Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.

The Last Seven Plagues Part 1

Revelation 16:1-9
Dr. David Harrell | Bio
October, 04 2009

Description

After refuting the theology of the evangelical environmental movement and discussing the colossal hoax that the human production of greenhouse gases is damaging the earth’s climate, this exposition examines the first four bowl judgments that target men directly through a specific plague and indirectly through three plagues upon the earth’s eco system.

The Last Seven Plagues Part 1

Each transcript is a rough approximation of the message preached and may occasionally misstate certain portions of the sermon and even misspell certain words. It should in no way be considered an edited document ready for print. Moreover, as in any transcription of the spoken word, the full intention and passion of the speaker cannot be fully captured and will in no way reflect the same style of a written document.

Will you join me once again this morning in taking your Bibles and turning to Revelation chapter 16?  This morning we will look at the first four of the last seven plagues that will be poured out upon the earth. So this will be part one of a two part exposition.

Let me read the text to you that we will examine this morning beginning in Revelation 16 beginning in verse one.

And I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the seven bowls of the wrath of God into the earth." 

And the first angel went and poured out his bowl into the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore upon the men who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.  And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.  And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood. 

And I heard the angel of the waters saying, "Righteous art Thou, who art and who wast, O Holy One, because Thou didst judge these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and Thou hast given them blood to drink. They deserve it." 

And I heard the altar saying, "Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Thy judgments." 

And the fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun; and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues; and they did not repent, so as to give Him glory.1

Here we come to one of the most terrifying chapters in all of the Bible.  Here in chapter 16 the Lord Jesus Christ reveals the last seven plagues of the wrath of God that will be poured upon the wicked of the earth and upon the earth itself.

These seven bowl judgments can be divided into two parts.  The first four target men directly through a specific plague as well as the eco systems of the earth, which will cause them to suffer even more. And the last three target the kingdom of the antichrist and the topography of the earth in preparation for God’s final confrontation with man in the battle of Armageddon. And we will look at that next week.

But before we examine these four plagues, I believe the Lord would have me clarify some issues that seem to confuse many Christians these days and really put all of these judgments in their proper context.

The Bible teaches that over the course of human history, over the course of God’s redemptive history there will exist four ecosystems upon the earth. You will recall the first ecosystem was that of the original creation in the Garden of Eden where everything on the earth was perfect.  But because of Adam’s sin, all mankind was plunged into sin and God cursed man and he cursed the earth and everything was altered resulting in what you might call the second ecosystem. But the metastasizing corruption of sin continued on.  And it became so severe that God finally destroyed the entire world in the flood saving only the remaining animals and Noah and his family to repopulate the earth. That resulted in the third ecosystem in which we live. But, once again, because of sin God is going to destroy this system and he will do this through the seal and the trumpet and the bowl judgments that we read about in the book of Revelation and other passages of Scripture just before the Lord comes to establish his glorious kingdom.

When he returns we learn that God will renovate the earth. He will return it back to Edenic splendor and he will reign upon the earth for 1000 years.  That will be the fourth ecosystem, the millennial age.  But even there, because of sin’s defilement and the need for absolute purification, at the end of the millennial age, the Bible teaches us that God has promised that he will utterly destroy the universe and he will create a new one. That will be the eternal state. And this dissolution of the earth will be the final judgment and we read about this in 2 Peter chapter three and verse 10 where Peter tells us, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”2 And in verse 12 he goes on to say, “The heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”3

Now, most people, of course, find this to be utterly absurd, even many so called Christian people and many who truly know Christ who I believe are confused about these things.  In fact, many evangelical Christians have been seduced into thinking that human beings ultimately control the planet, not so much God, but that we are really in control.

Now, indeed, we have been commanded to subdue the planet and wherever we have failed to do so the world is uninhabitable and it is filled with poverty and disease.  But many Christian people believe that it is our responsibility, one of our primary responsibilities to care for the planet, to take care of the planet because it is so terribly fragile. And if we don’t do so the planet is in danger of collapsing. 

Politically motivated pseudo scientists and politicians tell us that we must change our behaviors in order to preserve the planet and if we don’t the polar ice caps will all melt and then the water will drown much of the land.  If we don’t take care of the planet all of the waters are going to be polluted and all the trees and the animals and even human beings are going to die.  This is such a great distraction to the Church and this is why I wanted to share some of this with you before we come to this text because it all fits together.  Rather than being busy about preaching the glorious gospel of Christ and warning those who are lost about a judgment to come, many Christian people have jumped on this environmentalist bandwagon.  They’ve become preoccupied with these things.

