Back to the Word of the Week
Watching for the Lord - The Book of Revelation
Week 9, 2018
We will continue with Revelation 16, in which the bowls of wrath are poured out on the earth:
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.
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.
Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.
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.
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due."
And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."
Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire.
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.
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.
So they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds (Revelation 16:2-11).
Here we see some of the most terrible judgments to come upon the earth. The end result is not that men turn to God, but rather that they blaspheme His name and do not repent.
Contrary to the belief of many, judgment, or the fear of judgment, is not very effective in bringing repentance. This is a principle not a law, and there are exceptions to principles, such as the sermon by Jonathan Edwards entitled “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” and sermons by Charles Finney and others. Repentance is grace from God orchestrated by the Holy Spirit who convicts of sin and points to the cross as the only remedy for our guilt. However, for the people on earth during this time of the wrath of God who do not repent, it indicates that they have been hardened in their corruption. For such, destruction is the only remedy.
We continue with
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
We see here that when the sixth angel pours out his bowl, it dries up the Euphrates River and releases demonic forces from the mouth of the dragon (Satan), the beast, and the false prophet. The Euphrates River begins in modern Turkey, runs through Syria and into Iraq. It is the drying up of this river that makes the way for the armies to march to Armageddon. If the river literally dries up, it could make it easier for armies to cross. However, as there are already many bridges across it and every modern army has the capability of building bridges swiftly, the drying up of this river is not likely just to physically enable these armies to pass. Therefore, we should consider the drying up of this river to be more than just physical.
According to this prophecy, this region is where we should look for great evil to emerge. The release of demonic forces from this region is very real at the present time. They have drawn in major forces from the U.S. and other countries. These have yet been unable to extricate themselves because of the way evil so quickly fills the vacuum when they try to pull out.
The coming chapters of Revelation give more insight into this, so we will wait to go deeper. For now, we should keep our eyes on what is happening in these countries. Yet even more so, we should watch for the Lord and what He is doing, even more than what Satan, the beast, and the false prophet are doing.
next week 10