Revelation 16:1-21 Part 5

REVELATION 16:1-21 Part 5



1)    Then I heard a great sound from the tabernacle to the seven messengers. ‘Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the land.’

2)    And the first went forth and poured out from its bowl into the land; and an evil and malignant sore came to be on the men having the mark of the beast and adoring its image.

3)    And the second poured out from its bowl into the sea, and blood as of a corpse came to be; and every being that was alive in the sea rotted.

4)    And the third poured out from its bowl into the rivers and their water sources, and there blood came to be;

5)    and I heard the waters messenger saying ‘just are You, the IS and the WAS, the Holy One; for You did judge thus

6)    because they did pour out the blood of the righteous and the prophets.  Therefore you have given them blood to drink.  Worthy they are!

7)    Then I heard saying from the incense altar, ‘Yes!  Kurie the Almighty God; true and righteous Your judgments’.

8)    And the fourth poured out its bowl on the sun; and it was given it to burn men in fire;

9)    fierce heat!  And the men were burned, and they blasphemed the God having the power of these plagues and did not turn to give Him glory.

10) And the fifth poured out its bowl on the seat of the beast; and its kingdom became shrouded in darkness.  And they were gnawing their tongues from the misery,

11) and they blasphemed The God of the Heaven for their pains and their sores.  But they did not turn from their works.

12) And the sixth poured out its bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up so that the approach of the kings from the sun’s rising would be prepared.

13) Then I saw three unclean spirits as frogs from the mouth of the dragon and from the mouth of the beast and from the mouth of the pseudoprophet.

14) These are demon spirits which are going forth unto the kings of the whole world doing signs to gather them into the great war of the Day of Almighty God:

15) ‘Lo!  I come as a thief.  Blessed the one watching and guarding his garments that he may not be walking about uncovered and they observe his shame.’

16) And it gathered them in a place called in Hebrew ‘Armageddon’.

17) And the seventh poured out its bowl upon the air.  And there was a great sound from the Holy Place of the throne saying ‘IT IS COME’.

18) And lightnings and sounds and thunders came, and there was great shaking such as there never was since men came to be on the land,

19) and the great city was made into three parts; and the cities of the  people fell.  And ‘Babylon the Great’ was recalled before God, to give it the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.

20) And every island fled; and no mountains were found.

21) And great hail as talant-weight comes down from the heaven on the men; and from the plague of the hail the men blasphemed God, for its plague is exceedingly great.


From the plague on Egypt to the dire warnings of Moses forty years later; and then from the pen of Isaiah we heard the Word of God to His people in the land:  nothing unclean will be admitted to the tabernacle of God.

According to Moses (as received from God at Sinai), bodily emissions such as open sores and skin lesions and leprosy must be made clean before one could approach a holy God in His tabernacle (the Law of the sacrifices); for those things are signs of sin and death and the depravity of man.  One MUST be made clean in order to be acceptable to the Thrice-holy God of heaven and earth.

We won’t read the process concerning cleansing in the law of the sacrifices… you can read all of that for yourself in places like Leviticus chapters fourteen and fifteen.  But the ceremony required by YAHVEH included seven days of priestly observation, after which there were washings, anointings and a blood sacrifice (all three of those things). After the seven days of observation were completed (seven is the number of completion, remember), on the eighth day one who had been unclean, and was now clean, could again approach the tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts!

Once again, having already taken note of eighth day circumcision and eighth day Sabbaths after the seven annual feasts of Israel, we see a prophetic foreshadowing of the eighth day resurrection of Jesus out of death; for having been observed by the priests of Israel for seven days prior to Passover, and having been found with no blemishes whatever, He became the blood sacrifice and the washing, and the Anointed One for all His Father’s elect, in order that they be acceptable to God in His holy tabernacle!  And it was on the eighth day, resurrection day, that they were declared clean!