We are constantly being told we need to go green.  You have heard that, I am sure. Every time I hear that I see red.  Our world is absolutely bombarded with this stuff today.  A common phrase that we hear today is, quote, “The future is in our hands.”  Don’t you hear that a lot?  In fact, there is a movement that originated in Norway that I was reading about. It is called, quote, “Future in our hands.” And here is what they say.  “We are an international movement committed to safeguarding the environment for future generations and a fair distribution of wealth globally,” end quote. And if you study these people you will find that Socialism and Communism are always the ultimate motivation behind what they do.

Beloved, may I remind you from the outset that this is utterly ridiculous. This is so foreign to the truth of Scripture. The future is in the hands of our Creator who sovereignly rules over his universe.  The apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 1:17 that, “In Him all things hold together,”4 not in us, in him. We are told in Hebrews 1:3 that, “He... upholds all things by the word of His power.”5

Vaclav Klaus, president of the Czech Republic, a brilliant professor of economics and a very outspoken critic of global warming authored a book on environmental policies and maybe some of you have read that.   He gave a very excellent speech recently—September 22nd—to the UN. And here is part of what he said, quote, “Contrary to the artificially and unjustifiably created perception, the increase in global temperatures has been, in the last years, decades and centuries very small in historical comparisons and practically negligible in its actual impact upon human beings and their activities.”  He went on to say, “Contrary to many self assured and self serving proclamations, there is no scientific consensus about the causes of recent climate changes,” end quote.

In one interview Klaus said this, quote, “Global warming is a false myth and every serious person and scientist says so,” end quote.  It is interesting that he survived Communism and knowing the deceptions of Communism, he believes that this myth is being foisted upon a naïve and hysterical populous in order to ultimately control them and promote a new wave of Socialism and Communism.  In fact, the title of his 2007 book says it all, quote, “Blue Planet in Green Chains: What is Under Threat Climate or Freedom?” end quote.

Recently I read an article in World Net Daily and the title of the article caught my attention. Here it is, quote, “31,000 Scientists Reject Global Warming Agenda.”  And part of what the article said, quote, “More than 31,000 scientists across the United States, including more than 9000 PhDs in fields such as atmospheric science, climatology, earth science, environment and dozens of other specialties have signed a petition rejecting global warming, the assumption that the human production of greenhouse gases is damaging the earth’s climate.”

The article went on to say, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the earth’s climate.”   The petition goes on to state, quote, “Moreover there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the earth,” end quote. So scientist after scientist refute these claims yet it continues to gain momentum enjoying a cult like following even among many Christians. 

Have you seen the new green letter Bible?  The green letter Bible, if you read their advertisement on their website and in the book stores, will tell you this.  Quote, “The green Bible will equip and encourage people to see God’s vision for creation and help them engage in the work of healing and sustaining it.  With over 1000 references to the earth in the Bible compared with 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love, the Bible carries a powerful message for the earth,” end quote. Well, I would agree. It carries a powerful message, but something that is radically different than what they are promoting.

On several occasions over the last year and a half I have talked with other pastors and Christians who have asked if our church is part of the, quote, “Evangelical Environmental Network,” which is a massive movement of ostensibly Christian Evangelicals who make this, quote, “Declaration on the care of creation.” And here is a little of what they say.  “As followers of Jesus Christ committed to the full authority of Scripture and aware of the ways we have degraded creation, we believe that biblical faith is essential to the solution of our ecological problems.”  It goes on to say, “Because we worship and honor the Creator, we seek to cherish and care for the creation. Because we have sinned we have failed in our stewardship of creation, therefore we repent of the way we have polluted, distorted or destroyed so much of the Creator’s work.  Because in Christ God has healed our alienation from God and extended to us the first fruits of the reconciliation of all things, we commit ourselves to working in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the good news of Christ in word and deed, to work for the reconciliation of all people of Christ and,” here you go, “to extend Christ’s healing to suffering creation.”

They go on to say, “Because we await the time when even the groaning creation will be restored to wholeness, we commit ourselves to work vigorously to protect and heal that creation.” They go on to say, “We and our children face a growing crisis in the health of the creation in which we are embedded and through which by God’s grace we are sustained, yet we continue to degrade that creation. These degradations of creation can be summed up as: one, land degradation; two, deforestation; three, species extinction; four, water degradation; five, global toxification; six, the alteration of atmosphere; and finally number seven, human and cultural degradation,” end quote.

