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 Sermons on important subjects by Rev. Paul C. Jong

 

The Beginning of the Plagues of The Seven Bowls


< Revelation 16:1-21 >

"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.' So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying:

'You are righteous, O Lord,

The One who is and who was and who is to be,

Because You have judged these things.

For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,

And You have given them blood to drink.

For it is their just due.'

And I heard another from the altar saying, 'Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.'

Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds. Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 'Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.' And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, 'It is done!' And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great."



Exegesis

Verse 1: 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."

With the plagues of the seven bowls of wrath, God will bring His wrath upon the servants of the Antichrist and his people who are still living on this earth. All the creatures and men will be swept up by the storm of God's wrath, exploding after so many years of His patience, and they will suffer from the great plagues that will ravage through for the remaining years of the Great Tribulation. At this time, this world will be reduced to ashes as it is broken apart, smashed to pieces, and destroyed into oblivion.

Revelation 16 is the chapter where the plagues of the seven bowls are poured. Those who, until this final moment, have neither known nor believed in the gospel that bears the testimony of salvation, which would have allowed them to be lifted up to the air by the Lord-that is, the gospel of the water and the Spirit-will all be destroyed by these plagues.


Verse 2: So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

The plague of the foul and loathsome sore that God would pour through His angel will descend on those who have received the mark of the Beast. This plague of sore is an incurable skin disease that would fester on the skins of the inflicted, whose infection would also spread around beyond the festering skins. How great would the suffering be, when the inflicted are to be tormented by this plague of the foul and loathsome sore until their death? But God will not only pour down the plague of sore on all those who received the mark of the Beast, but He will also pour down six more plagues on their heads afterward. As such, all must find the way to escape from these plagues in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, and avoid these fearful plagues by believing in this gospel right now, at this very moment.

Our Lord says that He will pour down six more plagues on those who worship the Beast and his image. What is the sin that God hates the most? This sin is making images after something or someone other than God, deifying them, and surrendering to them. We must therefore know exactly who our Lord God and Jesus Christ are, and believe in and worship Christ Jesus. Nothing and no one in this whole universe, other than the Lord God Himself, can ever be our God.

If you really want to avoid the plague of sore and the additional six plagues, learn about and believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord. A countless number of people who have stood against God in their everyday lives, and who have refused to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, will all suffer from these plagues until they are ultimately destroyed.


Verse 3: Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died.

The second plague is where the sea turns into the blood of the dead. God will kill off all the creatures in the sea with this plague. From this plague of the second bowl poured by God, the sea will rot away and all its creatures will no longer be able to live in it. No man will therefore be able to eat the sea's harvests when God brings this second plague. Through the second plague, God will make it manifest that He is alive, and that He is the Lord over all life.

This second plague is God's judgment rendered on all the people of the world who, rather than worshipping the Lord God for His creations, instead bowed to the image of the Beast, God's enemy, and shed the blood of the saints. This second plague is also most appropriate. God shows us that He will thus take away the richness of nature from those who do not thank the Lord for all its creatures made by God.


Verses 4-7: Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: "You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due." And I heard another from the altar saying, "Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments."

The third plague that would turn the rivers and springs of water into blood is indeed one of the most terrible plagues. This plague, coming as the punishment for the sins of all those who do not believe in God, will turn springs into blood and make it impossible for them to live on this earth. God will turn all the springs and rivers on this earth into blood. This plague, too, is the judgment rendered on the people of the world as the price and punishment of their standing against God, who had given them water, the root of all life.

The reason why God would bring this plague on those who had stood against Him is because they had murdered His saints and prophets while on this earth. They are the ones who had not only refused to believe in God as God, but also stood against Him in union with the Antichrist.

Overwhelmed by the power of the Antichrist, those who stand against God's love in this world will persecute and murder God's most beloved saints and His servants. Those who do not believe now in the gospel of the water and the Spirit, which our Lord has given us to deliver the people of this world from sin, will murder many saints and prophets of the end times and shed their blood. God will therefore pour His third plague on this world where His enemies are living, turn its water, the root of all life, into blood, and thus destroy them.

