There is little doubt about where this chapter is supposed to be placed in time. Nothing like this has ever taken place yet. These events are clearly relegated to Daniel's Seventieth Week - the seven years of the Tribulation, following the Rapture of the Church. These events deal with the last half of this particular time, and perhaps, even the last few months. They refer to the very end of time, immediately preceding the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. When anyone approaches the Bible humbly, in the fear of God, believing that it is God's word, submitting himself to its authority, then that person can compare scripture with scripture, and get to the truth without interpreting anything. The only presupposition we need to make is to suppose that God knows what He is doing, and He has given us what He intended us to have, the way He intended us to have it.


Reference Scriptures:

Revelation 16:1 - And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.



These are the final vials of wrath which are "poured out" at the end of the Tribulation, and they sum up the wrath of God against man for rejecting His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This truth may be distasteful to the liberal ear, or to a nation raised on Life, Look, Time, etc., nevertheless, God has a controversy with men and "His wrath abides" on the unbeliever (John 3:36). God is not going to remain silent forever about the course of this age which has rejected His Son. Out come the "vials of the wrath of God" upon the earth; they are dumped out in this present planetary system, on this particular planet on which we live.

Revelation 16:2 - And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.



The picture here is of a perfume bottle, a small bottle with a round bottom and a thin neck, with something inside it being dumped upside down, and being poured out. These events have to begin in the second half of Daniel's Seventieth Week because there is no "beast" or any "image" until 42 months before the end of the Tribulation.


Revelation 13:5 - "And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months."


The Antichrist takes over "forty-two months."


Revelation 11:2,3 - "But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth."


The Antichrist is opposed by the "two witnesses" for "forty and two months."


Revelation 12:6 - "And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days."


Notice, the Antichrist persecutes Israel "a thousand two hundred and threescore days" (42 months).


"Noisome" is an Old English word meaning "malignant,'' "grievous." It means "very deep," "painful," or "hard." So the black spot which men received is paid back by another kind of spot - "a noisome and grievous sore." This could be very similar to Kaposi's sarcoma, or KS, a type of cancer that men with AIDS may develop. Although KS mainly affects the skin, the mouth, and the lymph nodes, it can also involve the bowels and lungs. If it becomes severe, it may lead to swelling or breakdown of the skin. KS growths, called lesions or tumors, can show up in a wide range of colors, from pink to red-violet to brown to blue. I'd call this "a noisome and grievous sore!"


However, every indication in scripture is that the "sore" they received for taking the black spot is a white spot! The disease that matches this is leprosy (Leviticus 13), which is a plague; it is an Egyptian, North African plague. Leprosy is the plague that fell upon the children of Israel in Egypt, and they were promised that if they kept the law of the Lord and kept His commandments that He would bring upon them none of the "diseases of Egypt" (Exodus 15:26). This North African disease, leprosy, like the North African animal, the leopard, is the probable disease of the Tribulation.


Leviticus 13:2,4,19,24,28 - "When a man shall have in the skin of his flesh a rising, a scab, or BRIGHT SPOT, and it be in the skin of his flesh like the plague of leprosy; then he shall be brought unto Aaron the priest, or unto one of his sons the priests." "If the BRIGHT SPOT be WHITE in the skin of his flesh, and in sight be not deeper than the skin, etc." "And in the place of the boil there be a WHITE rising, or a bright SPOT, WHITE, and somewhat reddish, and it be shewed to the priest." "Or if there be any flesh, in the skin whereof there is a hot burning, and the quick flesh that burneth have a WHITE BRIGHT SPOT, somewhat reddish, or WHITE." "And if the BRIGHT SPOT stay in his place, and spread not in the skin, etc."


These references to the "spot" are talking about leprosy. Leviticus 13 is talking about a disease or plague that is characterized by a "bright white spot." We have already identified the "mark of the beast" as a "black spot" in the tribulation.


