A Study of Revelation: Revelation 15-16 (The Seven Bowls of Wrath)

Revelation chapters 15-16 (The Seven Bowls of Wrath)

15:1-2 – The seven seals had Christ as central figure; seven bowls have the bride of Christ as central figure
God works at His pace, often granting time for repentance (Genesis 15:13-16; 2 Peter 3:9)
“Mingled with fire” indicates the coming judgment of God

15:3-4 – The song of Moses could only be sung by Israelites; the song of the Lamb can only be sung by Christians
Both speak of deliverance: from the bondage of Egypt (OT), and from the bondage of sin through Christ (NT)
The song isn’t about the saint’s ability to overcome, but God’s mighty works

15:5-8 – The temple moves from Jerusalem to heaven; from temporal to spiritual
The seven angels’ clothing resembles Christ’s (1:13), indicating the authority of their task was from Christ
Moses was prevented from entering the tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35); here men are prohibited from entering until God’s will was accomplished

16:1 – “The earth” = the Jewish nation, not the whole world
The downfall of Egypt is a type of the downfall of Jerusalem; they were once the oppressed righteous, the were now the unrighteous oppressors

16:2-7 – God’s punishments are not arbitrary; He punished those who rejected Him and His Son
The rivers and springs turning to blood symbolized retribution for blood of the martyrs
It is not our place to exact vengeance, but God’s (Romans 12:17-21)

16:8-9 – The danger of rebellion in the face of correction

16:10-11 – More impenitence

16:12-16 – Frogs were considered magical creatures; here they represent deception
Armageddon is not the site of a great future battle; it represents a conflict in which God clearly and purposefully aids one side against the other

16:17-21 – “It is done” = the end of Jerusalem
Three divisions may be “the three sources of Jerusalem’s afflictions: pestilence, sword, and exile” (Wallace)
Three divisions may be “the dead, those waiting to die, and those that would be left alive to live the rest of their days with the horrid memories of the butchery and carnage” (Blake)
Our attitude toward discipline (Proverbs 3:11-12)

Review
1. What event in the Old Testament is similar to the events of Revelation 15-16?

2. What were the seven angels to pour out of the bowls?

3. When is the significance of the words, “It is done,” in Revelation 16:17?

4. What is a possible explanation of the three divisions of the city?

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