However, the prophecies of Moses and Isaiah forthtell and foretell the full-body uncleanness of God’s people in the land.  From the soles of their feet to the crowns of their heads they are unclean before God.  And there is nothing they can do about it.  No washing; no bandages; no anointing with oil; no ointments… nothing.  Therefore God hates their sacrifices and their feasts and their solemn assemblies and their convocations … and their prayers.  They were unclean; and participating in the assemblies and the ceremonies was forbidden.  That’s why YAHVEH said that He hates their prayers and their solemn assemblies!  (And, by the way, “solemn” assemblies weren’t hated by God because they were solemn; He hated them because the people were assembling while unclean.)


And that’s what John sees first in the pouring out of the wrath of God upon all those remaining in the land; and all who remained are those who adore the image of the beast and have taken its mark.

In mind, heart and body they have rejected their Master for an earthy ruler; rather than hear the prophets of God, they have killed them and listened to false prophets; rather than receiving the mark of the Christ, they killed HIM and took the mark of the beast.  They are an unclean people.

Therefore, in the full and final pouring out of His wrath, YAHVEH of Hosts will give them what they are!  And they are completely unclean; so He will give them oozing, malignant sores from the bottoms of their feet to the crowns of their heads.

And there is no better revelation of the total depravity of man than is here described.  Man can’t clean himself; he can’t dress and cover his open sores and be acceptable to God; he can’t pour out oil on them and be pleasing to God.  He can’t wash with water and make himself clean.  And he can’t ceremonially clean his utensils and claim to be clean!  He is, himself, unclean; and it is irreversible.

You see, only ONE man was ever pleasing and acceptable to God (no sores, no blemishes).  And He was the sacrifice for those of the promise who were depraved from head to toe.  All the rest of us, you see, have to be MADE acceptable to God. 

None of us can please God; none of us can approach Him; none of our prayers are heard; none of our solemn assemblies are acceptable… outside the Person of Jesus Christ; we have to be made clean in God’s eyes.  He doesn’t love us for who we are; He loves us for Who Jesus is… ONLY because of Who Jesus is.  He is the High Priest who provides the blood sacrifice; He is the High Priest Who washes us clean; He is the High Priest Who anoints us in the baptism of Holy Spirit.  All of this is foreshadowed in the sacrificial and ceremonial law.


He was pierced on the cross.  And out came blood and water… the blood of the sacrifice and the water of washing; and then came the anointing of Holy Spirit at Pentecost Who was sent by the risen and ascended Christ.  IN HIM we are beloved and acceptable at the throne of grace… our filthiness is gone.

Outside of HIS body we are all one great big oozing, malignant sore that is detestable and only worthy to burn eternally in the lake of fire under the incense altar in the tabernacle of God.  The smoke of the burning will then be pleasing to God.

So, as John looks on, the first messenger to pour out the very first bowl of the final wrath of God upon the land is the sign of Israel’s despicable uncleanness.  Those remaining live in the land of the promise… God’s heaven and earth paradise; they are bloody men, having poured out the blood of the righteous including the Christ Himself and those for Whom He came; they have despised their Creator and Deliverer and have covenantally attached themselves to the fourth beast of world history by taking its “mark”; and they are hypocritically practicing all the ceremonies and sacrifices of the tabernacle while being unclean!

That’s why John is shown open, running, full-body sores on all who remain in the land as the first bowl of the final wrath of God is poured out.  All of them are shown to be ceremonially unclean and therefore unacceptable to God and forbidden to approach Him in His holy Mount.  And there can be no more hypocritical pretense about their being God’s people in His holy land.


And now our eyes and ears and minds and hearts have to be open once more to God’s perception of all that He has made; for John is shown what is about to happen to His paradise-creation with the pouring out of the second and third bowls of the full and final wrath of God.

As in Moses’ account of God’s creation of heaven and earth at the beginning of Genesis (all, by the way, in the image of God’s tabernacle in the heaven), so too is the whole-Bible account of the creation of heaven-and-earth Israel.  Even more so it, too, is in the image of God’s tabernacle in the heaven! 

From Moses through all the prophets, the same language of God is used in His perception of Israel as is used in the Genesis creation account.  Absent HIS view of what He has done then, we couldn’t have a full understanding of the text of the Scripture, nor the great salvation wrought on our behalf in Jesus the Christ!