There is one man in particular, in the Bible, who is healed of leprosy. He has the "bright spot," and has to go under the water before he is cleansed, s-e-v-e-n times - one time for each year of the Tribulation (2 Kings 5:1-15)!


Moses has an Ethiopian wife. (Notice the judgment that falls on Aaron and Miriam is not just for criticizing his wife, but for criticizing the way in which God had spoken to Moses in spite of the fact that he had married an "Ethiopian woman.") When Miriam gets leprosy she is shut out of the camp s-e-v-e-n days (Numbers 12). In Leviticus 13:12,13, we are told that if a leper turns "white all over" that he is clean. Hence, we find Lot's Hamitic, North African wife (black) turning into a pillar of salt. Salt is white! Jesus Christ says, "Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:32). (The context is the Tribulation. The Book is so constructed that it foretells every detail of the future, even to the types of diseases people will have 2000 years after the Book is written, and the length of time in which they will have them, and the cure for them.)


This "grievous sore" is mentioned in a Tribulation epistle.


Jude 23 - "And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh."


There is only one disease that can "spot" our flesh and our clothes and our house - leprosy (Leviticus 13). If some skeptical person is reading this, who doesn't believe that a disease can get into a house, let him be reminded that they used to quarantine houses to keep diseases from spreading. In Leviticus 14:33-53 we are told that leprosy was in the walls. (Nowadays, ever hear of Cryptococcal meningitis? It is a brain infection caused by a fungus called cryptococcus neoformans, found mainly in dirt and bird droppings. Many people have been exposed to the cryptococcus fungus at some time during their lives, but the immune system usually stops the fungus from causing illness. When the immune system is weakened by HIV, the fungus can cause illness. The most common illness caused by the cryptococcus fungus is cryptococcal meningitis. Meningitis means swelling of the meninges. The meninges are membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Cryptococcal meningitis is a serious infection and is marked by fever, vomiting, headache, nausea, fatigue, loss of appetite, and a general feeling of not being well. Sometimes symptoms include a stiff neck and seizures.)


The "leprosy sore" gets on them; it gets in their clothes; it gets in their houses. (There is an indication that they can be saved. The indication is [a Campbellite will love this!], that they have to be baptized in water to be saved!) In the Tribulation when a man takes the "mark of the beast" or worships his image, a "sore" falls upon that man. But, there is an indication that if that man hearkens to the witness of the "two witnesses," Elijah and Moses, and is "baptized for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:38), that he is cleansed from that disease (see 2 Kings 5).


Now the facts behind this are: Moses - who will show up again (Revelation 11) - baptized, and we'll find his baptism in 1 Corinthians 10:1-4. Elijah, although he did not baptize, went down under water crossing the Jordan (2 Kings 2). When John the Baptist showed up, one of the first things the people asked him was, "Art thou Elias?" "Art thou that prophet?" (Like unto Moses, Acts 7:37). They recognized baptism - submersion in water - as being connected with Elijah and Moses. Baptism is preached by Simon Peter in Acts 2, to Israel, as part of the proof of their repentance and belief on the Messiah, and they are told that something will happen to them when they get baptized - they will "receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." (This passage has been the stumbling block of heretics for 2000 years in the church. Roman Catholics and Campbellites, foremost, never can get it through their heads that Acts 2:38 is an address to Israel by an Israelite with the Old Testament dispensation in effect to everybody's knowledge. When Peter preaches in Acts 2, all he has for a Bible is Genesis to Malachi. Acts 2 is an address to Israel by Peter the Apostle, and baptism is part of Israel's regeneration in the passage [see Exodus 14:16]. The Roman Catholics and the Campbellites step in and say that the way to get into the one "true church" is to be baptized in water. The Campbellite makes his church the "one true church" by putting a sign out in front saying "Church of Christ." The Roman Catholic makes his church the "one true church" by claiming apostolic succession to Simon Peter! Then, they claim that we have to be baptized in water to get the Holy Ghost to get into these churches. Of course, this is madness that goes even beyond the bounds of private interpretation.)


