This is a Chronology Chapter…showing the progression of the judgment of God. It continues from chapter 9. The Bowl Judgments take place within the last months of the Great Tribulation.
Jesus is Sovereign over the Future (Revelation 4-22), cont’d.
Revelation 16 The Third Series of God’s Judgments (Bowls #1-7) (Chronology Chapter)
The command to begin the last judgment of God upon mankind comes from the Temple. Sovereignty. God is in control.
Revelation 16:2 (Bowl #1)
When the angel pours out his bowl a “loathsome and malignant sore” breaks out on those who had worshipped the beast. They had accepted the mark of the Beast for his worship…now God marks them with sores as His judgment.
Revelation 16:3 (Bowl #2)
Everything in the sea dies.
Revelation 16:4-7 (Bowl #3)
The rivers and springs of water became “blood like that of a dead man”…the blood of a dead man cannot sustain life…the water is affected in some manner so that it cannot sustain life. There is no fresh water for drinking.
Revelation 16:8-9 (Bowl #4)
The power of the sun intensifies until it burns the skin of men...and yet, "they did not repent so as to give Him glory" (:9,11,21; 9:21).
Revelation 16:10-11 (Bowl #5)
This results in the Beast's kingdom becoming dark, no light...there is great physical pain (perhaps because of the sores in v. 2)...people curse God.
It would seem, with such evidence drawn from witnesses scattered throughout the whole of God’s revelation, that we are forced to conclude that there will be a time of literal darkness upon the earth or upon that portion of it where the Antichrist is reigning. The transition from the fourth to the fifth bowls is most striking. The one had been the fiery, scorching, blinding brightness of the sun; the next is an impenetrable darkness. Astronomers have observed phenomena in star-suns outside of our solar system, where, within a few days time, a star has increased from the fifteenth magnitude, for example, to third or fourth magnitude. Then, after this great flare-up, the star dimmed far beneath its earlier brightness. So it may well be that God touches our sun and causes it to flare forth with an intensity that sears and then dims it until there is gross darkness upon the earth, as the diminishing of the sun would cause a thickening of the clouds of our atmosphere until little light could come through.
But just as the noisome and grievous sore under the first bowl was the outward symbol of an inward work of corruption, so the darkness that falls upon the kingdom of the Antichrist is the symbol of the even greater spiritual darkness which falls upon those who worship him.
(Revelation: God’s Last Word, Donald Grey Barnhouse, p. 298)
Revelation 16:12-16 (Bowl #6)
It is poured out on the Euphrates River and it dries up...so that the king from the east will be able to advance unhindered with his armies. The armies coming from the Orient toward Armageddon will have their way supernaturally aided. Satan will use the Antichrist and the False Prophet to raise an army. There will be several battles...Antichrist against Egypt (Dan. 11:40-45), a siege of Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2), and the final battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16).
Revelation 16:17-21 (Bowl #7)
It is poured into the atmosphere...causing lightning, thunder, massive hail, and the most powerful earthquake in history...which splits "the great city" (Jerusalem) into three parts.
Prayer: Father, all of creation is at Your beckoning call. You control the bodies of men, the elements, the planets and stars, and nations. Everything is Yours and You have control over them all. There is nothing, absolutely nothing that is beyond Your control. I praise You as the sovereign Lord and ruler over all of the universe.