Beloved, this is beyond bad theology.  This is a blasphemous distortion of and distraction from the gospel of Jesus Christ and a staggering assault against the character of God.  You see, this is the mindset of evolutionists; that we all exist by random chance and we have got to take care of this fragile planet. We have got to reduce our carbon footprint. I hear this all the time.  Beloved, this is, perhaps, one of the greatest hoaxes of all history. That man’s actions can alter the temperature of the earth and ultimately bring about its destruction. This is such a lie.  People that believe that it is man rather than God who is in control of his creation.  This is pride gone wild.

May I remind you that after the flood God reestablished the cycles of the seasons and he promised in Genesis 8:22, “While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, And cold and heat, And summer and winter, And day and night Shall not cease.”6

Beloved, please hear me. God created the heavens and the earth. We know that not only did he create it, but he cursed it. He is the one that sustains it. He is the one that will destroy it. He is the one who will renovate it again and ultimately he will be the one who will recreate it. He is the one in charge, not us.  The earth is his responsibility, not ours.

But what is amazing to me, as we witness all around us, most of the leaders of the world have gone mad politically, economically, socially, militarily, morally, religiously. The world’s beliefs are beyond naïveté.  It is even beyond being ignorant. They are delusional because they are demonic.

Well, this brings us back to Revelation.  In fact, in Revelation 17:5 we are warned about the coming of, quote, “BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”7 And in verse two we were told that, “The kings of the earth committed acts of immorality, and those who dwell on the earth were made drunk with the wine of her immorality.”8

This is emblematic of the counterfeit religious system that will come upon the earth when the antichrist arises, a system that is drawn from the imagery of ancient Babylon that we see described, for example, in Jeremiah 51 verse 7 where we read, “Babylon has been a golden cup in the hand of the LORD, Intoxicating all the earth. The nations have drunk of her wine; Therefore the nations are going mad.”9

And, beloved, because of this we see that people are going to continue to buy into the hoax of global warming and that man is ultimately in control of this planet.  Because of this man is going to continue to think that it is ok to kill unborn infants. They are going to continue to think that it is ok for people to be homosexual, to be transvestites, to be trans gendered and commit every other perversion of immorality.  People are going to continue to believe that Islam is basically a peaceful religion and that you can dialogue with terrorists. People are going to continue to believe that the failed principles of Socialism and Communism that have utterly destroyed California need to be forced upon the rest of the nation.  People are going to continue to believe that we all worship the same God regardless of the name and that faith in Christ alone as your only hope of salvation is not only ridiculous, but it is hateful.  And people are going to continue to believe that man is basically good, that God, if he exists at all, would never judge anyone because, after all, he is a God of love. And they will continue to believe that Christ will not return to judge the world and establish his glorious kingdom.  They simply cannot understand that since God is holy and sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sin that he therefore loves righteousness and he loves faith and he must judge sin and all who reject the Lord Jesus Christ. 

So, beloved, we must understand that the mounting madness of the world is going to continue. It is not going to be abated because God is preparing the world for the kingdom of the antichrist.  And it is picking up pace, is it not?  You can see it every time you turn on the news. Your jaw drops as the world defiantly marches toward a day of divine judgment.

Well, with these things in mind we return now to our text in chapter 16 where we read of something radically different than what the world tells us, that it is God not man that is in charge of his planet and that he is absolutely going to destroy it because of sin.

Last week we examined the celestial prelude to the last plagues as we studied chapter 15. And now in chapter 16 there is a description of these plagues in great detail. And this morning, as I said earlier, I want to examine the first four bowls that target men directly through a specific plague as well as through the ecosystem of the world and next week we will look at the final three that target the kingdom of the antichrist and the topography of the earth in preparation for God’s final confrontation with man at the battle of Armageddon.

Notice verse one of chapter 16.  “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.’”10 A loud voice, literally, a great voice.  This is the voice of God himself who is now preparing to take vengeance upon the world, upon all who defy him, all who worship the anticrhist.

Now I want you to bear in mind that the earthly temple in Jerusalem was not only a center for worship, but it was also a courthouse. It was the place where the Sanhedrin would gather together to adjudicate the issues of the people in accordance to the law, where they would administer justice for Israel according to the law.  In fact, the messianic temple in the millennial kingdom will actually be the global center for law and justice throughout the world as we read about in Isaiah chapter two verses three and four.