Acts 2 is addressed to the men of "Israel," "dwelling at Jerusalem and Judea," and "Jews" from the four corners of the earth, who meet as a nation responsible for the rejection of a "Jewish" Messiah. These events will take place again in the Tribulation because, when Peter quotes scripture in Acts 2, he is quoting Joel 2, and we will find that Joel 2 is dealing with the Tribulation and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. So this baptism of Acts 2 figures again during the Tribulation. It figures in the pouring out of the Spirit upon Israel, the 144,000, and it figures in the Tribulation message, which is the "everlasting gospel."


So, we will find people taking the "mark of the beast" and getting the "spot." Then they have a "sore" from God falling on them for taking the "mark of the beast." Then these people will be cleansed from this "sore" by being baptized. Of course, the case in the Old Testament is Naaman, who is baptized in the Jordan to be cured of leprosy. He is baptized s-e-v-e-n times, or one time for each year in the Tribulation, which indicates that water baptism in the Tribulation can cleanse a man from "filthiness of the flesh."


So Simon Peter is careful to tell every Christian in this dispensation:


1 Peter 3:21 - "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."


The passage indicates that the water baptism of Acts 2:38 and the Tribulation is different from water baptism in this present dispensation. In this present dispensation, water baptism is a "figure" of our salvation, the "answer of a good conscience toward God." In Acts 2, baptism is a means of receiving the Holy Ghost. In the Tribulation, baptism is perhaps a means of getting rid of "the filth of then flesh" - leprosy!


"And there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."


The picture, here, is Elijah and Moses baptizing in the Tribulation. People who have accepted the "mark of the beast" can only get rid of this "sore" one way - Jewish proselyte water baptism of Acts 2, "in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins." To repeat the truth again - "Almost every heresy in this age is a Tribulation truth!!!"

Revelation 16:3 - And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.



This catastrophe takes place under the preaching of Moses, because we are told that he had power to "turn water into blood" (Revelation 11:6).


"And it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea."


This is "self-conscious life" which dies in the sea. (The passage is interpreted by Revelation 8:9.) "Living soul" proves that animals have souls, but that the soul is merely a bodily shape. When an animal dies, his soul dies; the soul is stuck to the body. Animals are spoken of as having souls in Numbers 31:28.


Numbers 31:28 - "And levy a tribute unto the Lord of the men of war which went out to battle: one soul of five hundred, both of the persons, and of the beeves, and of the asses, and of the sheep."


Animals are counted as souls, a soul being the natural, bodily shape inside the physical body. The soul is shaped exactly as the body.


So "living soul" can refer to animals or men who "died in the sea." This has brought up numerous speculations as to whether or not civilizations will be built under the sea during the Tribulation. This would be as protection from the radiation bombardment and the plagues during the Tribulation. There has been speculation about the calamities of the Tribulation being so great in the atmosphere that men will have to build under the ocean in order to survive; therefore, the speculators say that the remark in Revelation 16:3 ("in the sea") is a reference to men. It may be true, but this is rather a wild shot. The word "soul" here is used like "every living creature." It is not used in the sense of an immortal soul of a living man.

Revelation 16:4 - And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.



We can imagine how terror-stricken the populace of the world must be at this time. A fellow goes out to his well, pumps up water, and it comes out blood. A man goes out fishing on a river, casts out his line, and the waters underneath him turn to blood. There is blood all over the sides of the boat, and if we don't wash the blood off, it stinks and corrupts and putrefies the boat. A man goes to the faucet, turns it on to get a drink of water, and he gets a stream of blood!

Revelation 16:5,6 - And I heard the angel of the waters say, Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.



Again we are impressed by the fact that these events take place after the first part of the Tribulation, for the "saints and prophets" begin to get slaughtered right in the middle of the Tribulation. "Have shed" is past tense.


