Revelation 16:1-21 Part 6

REVELATION 16:1-21 Part 6



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.


According to Moses (as received from God at Sinai), open sores and skin lesions on anybody in the camp had to be made clean before one could approach a holy God at the tabernacle (the Law of the sacrifices); for those unclean things are signs of sin and death and the depravity of man and separation from God.  One had to be made clean in order to be acceptable to the Lord of Hosts.

The prophecies of Moses and Isaiah forthtell and foretell the full-body uncleanness of God’s people in the land (as John is shown here in the pouring out of the first bowl).

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 covering; no anointing with oil; no ointments… nothing.  Being unclean, they are forbidden by YAHVEH to approach Him. 

Therefore God hates their prayers and their sacrifices and their feasts and their solemn assemblies and their convocations.  They were unclean; and their participation in the assemblies and the ceremonies was an abomination.  That’s why YAHVEH said that He hates their prayers and their solemn assemblies!

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 that despicable uncleanness.  Those remaining live in the land of the promise… God’s heaven and earth paradise; and 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 (strictly forbidden in God’s Law-Word).

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 like 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 pouring out blood to idols, but it has poured out the blood of all the righteous in history; 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 where 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 now about the blood.  The blood is the life!  And Israel has poured out the blood to idols of wood and stone and silver and gold.  It has poured out “life” to them.

As is clear in the ceremonial and sacrificial Law and Moses’ instructions to the twelve tribes in Deuteronomy chapter 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.

And as we’ve heard, the dragon was deceived; the beast was deceived; and the land-beast (pseudoprophets of Israel) was deceived.  And all who remained in the land were deceived; for by the pouring out of the blood of the Christ, every single one of those of the promise was marked, sealed and delivered and all the rest was isolated for destruction and decreation in the full and final wrath of Almighty God.

After the sign of the uncleanness of all that remained in the land, John is shown the blood as the second and third bowls of the full wrath of God are about to be poured out.

And having seen now Israel’s whole-Bible history of pouring out blood to idols all over the land; and having seen Israel’s whole-Bible history of pouring out the blood of the righteous, we have a better understanding of “why”!

And now we need a whole-Bible perspective of how God perceives the full and final judgment upon the land as the sea and the rivers and all the water sources are decreated… and blood came to be.  We have to add to our understanding of the blood.

First, though, we have to see the reason for “two” bowls of wrath – one on the sea, and one on the rivers and water sources.  And that only becomes obvious when the Scripture is read in “continuity”.  It’s been noted numerous times that God placed this people who He called “Israel” in a garden that was in the likeness of His original Edenic paradise.

In fact, as we’ve seen before, He even uses the “heaven and earth” language to refer to Israel – a similar language to that which is prominent in the whole creation narrative in Genesis chapters one and two.  And let’s not forget that the creation itself, and the creation of the land of Israel, were both in the likeness of the glory cloud/tabernacle of the Lord of Hosts; for that’s where His glory is manifest!  And His glory is to be reflected in all of that which He has made.

Should we do a full exegesis of Moses’ creation narrative, that which is pertinent to our text here at the beginning of chapter sixteen would become evident, because God’s creation of the seas and His creation of the rivers and water sources are two distinctly separate creation events in Genesis! 

And so the “decreation” of the sea and the decreation of the rivers and water sources of God’s heaven-and-earth Israel is two separate decreation events.

The ONE Who is IS; the ONE Who is WAS; the ONE Who is SHALL BE (as revealed in an earlier chapter of the Revelation) has reflected His Own glory cloud tabernacle in the creation of an earthly paradise with its own firmament, its own light, it’s own sun and moon and stars; it is its own mountains and valleys and rivers and water sources; and it was a lush garden growing the very best of everything; it is its own sea-and-land (as in the original creation), and it has its own animals… and He placed a “people” in this paradise as He did at the beginning.  And He “watered” it with its rivers and water sources.  And He caused a tabernacle like unto the one in the heaven to be - right in its midst!

