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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Revelation 16

Verses 1-21

  1. Intro:
    1. Prayer - There’s a minnow-like fish called “Four eyes,” which makes his home in Central and South America. What’s unusual about him is his large, bulging eyes. They are so situated on his head that he can spend his time cruising along the water with only the upper half of each eye above the surface. The top half has an air lens and the bottom half has a water lens, which amounts to a set of bifocals, giving him the ability to see in both the upper and under world.
    2. Q: Who won super bowl 7? The year, 1973? [Miami 14 - Washington 7].
      1. Why significant? – Because it was Super Bowl 7.
    3. The Pony Express - This historically famous mail service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and California depended on constant movement and readiness. Relay stations were established every 10-15 miles. A rider would shout aloud as he approached a station, giving the station master very short notice that he needed to be outside waiting with a fresh mount. Even when a rider came to the station where he was to spend the night, another rider was already mounted and waiting, ready to grab the first rider’s bundle of packages and continue the trip. The completion of the transcontinental telegraph system rendered the Pony Express obsolete after just 18 months. But we have this service’s intriguing example of what it means to be ever watchful. (Today in the Word, December, 1997, p. 17)
  2. SUPER BOWL 7! (1-21)
    1. 1ST BOWL – SORES! (1,2)
    2. Tension has been steadily mounting! - The chapters have been pregnant w/doom!
      1. Now is time for the storm, w/all its pent-up fury it will crash from verse to verse in this chapter!
      2. “Mercifully, the storm will be short, & best of all...it will leave the skies sunny & clear for 1000 yrs.” (J. Phillips)
    3. Bowls - were shallow bowls used for the sweet smelling incense in Gods temple, but are now filled with a foul stench!
    4. Upon the earth - Each Angel has a specific “target” for the contents of his bowl!
      1. Each laser guided with precision accuracy.
    5. Boils - Immediately we see the likeness to the prior judgments upon Egypt.
      1. Boils, water turned to blood, darkness, frogs, thunder, & hail.
    6. Boils was the 6th plague of Egypt (Ex.9).
      1. A boil is an outward sign of an inward problem! (Spiritually also!)
      2. Satan used this against Gods servant Job - Now God uses it against Satan’s servants!
      3. Vs.11 seems to say these sores do not disappear (i.e. an incurable disease?) – See Jer.30
    7. Upon the men who had the mark - This plague was limited to those who took the slavebrand of Satan! {“You want a mark? I’ll give you another!”}
    8. 2ND BOWL – BLOODY SEA! (3)
    9. Angel #2 steps up to the plate!
    10. The Lord’s 1st miracle was to turn water into wine, now it’s water into Blood!
      1. Read “Red Tide 1949” (Phillips pg.190,191)
    11. I can’t imagine the smell!
      1. Describe Oyster Bars in the French Quarter after Katrina.
    12. 3RD BOWL – BLOODY RIVERS! (4-7)
    13. (5,6) - Heaven shouts, “God’s Justified in all this terrible judgment!”
    14. (6b) - Since earth-dwellers shed the blood of God’s people, so it was only rt. that they should “drink blood”.
    15. In God’s government the punishment fits the crime!
      1. This was not cruel & unusual punishment!
      2. Pharaoh tried to drown the Jewish baby boys, but it was his own army that eventually drowned in the Red sea!
      3. Haman planned to hang Mordecai on the gallows & to exterminate the Jews, but he himself was hanged on the gallows, & his family exterminated!
      4. King Saul refused to obey God & slay the Amalekites, so it was the claim of one Amalekite “that he killed Saul”!
    16. (6b) It is their just do - They deserve it!
    17. 4TH BOWL – GLOBAL WARMING! (8,9)
    18. Here’s where the global warming folks say “I told you so!”
    19. Picture all the water systems full of blood & now coupled w/intense heat... imagine the Thirst!
      1. Malachi 4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, Burning like an oven, And all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up," Says the LORD of hosts, "That will leave them neither root nor branch.” [Suntain Lotion #100 won’t help]
      2. Quote - “The suns weather patterns” (Phillips pg.192,193)
    20. (8) Who knows how long this will last? But what if the great ice sheets on Greenland & the continent of Antarctica start melting?
      1. Morris says, “There is enough ice stored in these great reservoirs, it is estimated, to raise the world’s sea levels about 200 feet if it were all melted...”
    21. (9) William Newell said, “If men are not won by Grace, they will never be won.”
      1. God’s judgments usually don’t change men’s hearts, nor do they seem designed to! - God judges sinners not to reveal His Grace, but to reveal His Holiness!
      2. These sinners will suffer from “acute Pharoahitis”...the hardening of the heart!
    22. 5TH BOWL – DARKNESS! (10,11)
    23. (10) - So far the beast has been immune...but now his throne is shaken!
      1. Like the throne of Pharaoh, he is powerless to defend himself!
      2. Joel 2:1,2 “…Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; For the day of the LORD is coming, For it is at hand: A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, Like the morning clouds spread over the mountains.”
    24. (11) The crescendo of Hurt brings a crescendo of Hate!
      1. “In a 1000 tongues & dialects men lift up their fists, their fits, & their filthy words...of blasphemy!”
    25. 6TH BOWL – EUPHRATES! (12-16)
    26. (12) I take Literally!