"Thou hast given them blood to drink." The indication is that many of them will drink it; of course, this is nothing new. The woman in Revelation 17 drinks blood. Although blood is forbidden before the law (Genesis 9), forbidden under the law (Leviticus 17), and forbidden after the law (Acts 15), we have churches today which professes to drink blood every Sunday morning through their doctrine of transubstantiation. (Transubstantiation, in Christian theology, doctrine that during the sacrament of the Eucharist the bread and wine become the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ. The doctrine of transubstantiation was reconfirmed by the Council of Trent (1551) and restated by Pope Paul VI in 1965. Transubstantiation is a doctrine of the Roman Catholic church and the Orthodox church.) These churches not only sin against God by violating all three of the above verses against it, but they then brags about it and claims that if we don't drink this blood with them we are not a Christian!! (By the way, God says that if they like to drink blood, let them drink it, Revelation 17:1-7.)

Revelation 16:7,8 - And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.



This is not hard to understand because in the Millennium, when Christ comes back, the sun is going to be seven times brighter than it is now (Isaiah 30:26). If the sun were to become seven times brighter than it is now, with the atmosphere not conditioned for it, men on this earth would be roasting with sunburn. They would be suffering first and second degree burns from the sunlight. That's the case here; the atmosphere is all torn up and the rays are reaching men directly, scorching and burning them. (Recall this report bout the "ozone hole?" The "Ozone Hole," caused by the depletion of ozone in the ozone layer, is a very real occurrence. Scientists on an Antarctic expedition in 1970 first discovered the possibility that there was an ozone hole. In 1982, an extreme depletion of the amount of ozone was observed. It was not until 1985 that an American weather satellite confirmed the existence of the ozone hole. After that, not only the ozone holes in the Antarctic but also in the Arctic zone were confirmed by weather satellites.)

Revelation 16:9 - And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.



Instead of getting right, they "blasphemed the name of God." They were "scorched" - barbecued, burned. They "repented not to give Him glory" in spite of all these things that were going on. A man gets up in the morning, and all he had to drink is blood. He goes outside and he's scorched with first and second-degree burns from the sunlight. Yet in all this agony, instead of repenting, turning to God, and getting right, the man curses God and blasphemes His name.

Revelation 16:10 - And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,



(This is nearing the end of the Tribulation, getting over near the last year, or perhaps, even the last six months.) The same phenomena occur back in the Book of Exodus, where it is dark in all the dwellings except those of the children of Israel (Exodus 10:20-23). Again, this indicates the work of Moses, who will be returning with Elijah.


"The seat of the beast." This is the place where the beast sits (Revelation 2:13). It is located at Rome: "the papal chair," St. Peter's chair, ex-cathedra, literally - "out of the chair." This vial is poured out on Rome, the "seat of the beast" and Rome's kingdom.


They "gnawed their tongues for pain," as those who have extreme thirst, and it is not hard to figure out why they do. In Revelation 11, Elijah was prophesying; the text says he "shut up heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy" (which was 42 months). Immediately following that, we read: "and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will" (Revelation 11:6). So when we get to Revelation 16, we find all three taking place - the plagues (Revelation 16:2), the blood (Revelation 16:3), and no water throughout. Therefore in Revelation 16:10, it is no wonder that men are gnawing their tongues. A man has been in scorching hot sunlight for months and months, with the disease of leprosy on his body for months and months, and nothing to drink but blood for months and months. So he sits in the darkness with a swollen tongue turning black, and chews on it! Instead of getting right, they:


16:11 "And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds."


This proves conclusively that the heart is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked" (Jeremiah 17:9); this proves that "every man at his best state is altogether vanity" (Psalm 39:5); this proves that man is so depraved and so far from God that even when God whips him, chastens him, beats him, and almost kills him, that man does not repent. These scenes do not prove the total depravity of man and his inability to be saved as much as they show the strength of man's will, against God's will, determining not to be saved no matter what God does to him.

Revelation 16:12 - And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.