And just as He did at the “Genesis”, Almighty God (Father, Son and Spirit) required worship and obedience from them and even gave them specific knowledge of the coming Messiah.

The coming Anointed One of God would pour out His blood in one particular location chosen of God; and the blood was the life!  But, as at the beginning, Israel fouled God’s paradise by pouring out the blood of the righteous upon the land, and by pouring out the blood of sacrifices to idols of wood and stone and silver and gold – all over the land.  The blood is the life… and it was poured out like water – anywhere and everywhere. 

And as we work through the texts of Scripture we’ll observe the many implications of God’s intent as He shows John the two bowls of His wrath bringing blood to be as He proceeds in the full and final decreation of His paradise heaven-and-earth – Israel.

So, because of the prominence given to the blood by God all through His Word, we need to search His mind in the corresponding passages of His revelation.

We’ve already noted that our Lord laid the blood of all the righteous in history to the account of “this generation” (quote-unquote, as recorded by Matthew).  Everybody forgive me for stating the obvious one more time (I should get a prize for stating the obvious): “this generation” (quote – unquote) is NOT the one we live in!

Jesus went all the way back to Abel the son of Adam and Eve!  This generation (the generation of judaists to which He was speaking) would suffer the blood of Abel!  After the elect of the twelve tribes of Jacob were delivered (rescued, saved) from the wrath of God, all those remaining in the land would suffer the blood of all the righteous in history – including the pouring out of the blood of the Christ and many of His people!

We also noted that, having destroyed the earth in the flood, and having saved Noah and his family by water, God told Noah and his sons to replenish the earth; that He would never destroy the earth again by water; and that He would require the life (the blood) of those who poured out man’s blood.  The blood is the life!


So, in order that we gain additional insight into the mind of our God, let’s look at the great continuity of God’s Word in the corresponding passages:


1)    Then YAHVEH said to Joshua,

2)    ”Say to the people of Israel, ‘appoint the cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses,

3)    that the manslayer who strikes any person without intent, or unknowingly, may flee there. They shall be for you a refuge from the avenger of blood.

4)    He shall flee to one of these cities and shall stand at the entrance of the gate of the city and explain his case to the elders of that city. Then they shall take him into the city and give him a place, and he shall remain with them.

5)    And if the avenger of blood pursues him, they shall not give up the manslayer into his hand, because he struck his neighbor unknowingly, and did not hate him in the past.

6)    And he shall remain in that city until he has stood before the congregation for judgment, until the death of him who is high priest at the time. Then the manslayer may return to his own town and his own home, to the town from which he fled.’”


One who is not guilty of pouring out blood by intent is shielded from the avenger of blood; and at the death of the high priest, the innocent is set free!!!

For the sake of time, we have to pass on the dozens of passages in the history of the kings and the chronicles of the kings and the prophets during those times; but it has to be mentioned that YAHVEH refused to allow King David to build the tabernacle/temple on the dome of the rock in Jerusalem because David was a man of war and had poured out much blood in the land.

However, the Psalms are full of salient revelation regarding the blood.  And we can’t pass on a couple of them; for they hearken back to the Law of God, and they are prophetic of the vengeance to come upon those who pour out blood.

Listen to a portion of Psalm 106:


34) They did not destroy the peoples as YAHVEH commanded them,

35) but mingled themselves with the nations and learned their works

36) and served their idols which became a snare unto them.

37) Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto demons

38) and poured out innocent blood… even the blood of their sons and of their daughters who they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with blood.

39) Thus were they defiled with their works; and they played the harlot in all their doings.

40) Therefore was the wrath of YAHVEH kindled against His people, and He abhorred His inheritance.


And from Psalm 58:


3)    The wicked are estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.

4)    Their poison is like the poison of a serpent; they are like the deaf adder that stops up her ear

5)    and doesn’t listen to the voice of charmers that charm ever so skillfully.

6)    Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth. Break out the great jaw teeth of the young lions, O YAHVEH.

7)    Let them melt away as water that runs off.  When he aims his arrows, let them be as though they were blunted.