And here we see the heavenly reality of the earthly counterpart, the earthly shadow as the righteous ruler of the universe dispenses justice according to his law. 

And keep in mind, as well, these plagues are the climax of all the rest. Remember in verse one of chapter 15 we read that these seven plagues are “the last” because in them the wrath of God is finished.  So these will be the final plagues.  This will be the final phase of God’s wrath that began with the seal and the trumpet judgments and these seven bowl plagues compromise what is called “the third woe” that was predicted to come after “the second woe” as we read in chapter 11 verse 14.

So let’s examine the bowls, the first bowl, verse two.  “So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image.”11 What an amazing spectacle for John to see. Think about it—and now for us to see through the lens of prophetic Scripture. 

Beloved, this plague is so heinous it exceeds our ability to comprehend. Notice these sores are called loathsome and malignant.  First of all, the term sore translates a Greek word elkos that refers to an ulcerous boil or an abscess.  In fact, the same word is used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament to describe the boils that God placed upon the Egyptians when he smote them in Exodus chapter nine verses nine through11, which is a fitting parallel given the fact that this will be Israel’s final deliverance from her enemies.  Believing Israelites will remain untouched at this time, untouched from this plague as was the case when it befell the Egyptians. 

And it is interesting that in both Hebrew and Greek this sore refers to an inflamed boil, one that oozes infection and causes enormous pain. This was also the same term used to describe the sores that were on Lazarus the beggar as you will recall in Luke 16, also with Job in Job 2:7 we read that, quote, “Satan... smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.”12  How fitting that one day the Lord will smite the followers of Satan with the same plague.

These sores are “loathsome” which means pernicious or detestable, evil in and of itself.  And they are also “malignant” meaning they are going to be painful. They are going to be virulent.  These incredible boils will be a sorry exchange for those who had the mark of the beast and who worshipped his image as we see at the end of verse two.

Notice the second bowl, verse three:  “The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.”13 My, this will enrage the environmentalists that are still alive.  The precious mother earth that they have worshipped for so long has already suffered cataclysmic destruction from the seal and the trumpet judgments, so much so that it has caused them to curse God and to hide in the rocks according to Revelation 6:15 and following where they say, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”14 But now as if all of this were not bad enough we have yet another plague of these loathsome and malignant sores as well as the oceans being turned into a toxic, putrid pool of death and all of the marine life dies.  The text says, “And it became blood like that of a dead man; and every living thing in the sea died.”15  God doesn’t tell us exactly how he does this, nor does he need to, only that he will. 

Now some will say, “Well, surely this cannot refer to actual blood. This has to be symbolic, perhaps a reference to the waters being polluted by many dead creatures that will die during that time.” Well, I would argue that even if that were the case, that would be hideous in and of itself. But there is no reason to believe that when God says “it became blood like that of a dead man” that that is not exactly what he is going to do. 

The term blood in the original language is the same term that he used to describe the blood of the saints. In fact, verse six makes it clear that God is making a statement with this plague. Notice, he says, “For they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.”16 So the oceans become blood like that of a dead man.   What is blood like that of a dead man?

As I studied that I learned that it is a rancid, thick, congealed, coagulated, reddish brown substance that reeks of the smell of decomposition.  Can you imagine that?  The stench alone would be enough to drive people insane.  But combined with the hideous boils it will be unbearable.  All of the harvesting of the things of the sea will cease. All ocean travel will at that point cease. The extraction and transportation of oil will cease.  All naval operations will cease.  Man will be confined to the land which helps explain why later on we read that the kings of the east will come across the land and across the dried up Euphrates River bed to assemble themselves for the battle against the Lord and Israel at Armageddon as we learn in the sixth and the seventh bowls. 

In the past God has given us glimpses of this kind of devastation in the seas in what has been called “red tides.” One definition puts it this way.  “Red tide is a high concentration of Karenia brevis, a microscopic marine algae that occurs naturally, but normally in lower concentrations.  In high concentrations its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so they cannot breath. Dead fish wash up on Gulf of Mexico beaches and other beaches. Dense concentrations appear as discolored water, often reddish in color. Red tide causes economic harm and for this reason red tide outbreaks are carefully monitored.  Red tide is also potentially harmful to human health.  Humans can become seriously ill from eating oysters and other shellfish contaminated with red tide toxin,” end quote.