Notice the same thing happens in Revelation 9:13,14, when the sixth angel blows the sixth trumpet, as that which happened when the sixth angel pours out his vial in Revelation 16:12. (This is why our notes show that the vials and the trumpets are probably simultaneous, and that the trumpets probably do not begin until the middle of the Tribulation. It is certain that the vials do not begin until at least the middle of the Tribulation.) This brings us over to the last year, or six months, or maybe even to the last month of the Tribulation in Revelation 16:12.


There is a new element entering that is called "the kings of the east." They are from "east of the Euphrates." The indication is that a cavalry attack is coming against Palestine from the east, and that it crosses the Euphrates River dry-shod. The number of the cavalrymen is given as 200 million in Revelation 9:16. They are probably the souls of the unsaved dead coming out of hell, and these demoniac "centaur horsemen" come from the east! The nearest thing to them is Tamerlane, or Baibars (the Panther), or Ghengis Kahn. (This accounts for the legends in China and Tibet that someday the ground is going to open, and Ghengis Kahn and his hordes of Mongolians and Tartars are going to come out again to harass the world. All legends and fiction have an element of truth in them.) The truth of the passage is that the "kings of the east," at the head of 200 million cavalry troops, figure in the end-time. This is why we hear folks ask, "Doesn't the Bible say something about the future predominance of the yellow race?" It is a half-truth. The Bible speaks of the predominance of Israel, the Jew (and he is an Asiatic [see Genesis 11:7]), over the entire world at the Second Coming of Christ. But it also speaks here, of the "kings of the east" - Mongolian, Asiatic kings, as mustering the final attack on Jerusalem before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.


Notice further:

Revelation 16:14 - "For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty."


The United Nations probably figures in this. Once we thought that there was no way that all the nations could be gathered together quickly, and that all the world could be contacted at one time. Now we know that those thoughts are absolutely ridiculous! We can get troops from every civilized nation on the face of the earth mustered in less than 48 hours, due to modern transportation and communications. The "whole world" figures in the passage. Therefore, we can see how the Ecumenical Council and the United Nations will be the greatest instruments of Satan in the end-time. As these organizations - the Ecumenical Council and the United Nations - were set up primarily for bringing peace and prosperity to men, without belief in, or obedience to, the word of God, they will be Satan's most useful tools in the end time. Neither the Ecumenical Council or the United Nations has any intention whatsoever of believing one word in the Bible that contradicts their own organizational aims. Remember this! If they ever profess to believe the Bible, it will be for commercial reasons; if they adhere to the "fundamentals," or principles, or statements found in the Apostle's Creed, which match the Bible, it is purely for political expediency. It has nothing to do with loyalty to the Holy Spirit or the God who wrote the 66 books. It is purely arbitrary.


So the Ecumenical Council and the United Nations figure in this last final attack on the Jew, to wipe him off the face of the earth, and they use the "kings of the east." (These kings probably are 10 in number, as we will study later in Revelation 17:10-12.) These kings lead the troops into battle; the troops are 200 million in number; they come from China, Japan, Russia, India, and parts of what was formerly known as Persia.


Revelation 16:13 - And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.



The Holy Spirit is like a dove (Matthew 13); an unclean spirit is likened to a frog - it croaks, hangs out in wet, swampy places, and eats flies! Revelation 16:13 should settle, once and for all, forever the arguments about the nature and person of the Antichrist. In the passage we are told that Satan is a trinity; he is a "dragon," to imitate God the Father; he is a "beast," to imitate God the Son, the Lamb; he is a "false prophet," to imitate God the Holy Spirit, foreshadowed by John the Baptist, who was "filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb." Then, the Satanic trinity is represented by a dragon, a beast, and a false prophet. The Antichrist is Satan, the father, the "dragon"; he is Satan, the son, in the flesh, the "beast"; he is Satan, the unclean spirit, like a "frog." This Satanic trinity is typified in the Old Testament by three men, whose names, strangely enough, all begin with "B." (Notice: no book in the Bible begins with a "B"!)


