The First Six Bowls

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Author's Bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: promise | Seminary: none

The first six bowls

When the Temple of God opens, revealing the Ark of the Covenant (Rev 11:19; 15:5; Ex 40:1-3), the apostle John perceives the appearance of the seven angels with the seven plagues as a "sign in heaven" that was "great and marvelous," because "in them, the wrath of God is finished" (Rev 15:1).

When the seven angels who had the seven plagues come out from the Temple of God, they receive from one of the four living creatures a bowl of God's wrath (Rev 15:6-7).

The plagues and bowls of God's wrath are significant for the judgments they render; it is a terrible time. But instead of repenting amidst this great suffering, the people did not fear God, blasphemed His name and failed to recognize that He was Lord of all. People preferred to follow the "great men of earth" and would be unable to hear the gospel (Rev 18:23).

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God." (Rev 16:1)

Bowl Effect on Earth
(Rev 16:2)
Poured on the earth
Result: Loathsome and malignant sores on people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped his image. Implications: Because the surviving human beings are non-Believers (Rev 9:20-21; 13:8, 16-17), most, if not all, human beings are tormented with disfiguring and painful sores.
Plague 2
(Rev 16:3)
Poured into the sea
Result:The seas became blood and killed all living creatures in it. Implications: Any seafood that a society depends on ceases to exist. Any water derived from a desalination plant is no longer consumable.
Plague 3
(Rev 16:4-7)
Poured into the rivers and springs of water
Result:All fresh water became blood which implied that all living creatures in it died. Implications: With the poisoning of all fresh water, governments will be severely tested and societies could quickly collapse. Among numerous issues: drinking water is confined to limited supplies of packaged goods, personal hygiene is curtailed, and cooking is restricted.
Plague 4
(Rev 16:8-9)
Poured onto the sun
Result:The sun scorched with fierce heat. Implications: Increasing the heat of the sun to "scorching" may make many areas uninhabitable and unfarmable, critically exacerbates the problem of scarce safe water for any use as well as providing any relief from the painful sores.

People blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.
Plague 5
(Rev 16:10-11)
Poured on the throne of the beast
Result: The beast's kingdom darkened and people were in pain. Implications: People blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. This is reminiscent of the Exodus, when the plagues hardened Pharaoh's heart so much so that he sought revenge:

Thus I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will chase after them; and I will be honored through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord." And they did so. When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his servants had a change of heart toward the people, and they said, “What is this we have done, that we have let Israel go from serving us?" So he made his chariot ready and took his people with him; and he took six hundred select chariots, and all the other chariots of Egypt with officers over all of them. The Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and he chased after the sons of Israel as the sons of Israel were going out boldly. (Ex 14:4-8)

Plague 6
(Rev 16:12)
Poured onto the Euphrates River
Result:The Euphrates River dries up. Implications: The drying of the Euphrates River sets in motion the conflict at Armageddon by enabling the kings from the east to mobilize their troops and invade over land.

For deeper study:

The First Six Bowls

What does it mean to be hardhearted?

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The Reaping

Series: The Doctrine on Eschatology
The Seventh Bowl

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