Now, indeed, this would be terrible, but, beloved, what we read here in the second bowl far exceeds this. 

Dr. John Philips, a noted Bible scholar and commentator and one of my favorite professors at one time at Moody Bible Institute wrote this. And I quote, “From time to time off the coast of California and elsewhere a phenomenon known as the red tide occurs. These red tides kill millions of fish and poison those who eat contaminated shellfish. In 1949 one of these red tides hit the coast of Florida. First the water turned yellow, but by midsummer it was thick and viscous with countless billions of dinoflagellates, tiny one celled organisms, 60 mile [?] of stinking fish fouled the beaches. Much marine life was wiped out. Even bait used by fishermen died upon the hooks.  Eventually the red tide subsided only to appear again the following year. Eating fish contaminated by the tide produced severe symptoms caused by a potent nerve poison a few grams of which distributed aright could easily kill everyone in the world.  An unchecked population explosion of toxic dinoflagellates would kill all the fish in the sea,” end quote.

Whenever I think of this, I am reminded of Jesus’ description of the Pharisees, those religious hypocrites of whom Jesus said in Matthew 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness.”17

Dear, friends, the second bowl will dramatically reveal not only the guilt of the wicked in shedding innocent blood, but also the spiritual decay that is indicative of religious hypocrisy. And I find it interesting that they will be made to physically breathe the putrid stench that can be so symbolic of spiritual corruption.

Notice the third bowl, verse four. “Then the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of waters; and they became blood.”18 Now the same fate that will befall the salt water seas, impacts the fresh waters of the earth.  This is unimaginable. This is reminiscent of the first plague that God sent upon the Egyptians in Exodus seven where you will recall God turned all of their fresh water into blood, not only according to verse 19 of Exodus seven where it says the River Nile, but all the rivers, streams, pools, reservoirs, vessels of stone, referring to that which was in their homes.

It says, “Throughout all of the land of Egypt,” and in verse 21 we read, “The fish that were in the Nile died, and the Nile became foul, so that the Egyptians could not drink water from the Nile. And the blood was through all the land of Egypt.”19 And in verse 24 we read, “So all the Egyptians dug around the Nile for water to drink, for they could not drink of the water of the Nile.”20

Now please understand. In the third bowl judgment we have something far greater than something that affects a localized area of Egypt. This is going to affect the entire globe.  This will eliminate the water supply, the lifeline of plant and animal and human life.  This will be even more catastrophic given the earlier conditions brought upon the world by the two witnesses. You will recall that they had, “The power to shut up the skies so that rain will not fall during the days of their prophesying and they have power over the waters to turn them into blood,”21 Revelation 11:6.

Now, we must pause to understand something very important here.  You will recall that in 2 Corinthians four the apostle Paul said that “the gospel is veiled.”  It is veiled to those who are perishing in whose case the god of this world—referring to Satan—has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they may not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ.  And one of the most powerful methods that Satan has used down through the years to blind people to the gospel is to convince them that somehow they are basically good, that because of their own merit or their own works they can earn their way into heaven, that somehow they can do something to tilt the scales of justice so that their good outweighs their bad and God will accept them.

And because of this the vast majority of the world believes that God is a God of love. He would never be a God of wrath, a God of vengeance, a God of judgment. In fact, that is why so many people hate even the doctrine of the atonement, that Jesus Christ satisfied the wrath of God and that literally God the Father killed his own Son.  That is incomprehensible to people.

And repeatedly we witness the wrath of God throughout Scripture and yet we see that even when that occurs people hate him all the more. In fact, in verse 10 we read that they will gnaw their tongues because of pain, instead of saying next that they repented it says, “And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds.”22

You see, man’s pride is so powerful, beloved, it is so virulent, it is so exceedingly powerful that even in the midst of judgment they will cry out, “Foul, unfair, we don’t deserve this.” And it is with this in mind that something very fascinating occurs here in the third bowl. After he has afflicted them with the sores and turned the salt water and the fresh water into blood, notice verse five.