8)    Let them be as a snail which melts and passes away… as an untimely birth of a woman they have not seen the sun.

9)    Before their pots can even feel the heat from the thorns, He will sweep everything away with a whirlwind, the green and the burning alike.

10) The righteous shall rejoice when he sees the vengeance. He shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked….


The Psalmist, speaking with the very inspired voice of Wisdom Himself, loathes the pouring out of sacrificial blood in all the high places of pagan worship… the very thing that Moses warned the people about.  And he detests the pouring out of innocent blood; for even the sons and daughters of Israel are demonically sacrificed to gods of wood and stone and silver and gold.

And in His vengeance YAHVEH will one day sweep it all away in His great wrath; and the righteous will rejoice in the vengeance, for this people is a bloody people!

As we all know already, God sent prophet after prophet to the kings and priests and scribes and elders of Israel.  The call to repentance was relentless, for they were, indeed, a bloody people.  Listen to a few passages from Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel:

Isaiah chapter one:


15) And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; yea, when you offer many prayers I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.

16) Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil;

17) learn to do well; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.


And from Jeremiah nineteen:


4)    Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods who neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents,

5)    and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it even come into my mind—

6)    therefore, behold, days are coming, declares YAHVEH, when this place shall no more be called Topheth (burning), or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter….


From Ezekiel chapter thirty-two:


3)    Thus says YAHVEH: I will spread out my net upon you with a company of many peoples; and they shall bring you up in my net.

4)    And I will leave you upon the land, I will cast you forth upon the open field, and will cause all the birds of the heavens to settle upon you, and I will satiate the beasts of the whole land with you.

5)    And I will lay your flesh upon the mountains, and fill the valleys with the height of you.

6)    I will also water the land with the flowing of your blood, even up to the mountains; and the water sources shall be full from you.

7)    And when I blot you out, I will cover the heavens, and make the stars thereof dark; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon shall not give its light.

8)    All the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over you, and set darkness upon your land, says YAHVEH.


And Ezekiel thirty-five:


4)    I will lay your cities waste, and you shall be desolate; and you shall know that I am YAHVEH.

5)    Because you have cherished a perpetual enmity, and hast given over the children of Israel to the power of the sword in the time of their calamity, in the time of the final punishment of their iniquity,

6)    therefore, as I live, says YAHVEH, I will prepare you unto blood, and blood shall pursue you.  Since you have not hated blood, therefore blood shall pursue you.

7)    Thus will I make mount Seir an astonishment and a desolation; and I will cut off from it him that passes through and him that returns.

8)    And I will fill its mountains with its slain.  In your hills and in your valleys and in all your watercourses shall they fall that are slain with the sword.

9)    I will make you a perpetual desolation, and your cities shall not be inhabited; and you shall know that I am YAHVEH.


And Ezekiel thirty-eight:


19) For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken: Surely in that day there shall be a great shaking in the land of Israel,

20) so that the fishes of the sea, and the birds of the heavens, and the beasts of the field, and all creeping things that creep upon the land, and all the men that are upon the face of the land, shall shake at my presence, and the mountains shall be thrown down, and the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground.

21) And I will call for a sword against him unto all my mountains, says YAHVEH; every man's sword shall be against his brother.

22) And with pestilence and with blood will I enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him, and upon his hordes, and upon the many peoples that are with him, a torrential rain, and great hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

23) And I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will make myself known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am YAHVEH.


Everything that can be shaken will be shaken; and all that remains will be that which cannot be shaken!  YAHVEH will bring to a final end all that He created in the land.

Just from these few quotes from God through the major prophets to Israel – Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel – that Israel’s portion in the latter days will be blood; for the blood is the life!  And Israel has poured out the blood of the righteous.  And it has poured out blood in sacrifice to idols, polluting the entire paradise of God – the land, and the sea, and its rivers and all its water sources.

