23 February 2016

BSF 2015-2016: Revelation 15 and 16

In this week’s lesson, John saw God pour out his full and complete wrath on the world because they rejected Him.

To prepare for the coming seven bowl judgments, John saw seven angels. He also saw Jesus’ victorious people standing by a sea and singing. They sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. They sang about God’s deeds and character.

John saw the temple open. Out of the temple came the seven angels. One of the four living creatures gave seven bowls to the seven angels. In the bowls was the fullness of the wrath of God ready to be poured out on the earth.

Previously, we saw the seal and trumpet judgments. These were only partial judgments. The bowl judgments are full and complete judgments.

The temple was filled with smoke (God’s presence), and no one was able to enter the temple because nothing could stop God’s wrath from being poured out.

John heard a loud voice send the angels to pour out their bowls on the earth. The bowls of judgment were poured out on anyone on the earth who rejected God – the people who took the mark of the beast.

  • The first bowl caused festering sores on the people.
  • The second bowl turned the sea to blood and killed all sea creatures.
  • The third bowl turned all fresh water to blood.
  • The fourth bowl caused the sun to scorch the people with fire.
  • The fifth bowl caused darkness over the beast and his kingdom. The people recognized that the plagues were coming from God, but they cursed Him and refused to repent.

With the final two bowl judgments, the stage is being set for the final battle of Armageddon. This will be the final battle between God and the forces of evil.

  • The sixth bowl dried up the Euphrates River, and three impure spirits that looked like frogs came out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. The spirits represent the deceit and propaganda the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet used to entice rulers to join with them and fight against God.
  • The seventh bowl brought lightning, thunder, and a severe earthquake. Cities were destroyed, and people were crushed with 100-pound hailstones.

There is no relief in these judgments.

But Jesus speaks up and calls believers to be alert and prepared for His return (16:15). Together with Jesus, believers will be victorious over the beast.

Things to Think About
  • One day God will bring about justice. But until that time, He allows injustice in our world.
  • God’s grace always comes before judgment.
  • God must judge. Sin must be dealt with.
  • God is true and just in His judgments (16:5).
  • Sin has consequences, and judgment will come. The result of sin is judgment.
  • What is God calling me to repent from?
  • God’s final judgment will be devastating, purposeful, and complete.
  • How will I pray and think differently as I prepare for Jesus’ return?

This Week’s Memory Verse
“Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Revelation 15:4 NIV