“Righteous are You, who are and who were, O Holy One, because You judged these things; for they poured out the blood of saints and prophets, and You have given them blood to drink. They deserve it.”23

Let me give you some context here.  Remember in Revelation 7:1 we read of four angels who were in charge of the winds.  In Revelation 9:11 we read of an angel who is in charge of the abyss. In Revelation 14:18 there is an angel with power over fire.  And now here we have an angel of the waters.  And here John witnesses another angel sing a song of praise to God and this praise is one that confirms the justice of his punishment upon the wicked. It is what the apostle Paul described in Romans 2:5 as, “The day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”24

Think about it, the audacity of man to indict a righteous and holy, merciful God with the charge of unfairness. That is blasphemies of blasphemies.  Man who has violated his holy law, man who has sinned with impunity, man who in this context will be worshipping the beast and wearing his mark, man who has killed countless millions of saints, how dare you who are least holy to stand in judgment of he who is most holy, you who have poured out the blood of saints and prophets.  And now we see that God will give you blood to drink. You deserve it.

Verse seven. “And I heard the altar saying, ‘Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.’”25 Keep in mind that throughout the book of Revelation the altar is associated with judgment especially in response to the cries of the martyred saints. And here the altar is personified as it concurs with the vindication of God’s judgment given by the angel of the waters and offers even additional praise. 

You see, unlike the manufactured gods of the pagans who are unpredictable, who are unforgiving, who are unmerciful, who are untrue and utterly unholy, the one true God, the Lord God the almighty is true to his holy nature making all of his judgments perfectly righteous. And, dear friends, only a fool, consumed with pride and utterly bereft of any understanding of the holiness of God would dare condemn God for judging man. 

This will later be the testimony of the mighty host of heaven when all of us will say together according to Revelation 19:1, “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; BECAUSE HIS JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and HE HAS AVENGED THE BLOOD OF HIS BOND-SERVANTS ON HER.”26

So here, again, in these final seven plagues we see the heavenly temple as the source of true righteousness and justice. What a profound encouragement this is to all of the saints who have read these wonderful truths. And what an encouragement this will be to the saints during the time of the tribulation to help them persevere by faith in his grace despite the incredible sufferings that they will endure.

And, finally, the fourth bowl in verse eight.

The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory.27

Here the Lord gives the beast worshippers a taste of hell. Think about it. Because of the rancid, putrefaction of the oceans and the coastal windrows of sea life that are now piled up upon the beaches, people will have to move further inland to escape the corruption, the stench, the disease.  But now can you imagine?  You have this intense heat that will melt the polar ice caps and cause the level of the toxic oceans to rise. It is almost as if the corruption is pursuing those that have gone further inland.

I think it is rather ironic. It is almost as if God is saying, “You think you caused global warming?  You think you caused the melting of the polar ice caps? I will show you global warming. I will show you who is in charge.”

Because man’s heart has been judicially sealed in its unbelief by now, having refused the countless invitations and opportunities to repent which would give God glory, we read in verse nine that they “blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues.”

My friend, please hear me. The day of the Lord is coming. It is a day of wrath and unbelievable vengeance, something the world has never experienced. But despite the horrors of that day, please know that that will be a mere sample of the torments of hell that will be the eternal state of all those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ. 

So I plead with you, minister of the gospel, run to the Savior before it is too late.  Please hear me. A day is coming. Acknowledge your guilt and ask him to save you. Because of his great love and mercy he will.

Let’s pray together.

Lord, we thank you for your grace and your love. We thank you that you are longsuffering, but, Lord, we pray that those that we know and love and those even that we don’t who do not know you, oh God, that you would be merciful and cause them to see the depth of their sin and truly see the love of the Savior. Would that they repent before it is too late. Commit these truths to our heart we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.

1 Revelation 16:1-9.

2 2 Peter 3:10.

3 2 Peter 3:12-13.

4 Colossians 1:17.

5 Hebrews 1:3.

6 Genesis 8:22.

7 Revelation 17:5.

8 Revelation 17:2.

9 Jeremiah 51:7.

10 Revelation 16:1.

11 Revelation 16:2.

12 Job 2:7.

13 Revelation 16:3.

14 Revelation 6:16-17.

15 Revelation 16:3.

16 Revelation 16:6.

17 Matthew 23:27.

18 Revelation 16:4.

19 Exodus 7:21

20 Exodus 7:24.

21 Revelation 11:6.

22 Revelation 16:11.

23 Revelation 16:5-6.

24 Romans 2:5.

25 Revelation 16:7.

26 Revelation 19:1-2.

27 Revelation 16:8-9.

Shepherd’s Fire exists to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ through mass communications for the teaching ministry of Bible expositor David Harrell, with a special emphasis in encouraging and strengthening pastors and church leaders.