Numbers 22:41 - "And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak (type of Antichrist) took Balaam (type of the false prophet), and brought him up into the high places of Baal (type of false god), that thence he might see the utmost part of the people."


Baal is a picture of the dragon; Balak is a picture of the beast; Balaam is a picture of the false prophet.


"And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet" (Revelation 16:13).


These are spirits sent forth to deceive (2 Thessalonians 2:9); they are amphibious, and must be connected with water, since the dragon is called a "sea monster" (Job 41), and he is typified by the whale which swallowed Jonah. (Revelation 16:13 is quite a picture, with a description like a man is belching a frog out of his mouth. We can't imagine anything much more unclean or revolting!)

Revelation 16:14 - For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.



"For they are the spirits of devils, working M-I-R-A-C-L-E-S." Unclean spirits can heal and speak in tongues and raise the dead. They can cause people to see "Mary," Lady Fatima, Bernadette (and God knows what) floating around with beads, rosaries, and candlesticks.


Revelation 13:3 - "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was h-e-a-l-e-d: and all the world wondered after the beast."


Revelation 13:14 - "And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those m-i-r-a-c-e-s which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live." This beast was healed, brothers and sisters, he was healed - by Satan's power!


Healing can be Satanic. A man said, "All sickness comes from the Devil." A man said, "All healing comes from God." Don't move too quickly!! When Paul "gloried in his infirmities," and carried Luke the physician with him, he carried Luke with him by the permissive will of God Almighty (2 Corinthians 12:1-8). (2 Timothy 4:11

Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.)


Although Jeroboam was healed, he was one of the most wicked men who ever lived, and he still did not get right after he was healed (1 Kings 13). If there is still any doubt in our minds, don't forget Judas (who was a devil) was also a healer (Matthew 10:1-6).


"That great day of God Almighty." This is not the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome; this is not some little military maneuver like World War I or World War II; this is not some little rear guard delaying action like the Korean War, Civil War, Hundred Years War, etc. This is the "battle of that great day of God Almighty." When this one cuts loose, we'll know that something has flat cut loose! If we had to face the fury of a German "88," we had problems; if we had to face the fury of a Japanese Banzai charge, we had Plenty on our minds; if we faced the fury of "gooks" and "Red Chinks" running up the ridges at night, infiltrating our trenches, blowing us up, blasting us, it would put us in a sweat; if we had to face Rommel coming at us across the desert with his Panzer units, we would have something to pray about. But wait until we face the unsheated wrath of an outraged, Divine, Sovereign, Almighty God (who knew where every hair on every head of every soldier that ever died was, and who made all the materials from which every bullet was manufactured!). Wait until we meet Him! He's called a "man of war" (Exodus 15:3); He's called a "captain" (Hebrews 2:10).

Revelation 16:15 - Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.



Now this verse is inserted into the events taking place as an intermission. (We will notice that Revelation 16:16 is a continuation of Revelation 16:14.) Revelation 16:15 is the post-Tribulation Rapture which takes place before the Battle of Armageddon. (We discussed this in Revelation 14.) While the troops are being gathered together and brought to Armageddon to be crushed under the feet of Jesus Christ, we find, "Behold, I come as a thief."


Matthew 24:43,50 - "But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief could come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up." "The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of."


The context is the Second Coming of Christ, in a time when faith is connected with works, and after the Tribulation.


Matthew 24:29,30 - "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."


Notice, the post-Tribulation Rapture immediately follows the verse.


Matthew 24:31 - "And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."


So we definitely have a post-Tribulation Rapture, immediately preceding the Second Advent itself. Nothing could be any plainer or clearer in the order of events the way the word has laid them out.


"Keepeth his garments." Fine linen is said to be "the righteousness of the saints." It is here connected with the appearance of a group of people whose works have figured in their salvation. (See Revelation 6:11; 7:14; 12:11; 14:12.) (This Rapture is mentioned in the Old Testament in Psalm 50:3-5 and Isaiah 26:12-21.)