As far as the minor prophets are concerned, I’ll read only one for you (just for brevity):

Here’s the prophet Joel in chapter three:


1)    Blow the trumpet in Zion; sound an alarm in my holy mountain; let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of YAHVEH is coming; it is near at hand;

2)    a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, as a great blackness spread upon the mountains a great people, and  strong, such as has not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after them, even to the years of all generations.

3)    A fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and none has escaped them.

4)    The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so do they run.

5)    Like the noise of chariots on the tops of the mountains do they leap; like the noise of a flame of fire that devours the stubble, as a strong people set in battle array.

6)    At their presence the people are in anguish; all faces are waxed pale.

7)    They run like mighty men; they climb the wall like men of war; and they march every one on his ways, and they break not their ranks.

8)    Neither does one thrust another; they march every one in his own path; and they burst through the weapons, and break not off their course.

9)    They leap upon the city; they run upon the wall; they climb up into the houses; they enter in at the windows like a thief.

10) The land quakes before them; the heavens tremble; the sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars withdraw their shining.

11) And YAHVEH utters his voice before His army; for His camp is very great; for He is strong that executes His Word; for the day of YAHVEH is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?


28) It shall come to pass, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

29) and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit.

30) And then I will show wonders in the heaven and the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

31) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of YAHVEH comes.

32) And it shall come to pass, that whoever calls on the name of YAHVEH shall be delivered; for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as YAHVEH has said, and among the remnant those who YAHVEH shall call.


That, of course, is the passage that the apostle Peter quotes as he begins his preaching at Pentecost (fifty days after the Lord’s crucifixion).  There had been a mighty “pouring out” (baptism) of Holy Spirit from God the Father and the resurrected and ascended God the Son.  And all those Who belong to Him and have been kept by Him (and shielded by Him), (the remnant of Jacob) will escape before the great and terrible day of YAHVEH.  And all the land (all who remain) will reap the reward for pouring out blood all through Israel’s history!

Now let’s move quickly to Matthew chapter 23:


29) …Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, you repair the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous,

30) and you say, ‘If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers of them in the blood of the prophets.”

31) So you are witnesses to yourselves that you are sons of those who killed the prophets;

32) and you, you fill up the measure of your fathers.

33) Serpents, brood of vipers, how shall you escape from the judgment of Gehenna?

34) Because of this, Lo, I send to you prophets and sages and scribes (the apostles of Jesus and the remnant of Jacob); of them you will kill and crucify, and of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and you will persecute them from city into city,

35) In order that all righteous blood shall come upon you which has been spilled upon the earth from the blood of the righteous Abel until the blood of Zacharias Son of Barachias who you murdered between the temple and altar!

36) Amen I say to you, these things shall come upon this generation.

37) Jerusalem, Jerusalem, she who kills the prophets and stones the ones who were being sent to her, how many times I wished to gather together your children (even as a bird gathers her brood under her wings) and you would not.

38) Lo, your house is left to you a desolation.


And then skipping over to Matthew twenty-seven:


24) So when Pilate saw that he prevailed nothing, but rather that a tumult was arising, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see you to it.

25) And all the people answered and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.


And so it was….

Forty years later (as John looks on) YAHVEH is about to give them blood… just as they asked of Pilate.  The sea becomes the putrefied blood of a corpse, and all things in it rot.  The rivers and water sources of Israel become blood, and there is only blood to drink; for our Lord prophesied that the land would suffer the blood of all the righteous in history.

And the waters messenger lifts up its voice in praise and honor to the Holy One – the IS and the WAS – for His justice (verses five and six).

And in verse seven of the text, John hears a great shout of affirmation from the incense table (the place of prayer) in the tabernacle of God.  It comes from all of the remnant of Jacob whose blood has been poured out; for they had prayed that Almighty God would avenge their blood (chapter six, verses ten and eleven).

And John hears them now shout “YES”, Kurie (Lord), Almighty God!  True and righteous Your judgments.

You see, all those who are not guilty of pouring out blood have been shielded from the Avenger; and they have been set free by the death of our Royal High Priest – Jesus, the Christ.  And the Avenger of blood is about to pour out His wrath on the guilty.