In God’s Revelation through Moses and the Psalms and the prophets, Israel was its own cosmic paradise as in the “beginning” – with light and darkness and sun and moon and stars and land and sea and mountains and rivers and streams… all revealed in the language of Edenic paradise, and with the dome of Mount Zion resembling the firmament over which its Creator reigns!

And all the warnings throughout Scripture of the “decreation” of this heaven and earth are prophesied in the same language!  And then, of course, there is all that language as the new heaven and the new earth is brought to be in the Person of Jesus.  That is yet to come in the text.

Heretofore we’ve seen the insignia of depravity as the wrath of God is poured out on all who remain in full-body, open sore uncleanness; now, in the second bowl (and the third), the wrath of God is poured out on all the waters of God’s heaven and earth paradise.

The righteous who have had their blood poured out have cried out to Almighty God for His vengeance; and now John sees that vengeance poured out upon the sea and the rivers and all the water sources.

As usual we have full Bible revelation as we strive to have the mind of our sovereign God.  And the question is, “why blood?”  It’s interesting, and most revealing, that the text of these five verses says nothing about the sea and the rivers and the water sources “turning into blood”, or being turned into blood.

The text actually uses the creation language of YAHVEH ELOHIM from Moses’ Genesis account!   As John writes here, where the sea was, blood came to be!  Where the rivers and water sources were, blood came to be!  In the final wrath of God they were created “blood”.  The words and tenses are so specific that it should be difficult to miss.

Right before John’s eyes, that which was “about to be” with regard to the special creation of God called “Israel”, was a decreation, including its sea and its rivers and all its water sources.  In God’s great and final wrath the sea and the rivers and all the water sources ceased to be, for God decreated them!  And what came to be was “blood”!

What about the blood?

Jesus told His disciples, right before His crucifixion, that this generation would suffer “the blood” of all the righteous from Abel (that’s right at the beginning – the genesis).

Because of time constraints we can’t do everything regarding the blood; but we have to do enough; and it will most certainly transcend this one sermon.  But I want you to hear the passage in Genesis chapter nine first.  It’s really important; and it’s especially important from a translation standpoint as I’ll point out to you shortly.

This is the way all of the common translations read… so listen to Moses at Genesis nine:


1)    And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said unto them, ‘be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth.

2)    And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth (with all wherewith the ground teems), and with every bird in the heaven, and all the fishes of the sea.  Into your hand are they all delivered.

3)    Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; just as the green herb have I given you all.

4)    But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, you shall not eat.

5)    And surely your blood, the blood of your lives, will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it. And at the hand of man, even at the hand of every man's brother, will I require the life of man.

6)    Whoever sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: For He made man in the image of God..

7)    And you, be fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein’.


There is, in this incredibly important passage concerning the blood, a very serious mistranslation of the Hebrew text.  For some unknown reason, the Hebrew word that is translated “shed” here in the words from God to Noah and his sons, is the word translated “poured out” in all of the text of the sacrificial law!  It’s the exact same word.  And there’s no reasonable explanation (because there can’t be!) for an alternate translation here in Genesis nine.

Neither can there be an explanation (because there can’t be) for it to be said that Jesus “shed” His blood on the cross; for the word there is the Greek translation of the Hebrew word to “pour out”.  Our Lord poured out His blood for His people and for His Father’s creation.  And He also poured out water for the washing away of our uncleanness.  And He also poured out Holy Spirit on the entirety of His people at Pentecost!

And that same word (poured out) is the one we see all through the text here in chapter sixteen of the Revelation of Jesus Christ!  So we see one more time the consistency of God’s Holy Word from the beginning all the way to the end.  And we also see the necessity for the consistent translation of the text from beginning to end.  If it isn’t translated consistently, then the connections are missed; and when the connections are missed, the Church loses the fullness of the Gospel of God concerning His Son Jesus.


6)    Whoever pours out man's blood, by man shall his blood be poured out; for He made man the image of God..


