Revelation 16 describes seven angels pouring out seven plagues during a final period of “great tribulation” prior to the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ. Preceding events are as follows:
- A final crisis will strike planet earth (pending now)
- The “mark of the beast” will be enforced globally as a desperate, last-ditch “solution” to this terrible crisis (Rev. 13:16,17)
- When this mark is enforced, every human being will then make a final choice between the love of Jesus Christ, His everlasting gospel (Rev. 14:6), worshiping the Creator (Rev. 14:7), and keeping “the commandments of God” (Rev. 14:12), or worshiping “the beast,” “his image,” and receiving “his mark” (Rev. 14:9).
- Then heaven’s door of salvation will officially close in the sanctuary above (Rev. 22:11) shortly before Jesus Christ returns (Rev. 22:12)
When the door of mercy closes in heaven, the Revelation 16 sequence will begin. Notice carefully:
Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth” (Revelation 16:1).
This fearful “loud voice” announcement, “Go…” testifies that every case has been decided for life or death and that the plagues are about to fall. These seven plagues are as follows:
- Boils appear on those who get the mark (verse 2)
- The ocean turns to blood (verse 3)
- Rivers turn to blood (verse 4)
- The sun scorches men with fire (verse 8)
- Darkness falls upon the seat of the beast (verse 10)
- The Great River Euphrates dries up (verse 12) and three unclean spirits like frogs go forth to gather the kings of the earth and of the whole world (verses 13, 14) to the final battle of Armageddon (verse 16)
- Armageddon hits, the earth quakes, cities crumble, Mystery Babylon suffers God’s wrath fully (verses 18, 19), mountains sink, islands vanish, and great hail falls upon men (verses 20, 21)
Many so-called “prophecy experts” mistakenly conclude that “the Church” will not go through this period but will be “raptured” before this “great tribulation,” but this is not true. Make no mistake about it. God’s Church will surely be here during every plague, but the good news is that it will be divinely protected, not plagued.
Here are some key facts:
- The plagues fall only on those who receive the mark of the beast (Rev. 16:2), not on those who don’t.
- The plagues are called “the wrath of God” (Rev. 16:1), and the wrath of God falls only on the disobedient, not the obedient (Eph. 5:6).
- The final plagues are called “the seven last plagues” (Rev. 15:1) which remind us of the former ten plagues that fell upon Egypt during the time of Moses. During each of those earlier plagues, God’s people remained right in the midst of Egypt (in the land of Goshen), yet they were divinely protected.
- “The seven last plagues” parallel the ten plagues (both include boils, blood, darkness, and hail).
Notice these precious Scriptures about God’s special protection over His people when the ten plagues ravaged Egypt’s countryside:
And in that day I will set apart the land of Goshen, in which My people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there, in order that you may know that I am the LORD in the midst of the land. I will make a difference between My people and your people. Tomorrow this sign shall be.”‘” (Ex. 8:22,23)
So the LORD did this thing on the next day, and all the livestock of Egypt died; but of the livestock of the children of Israel, not one died (Ex. 9:6)
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, there was no hail (Ex. 9:26)
So Moses stretched out his hand toward heaven, and there was thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days. 23They did not see one another; nor did anyone rise from his place for three days. But all the children of Israel had light in their dwellings (Ex. 10:22, 23)
Thus God miraculously protected His people during the plagues while they remained in Egypt. During “the seven last plagues” we have the comforting assurance that He will do the same for us if we trust Jesus Christ fully, rest in His great love, are loyal to God’s commandments, and refuse the mark of the beast.
To be continued…