouth of the        a snake, these evil spirits like
dragon, out of the mouth of the          frogs, but the Holy Spirit looks like
beast and out of the mouth of the        a dove.
false prophet. 
                                          [out of the mouth] – These three evil
                                          spirits come from the unholy trinity,
                                          namely, Satan, the Antichrist, and
                                          the false prophet.

REV 16:14  They are spirits of            [gather them] – They go to the kings
demons performing miraculous signs,      and cause them to desire to go to war
and they go out to the kings of the      by working in their hearts.  They
whole world, to gather them for the      bring them together for that last
battle on the great day of God            battle fought by mankind.

REV 16:15  “Behold, I come like a        Jesus interrupts the description of
thief! Blessed is he who stays            the end time events, to remind all
awake and keeps his clothes with          peoples the need to stay awake, by
him, so that he may not go naked          continuing in the faith and being
and be shamefully exposed.”              steadfast, being dressed with the
                                          robes of righteousness (REV 3:18,

REV 16:16  Then they gathered the        [Armageddon] – Located in the Valley
kings together to the place that in      of Megiddo.  One of the world’s most
Hebrew is called Armageddon.              famous battlefields.

REV 16:17  The seventh angel poured      [It is done] – God has begun the
out his bowl into the air, and out        grand finale, for His judgments are
of the temple came a loud voice          almost complete.
from the throne, saying, “It is

REV 16:18  Then there came flashes     
of lightning, rumblings, peals of       
thunder and a severe earthquake. No
earthquake like it has ever
occurred since man has been on
earth, so tremendous was the quake. 

REV 16:19  The great city split          [great city] – Most likely it is the
into three parts, and the cities of      city of Rome, the new Babylon, and
the nations collapsed. God                seat of the Antichrist.
remembered Babylon the Great and
gave her the cup filled with the          [cities of the nations] – All the
wine of the fury of his wrath.            major cities of the world are
                                          destroyed by this earthquake, such
                                          as, Paris, London, New York, Denver,
                                          Chicago, Atlanta, Washington D.C.,
                                          Los Angeles, Dallas, Shreveport,
                                          Indianapolis, etc.

REV 16:20  Every island fled away        [island fled away] – All the islands
and the mountains could not be            disappeared, and only the mainlands
found.                                    were left.  Even the mountains were
                                          made flat because of this earthquake.

REV 16:21  From the sky huge              [hailstones] – Imagine 100 pound
hailstones of about a hundred            hailstones falling from the skies!
pounds each fell upon men. And they      What roof could withstand such force?
cursed God on account of the plague      Many men and animals would surely
of hail, because the plague was so        have died.
                                          [cursed God] – Instead of crying out
                                          for forgiveness, repenting of their 
                                          sins, the unsaved people cursed God.

Tony Capoccia
Box 130
Shreveport, LA 71110
Modem (318) 949-1456
300/1200/2400/9600 Baud

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