THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES
Revelation 15:151-16:21 (NKJV)
16 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.”
First Bowl: Loathsome Sores
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.
Second Bowl: The Sea Turns to Blood
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.
Third Bowl: The Waters Turn to Blood
4 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.”
Fourth Bowl: Men Are Scorched
8 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.
Fifth Bowl: Darkness and Pain
10 Then 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.
Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up
12 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.
Seventh Bowl: The Earth Utterly Shaken
17 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.
Ill. Have you ever heard the expression, “It couldn’t get much worse.”? Well, for those who are still alive on the earth at the beginning of the last part of the tribulation things can and do get a whole lot worse! The great God of grace, love and immense patience has finally reached the limits endurance. It is time for His wrath to fall upon the world and the events described here are awful in their descriptions, but surely worse in their fulfillment. Thank God, if you know for sure that you will miss this awful time.
Let’s look in on the time of the Seven Last Plagues.
I. 15:1-8 THE PRELIMINARIES BEFORE THE LAST PLAGUES
A. v.1-4 A Period Of Waiting – There is much to see here:
1. Seven angels carrying seven bowls full of judgment.
2. A gracious God whose wrath is about to be poured out.
3. The tribulation saints, and the song they sing. (Ill. The Song of Moses – Ex. 15 – A Song of Physical Redemption; The Song of The Lamb – A Song of Spiritual Redemption.) They sing of God’s Greatness, His Goodness and His Glory! They sing of His Virtue, His Victory and His Vengeance. (Ill. The songs of Heaven!)
(Ill. Will be a blessing to be there and hear that!)
B. v.5-8 A Place Of Worship – There is much here also
1. The Messengers Of Wrath – These come from the very presence of God himself. They step from the place of absolute holiness to execute judgment upon the place of absolute wickedness.
a. They Possess Divine Righteousness – (Ill. Linen) What they are doing is right and just!
b. They Possess Divine Restraint – (Ill. Golden girdles) They have involved no passion of their own. What they are about to do is painful, but absolutely necessary!
2. The Mediators Of Wrath – One of the Four Beasts, (Rev 4:6-8); The cherubim who ever guard the holiness of God. (Ill. They represent the totality of God’s creation, it is fitting that one should be involved in the redemption of the planet, Ill. Rom. 8:19-21.
3. The Manifestation Of Wrath – The way into God is barred by a time as His wrath blazes out against a world that has rejected Him and His Son Jesus.
Ill. The priest in the OT; Ill. The Blood of Jesus opened a way into the very presence and heart of God. That way is now briefly closed so that those who have rejected that way and have served the Devil and his son, the Antichrist can be judged.) God’s own glory and holiness bars the way, (Ill. Egypt – Ex. 14)
II. 16:1-21 THE PROCEDURES OF THE LAST PLAGUES
A. v.1 Judgment Commanded – Here, the very voice of God Himself can be heard He gives the command for judgment to begin! (Ill. What follows is literal!)
B. v.2-9 Judgment Commenced – (Ill. Picture dive-bombers (warplanes) in orderly formation delivering their ordinance on target and on schedule!)
1. v.2 The Unexpected Cancer Of The Seal – Ill. A boil. Ugliness and pain.
2. v.3 The Unexplained Contamination Of The Sea – Ill. The clotted, rotting blood of a dead man. (Ill. A place of life becomes a place of great death!) (Ill. A Plague in Egypt)
3. v.4-7 The Unexaggerated Corruption Of The Streams – Ill. Very literal!
a. v.4 The Reality Of This Judgment – (Ill. A Plague!) Jesus’ first miracle was water to wine, something good to draw men to Him; now he turns water to blood, to remind men of Him!)
b. v.5-6 The Rightness Of This Judgment – (Ill. Poetic justice!) God always rewards men according to their deeds!
c. v.7 The Response To This Judgment – The voice of the altar, where the Blood of the Lamb was poured out, speaks and joins in agreement with the deeds of holy God! (Ill. Many saints have shed their blood on the altar of sacrifice before the Lord. That altar now cries out in gladness at the vengeance of their blood!)
4. v.8-9 The Unequaled Catastrophe Of The Sun – God allows the heat to be turned up and the man on earth are scorched by the heat of the sun. (Ill. The power of our sun.) Man’s response to this plague is to blaspheme God and to continue on in their sins. A true and revealing portrait of mankind’s wicked heart!
C. v.10-21 Judgment Completed – God’s rescue of the world proceeds in three stages.
1. v.10-11 The Domains Of The Beast Are Ravished – Ill. Men chose darkness over the Light of Life, the Lord Jesus and now God gives them what they wanted! (Ill. This darkness is only a weak foretaste of what they face in Hell – Matt. 8:12. (Ill. Gnawing tongues and intense pain!)(Ill. Blasphemy)
2. v.12-16 The Directives For The Battle Are Released –
a. v.12 The Euphrates is dried up. The Kings of the east will come against Israel. (Ill. China – 200,000,000 and Japan!)
b. v.13-14 – Demonic spirits are unleashed to deceive the world into a war against the beast. This is Armegeddon!
c. v.15 – Man is again told that Jesus is on the way. Man is warned to be ready!
d. v.16 – All the armies of the world converge on Jerusalem to stamp out the last of the believers.
3. v.17-21 The Destruction Of Babylon Is Realized – The world system is brought down.
a. v.17-18 Premonitions of disaster and a great earthquake
b. v.19 (Ill. Babylon) The city falls and the world is stricken by the touch of God.
c. v.20 The calamity is so great that the mountains collapse and the islands are moved out of their present places. (Ill. Some see nuclear power here!) Whatever it is, it is the touch of almighty God!
d. v.21 Hail stones weighing over 100 pounds will fall on men. Again, men blaspheme God. Man is totally depraved!
Are you prepared to leave before the hammer falls?
You better be!