    27. (13) 3 Frogs [no not Kermit] {satanic trinity at work!}
      1. Frogs are “Cold-blooded, amphibians who dwell in 2 worlds. Many have poison in their skin. Many can change color at will, & can leap a remarkable distance.”
      2. So these demons are cold-blooded fiends, creatures of 2 worlds. Full of venom & poison for mankind. And are swift paced to lead men to their blood-bathed-end!
    28. (14) The kings will think they are moving upon their own “Free will”!
      1. “How often men think they are Free to do as they please, but in reality, they are accomplishing the plans & purpose of God” (www)
    29. (15) Why is this verse here? (vs.13-16 is a parenthesis) I believe vs.15 is another pause for John’s readers to take heed!
    30. Blessed is he who watches - Watch for Him! & Watch out!
      1. We need to watch for Him!
      2. We need to keep our clothes on! See 3:4,5a (i.e. Garments clean)
    31. Let it come when it may, our life-work is perfectly clear. In anticipation of his coming we are to watch & we are not to take off our garments as if preparing for rest, but we are to stand “with our loins girded about, and our lights burning.” We are to be ready at a moment’s notice for any duty that may be required. (The Pulpit Commentary: Revelation. 2004 (H. D. M. Spence-Jones, Ed.) (401). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
      1. When a soldier enlisted in the Roman army, he had, before the tribune, to take a triple oath:
        1. (1) That he would do whatever he was called on to do.
        2. (2) That he would be ready at any moment.
        3. (3) That he would never leave the army without the commander’s consent.
        4. This triple oath was called sacramentum.
          1. Hence our word “sacrament” - the believer’s military oath of obedience to the great Commander.
    32. Keeps his garments - “During the night the captain of the Temple made his rounds. On his approach the guards had to rise and salute him in a particular manner. Any guard found asleep when on duty was beaten, or his garments were set on fire. The confession of one of the Rabbis is on record that, on a certain occasion, his own maternal uncle had actually undergone the punishment of having his clothes set on fire by the captain of the Temple” (Edersheim, “The Temple,” etc) (ibid)
    33. We also need to keep watch out for “the world”!
      1. Watch out for “the embrace of the world”.
      2. The Lion of persecution might not be a threat to us, but we are being hugged by the Bear of this world.
        1. (Often comfortable in his warm, fuzzy arms, but he’s slowly squeezing, & the church doesn’t feel it!)
    34. Waiting to be interviewed for a job as a wireless operator, a group of applicants paid little attention to the sound of the dots and dashes which began coming over a loud speaker. Suddenly one of them rushed into the employer’s office. Soon he returned smiling. “I got it!” he exclaimed. “How did you get ahead of us?” they asked. “You might have been considered if you hadn’t been so busy talking that you didn’t hear the manager’s coded message,” he replied. “It said, The man I need must always be on the alert. The first one who interprets this and comes directly into my private office will be hired.”
    35. (16) Armaggedon = har/hill Meggido (the hill of Meggido)
      1. Also called The plain of Esdraelon, Valley of Jezreel.
      2. Here: Barak defeated the armies of Canaan, Gideon defeated the Midianites, here King Saul lost his life.
      3. Post biblical times battles fought here: The Egyptians, Crusaders, Druz, Turks, Arabs, Persians, even Napoleon Bonaparte who called this “The most natural battlefield of the whole earth!”
    36. Who is able to make war w/him?(13:4) - GOD! (The outcome is in ch.19)
    37. 7TH BOWL – SHAKE-N-QUAKE! (17-21)
    38. (21) Hail - (around 100 lbs.) Missiles of ice - (ice sculptures)
      1. Reminiscent of Egypts 7th plague “And the hail struck throughout the whole land of Egypt, all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail struck every herb of the field and broke every tree of the field.” [hard to imagine hail the size of Old English sheep Dogs!]
      2. Why the Hail? “Blasphemers are supposed to be stoned to death.”
        1. Lev.24:16 “And whoever blasphemes the name of the LORD shall surely be put to death. All the congregation shall certainly stone him, the stranger as well as him who is born in the land.”
    39. From here we’d go to ch.19! - But John takes a magnifying glass back to a word in vs.19 “Babylon”.
      1. Ch.17 & 18 are what he sees under the magnification.... Babylon’s Destruction!!!
    40. Satan’s entire system is about to be judged:
      1. [1] His Religious system in ch.17.
      2. [2] His Political & Economic system in ch.18.
      3. [3] His Military system in ch.19.
    41. END: We here so much concern about the over-population of the earth... May we be as concerned w/the over-population of Hell!
    42. Around the dial of a clock in a church in Strasburg, Germany, are these words: “One of these hours the Lord is coming.”
    43. Io, in Greek mythology, was loved by the god Zeus, who changed her into a white heifer to protect her from the jealousy of his wife, Hera. Suspecting that the animal was really Zeus's mistress, Hera asked for the heifer as a gift and set the 100-eyed monster Argus to guard it. Because the monster never slept with all his eyes shut, Io was unable to escape until Zeus sent his son, the messenger god Hermes, to rescue her. Hermes managed to kill the monster after he had put Argus's 100 eyes to sleep with a series of boring stories.
      1. The term “argus-eyed” means being extraordinarily watchful.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Revelation 16". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/revelation-16.html. 2017.