At this point it needs to be recalled that our Lord accuses all who remained in the land of pouring out the blood of the righteous from the beginning!  And by man their blood is about to be poured out; and that by the rulers of the nations.  It’s the decree of YAHVEH.

Further, I’m going to read from Deuteronomy chapter twelve concerning the pouring out of the blood.  This is Moses’ instructions to God’s people Israel as to their obedience of God’s decrees once they attain to the inheritance and rest in the promised, holy land.  Here it is.


1)    These are the statutes and judgments, which you shall observe to do in the land, (the land) which YAHVEH God of your fathers has given you to possess it, all the days that you live upon the land.

2)    You shall utterly destroy all the places wherein the nations which you shall possess served their gods… upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every green tree;

3)    and you shall overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and destroy the names of them out of that place.

4)    And you shall not do (those things) unto YAHVEH your God.

5)    But unto the place which YAHVEH your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His place of abode shall you seek, and there you shall come.

6)    And there you shall bring your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and heave offerings of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herds and of your flocks.

7)    And there you shall eat before YAHVEH your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand unto, you and your (whole) households, wherewith YAHVEH your God hath blessed you.

8)    You shall not do after all the things that we have done here in this day… every man (doing) whatsoever is right in his own eyes.

9)    For you are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which YAHVEH your God gives you.

10) But when you go over Jordan, and dwell in the land which YAHVEH your God has given you to inherit, and when He gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety,

11) then there shall be a place which YAHVEH your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there; there shall you bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow unto the LORD;

12) and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your menservants, and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your gates; forasmuch as he has no part nor inheritance with you.

13) Take heed to yourself that you offer not your burnt offerings in every place that you see (such as with the pagans before you),

14) but only in the place which YAHVEH shall choose in one of your tribes.  There you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all that I command you.

15) However, you may kill and eat flesh in all thy gates (places, towns, cities), whatever your soul lusts after, according to the blessing of YAHVEH your God which He hath given you (the unclean and the clean may eat thereof), like the roebuck, and the hart.

16) Only you shall not eat the blood.  You shall pour it out upon the earth as water.

17) You may not eat within your gates (at your own places) the tithe of your corn, or of your wine, or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herds or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill offerings, or heave offering of your hand;

18) but you must eat those before YAHVEH your God in the place which YAHVEH your God shall choose; you, and your son, and your daughter, and your manservant, and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your gates.  Then you shall rejoice before YAHVEH your God in all that you put your hands unto….

19) and take heed to yourself that you forsake not the Levite as long as you live upon the land.

20) When YAHVEH your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and thou shall say, ‘I will eat flesh’ (because your soul longs to eat flesh), then you may eat flesh, whatsoever your soul lusts after.

21) If the place which YAHVEH your God hath chosen to put his name there is too far from you, then thou shall kill of your herd and of your flock which YAHVEH hath given you, as I have commanded you, and you shall eat within your gates whatsoever your soul lusts after.

22) Even as the roebuck and the hart is eaten, so you shall eat them. The unclean and the clean shall eat of them alike.

23) Only be sure that you eat not the blood; for the blood is the life; and you may not eat the life with the flesh.

24) You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out upon the earth as water.

25) You shall not eat it, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you do that which is right in the sight of YAHVEH.

26) Only your holy things which thou have, and thy vows, you shall take, and go unto the place which YAHVEH shall choose:

27) And you shall offer your burnt offerings, the flesh; and the blood upon the altar of YAHVEH your God: and the blood of your sacrifices shall be poured out upon the altar of YAHVEH your God, and you shall eat the flesh.

28) Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you for ever, when you do that which is good and right in the sight of YAHVEH your God.

29) When YAHVEH your God shall cut off the nations from before you where you go to possess them, and you succeed them, and dwell in the land,

30) take heed to yourself that you be not snared (caught in the trap) by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you enquire not after their gods, saying, ‘how did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise’.

31) You shall not do so unto YAHVEH your God: for every abomination to YAHVEH, which he hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods.