This is the just judgment of God, and for it the saints in the air will all rejoice. Why? Because with His righteous judgment rendered on the enemies who had killed the saints, God would avenge the saints' death on them. As such, the saints and servants of God must not fear, but instead defend their faith in the Lord God, and look toward God's promise and His power when they face their martyrdom.


Verses 8-9: Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.

As the fourth angel pours out the bowl of the fourth plague on the sun, people would be burnt to death from its scorching heat. God will bring the plague of the sun's scorching heat to those who have stood against Him. Because this earth orbits around the sun precisely, if the earth were to deviate from this orbit and get closer to the sun even by the smallest distance, its inhabitants would all be burnt to death. As such, when this fourth plague is poured, people still living on this earth will all suffer from burning.

Yet they would still not repent of their sin of standing against God. Why? Because by standing against the gospel of the water and the Spirit, they had already been destined to destruction. As soon as possible, therefore, everyone must now prepare their faith that can allow them to escape from the wrath of God. This faith is to believe in the gospel of the water and the Spirit as one's salvation. Everyone must therefore believe in the truth of the water and the Spirit.


Verses 10-11: Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

The plague of the fifth bowl is one that brings darkness and pain. God will pour out this bowl of the fifth plague on the throne of the Antichrist and bring the plague of darkness and pain. From this plague, people will gnaw their tongues because of its pain and suffering. God will make sure to avenge the saints' sufferings on them with twice as great pain.

God will make them suffer, in other words, just as much as they had made the saints suffer before. And yet they would still blaspheme God and not repent, even as they suffer from their sores. As such, they are to receive the eternal punishment of hell burning with fire and brimstone.


Verse 12: Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.

The plague of the sixth bowl poured by God is the plague of famine that would dry up the Euphrates River. The mankind will face its greatest suffering from this plague. The plague of famine is the most frightening plague for everyone's life. This plague, which will be poured on those who had rejected the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by the Lord, shows us just how great the punishment is for those who had rejected God's love and stood against Him. Later on, God's army of Heaven and Satan's army of this earth will wage the final war on this battlefield. Satan and his followers, however, will be seized upon and destroyed by God.


Verse 13: And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

This verse shows us that the works of all unclean spirits and demons originate from the mouths of Satan, His Beast, and the false prophets. The works of demons will prevail throughout the world when its end nears. The demons will deceive the people and lead them to their destruction by performing miracles and signs through Satan, the false prophets, and the Antichrist. The world of the end times will thus become a world of demons. But their world will all be brought to its end with the plagues of the seven bowls poured by Jesus Christ and His second coming.


Verse 14: For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

The spirits of demons will incite the hearts of all the kings of the entire world to gather together in one place to battle against God. In the world of the end times, everyone's heart will be ruled by the spirits of demons, and he/she will thus be turned into Satan's servant doing the Devil's works.


Verse 15: "Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame."

The Lord will come to this world like a thief, and those who defend their faith and preach the His gospel until the pouring of the plagues of the seven bowls are greatly blessed. Our Lord tells the saints living in the end times' world that they must live by their faith in the gospel of the water and the Spirit given by Him and defend this faith until their last day. Those who defend their faith in the Lord before the pouring of His plagues of the seven bowls will receive great rewards from Him. Our Lord will surely come again to find those on whom He would bestow His blessings.


Verse 16: And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.

The Bible prophesizes that the final war between Satan and God will be waged on a place called Armageddon. But because God is omnipotent, He will triumph over Satan and throw the Beast into the lake of fire and brimstone. We must realize that Satan has always been a deceiver, and we must keep our faith in the Lord in steadfastness until the day we stand before God.


Verses 17-21: Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

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As God pours the plague of the seventh bowl into the air, thundering and lightening will ravage the sky, while a great earthquake and great hail, the likes of which have never been seen before, will strike this earth. With these disasters, the first world will disappear without a trace. After this, the saints will live in glory with Jesus Christ on this renewed earth for a thousand years to come.

When the thousand years pass by and the time to fulfill God's promise of the New Heaven and Earth for the saints comes, God will make the first world disappear and give the saints the second heaven and earth. The saints will then reign with God in this New Heaven and Earth forever. The saints must believe that they are to live in Christ's Kingdom of one thousand years and then live forever in glory in His New Heaven and Earth. They must live in this hope, waiting for the Lord's return.

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