32) What thing so ever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.


Now.  I read all of that for you because there are three or four things said over and over by Moses to the twelve tribes of Jacob before they go in to possess the land that God has already given them.  The decrees of God are stated; and they are re-stated; and they are re-stated again!  And at the end, Moses intensifies it even more when he said to them that they were not to add to or diminish anything about these statutes of YAHVEH.

First, just as at the tabernacle in the desert, God said there was only ONE place in the promised land where the sacrifices were to be made.  And every location in all the land where its former occupants worshipped and sacrificed to their gods (every place) was to be utterly destroyed.

Second, the sacrifices that were brought to that one location for the seven annual feasts of Israel were to be slaughtered there and their blood was to be poured out around the altar.  Then, having shared the sacrifices and first fruits with the tribe of Levites (the priests of Israel), the offerer could feast upon his offerings.  (And remember the feasts were eight days!)

Third, the tribes of Jacob (Israel) weren’t restricted to eating meat just during the seven feasts!  They could eat meat in their own places to their hearts desires.  But God said that they were not to consume the blood!  Before eating the meat, the blood had to be poured out.

Now.  As is clear in the ceremonial and sacrificial Law and Moses’ instructions to the twelve tribes here in Deuteronomy twelve, the only place that YAHVEH chose for the sacrifices to be made and the blood of the sacrifices to be poured out was that one place, chosen by YAHVEH, that prefigured the pouring out of the blood of the Son of Man/Son of God.

However, all through her history, Israel sacrificed to dumb idols… pouring out blood on God’s heaven and earth paradise on all the high places and in the groves and under the great green trees of the land… just as the pagans all around them – even to the point of pouring out the blood of their own sons and daughters!  The blood is the life!  And pouring out blood to wood and stone idols is giving life to them!  And trying to give life to an idol is to despise the one true God of heaven and earth.  And the land – the paradise of God – was fouled by the idolatry.

And as we’ve seen before, Israel is not only guilty of the blood of all the righteous in history, but it has poured out the blood of the prophets; it has poured out the blood of the Christ; and it has poured out the blood of many who Jesus came to seek and to save.

The land that YAHVEH created for this people; the paradise on earth that He chose to make His Presence known; the heaven and earth with its tabernacle – all of which was the image of His heavenly tabernacle, was fouled by the pouring out of blood in all the pagan high places and groves and under the great trees.  It was fouled by the pouring out of the blood of the prophets.  It was fouled by an unclean people approaching YAHVEH in His holy place and hypocritically pouring out the blood of the sacrifice.

And the sign shown to John is about the blood.

As we conclude this morning (to be continued next Lord’s Day), in the prophecy of Haggai in which he was told to prophesy to the priests of Israel concerning their uncleanness and the uncleanness of the people and the sacrifices of Israel, we hear these words to Israel in chapter two:


5)    According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my spirit remains among you: fear not.

6)    For thus says YAHVEH of Hosts; yet once, it is but a little while, and I will shake heaven and earth; the sea and the land.

7)    And I will shake all nations; and they shall come to the desire of all the nations.  And I will fill this house with glory, says YAHVEH of Hosts.

8)    The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says YAHVEH of Hosts.

9)    And the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says YAHVEH of Hosts.  And in this place will I give peace, says YAHVEH of Hosts.


God’s creation… heaven and earth, the land and the sea; there will be a great shaking.  Then all the nations will come.  The former will no longer be remembered, for the glory of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ will be so much greater than that former house.

As God said through the prophet Habbakuk, chapter two:


14) For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of YAHVEH, as the waters cover the sea.


And from Zechariah chapter fourteen:


6)    And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall be dense darkness; all the bright ones shall withdraw themselves:

7)    but it shall be one day which is known unto YAHVEH; not day, and not night (with heaven and earth, the land and the sea, day and night are decreated as well… there will only be dense darkness); but it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be Light.

8)    And it shall come to pass in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the western sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

9)    And YAHVEH shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall YAHVEH be ONE, and his name ONE.