Revelation 16:16 - And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.




Armageddon means literally "the hill of the crowded." We speak of the Valley of Armageddon, but that is not an exact case. The Valley of Megiddo is mentioned, which is the "valley of the crowded." But Armageddon, in Hebrew, is literally "the hill of the crowded." This means that 200 million troops will be crowded into this particular space, or passage. The area can be located on a New Testament Bible map.


Zechariah 12:11 - "In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon."


The reference is to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ in the passage, and the place is the "valley of Megiddon." The location is spoken of as the "valley" here, and the "hill" in the other passage.


Joel 3:11-16 - "Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the heathen be Wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel."


There's no doubt about the passage at all; there's no doubt about the interpretation; there's no doubt about the placement. There's nothing "obscure," symbolic, apocalyptic, or "figurative" with anything in the passage. The Bible is a textbook on history, and future history, and nobody will be ready for the Second Coming of Christ who doesn't believe that the Bible is an actual historical record of the past, the present, and the future.


In the passage that we have just studied, we learned that Jesus Christ is going to come back to this earth in wrath and vengeance upon His enemies. His enemies are going to be constituted by a United Nations assembly, a World Council of people gathered together against Israel, headed up by 10 kings of the east with 200 million cavalrymen behind them. They are going to gather in Palestine and the troops will be coming down the northwest valley toward Jerusalem. They will be stomped upon by the Lord Jesus Christ until their blood runs nearly three feet deep for 160 miles down the Kishon to the Jordan River. The horses' bridles and the men's feet on the horses are dipped in the blood. That's more prophetic detail than we have in the entire Bible on the first coming of Christ. And this passage only deals with the Battle of Armageddon!

Revelation 16:17,18 - And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.



That must be some earthquake! That will be greater than the one in San Francisco (1906 and 1989); it will be greater than the ones in Alaska (1917 and 1964); it will be worse than the two in Turkey (1999!) It will make all other earthquakes look like nothing. This terrible shaking is also described in Isaiah 24:1-23.

Revelation 16:19 - And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.



The reason that the Book of Revelation contains four simultaneous accounts of the Tribulation, from different aspects, now becomes apparent by the following presentation of a perfect case. We were just told that Babylon is going to be destroyed. (This takes place in Revelation 18:2.) Yet we were told that Babylon fell in Revelation 14:8. Now we are told that it is falling in Revelation 16:19! This is perfect proof that these are three simultaneous accounts, and are not one chronologically following another. In the destruction of Babylon under the Antichrist, Revelation 12-14, Babylon falls in Revelation 14:8. In the account given of the destruction under the vials, wrath being poured out, the destruction is mentioned in Revelation 16:19. Then the details of this event are found in Revelation 17 and 18.


Notice that so far, in the account of the vials, the Second Coming of Christ has not yet occurred. The Bible has mentioned the gathering together of the troops (Revelation 16:13-16), the post-Tribulation Rapture (Revelation 16:15), the destruction of Babylon (Revelation 16:19), and then the Second Advent takes place in Revelation 19:11. So Revelation 17 and 18 is a description of Revelation 16:19.

Revelation 16:20,21 - And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.



This plague of hailstones comes down with stones weighing about eight pounds apiece. A veritable rain of bowling balls! If some skeptic is reading this, let him investigate the accounts of hailstones falling at L'aigle, France, in Normandy on April 26, 1803, where some weighed 10 pounds. Let him read the reports on the Bikini Atoll bomb test, where a great deal of damage that was caused to the armor-plated vessels (that were bombed as an experiment) was done by falling hailstones. The atom bomb changed the atmosphere and formed hailstones weighing between 10 and 20 pounds that dented the armor plate on the decks of those ships!


This hail was found in the Old Testament in the battles of Joshua (Joshua 10:8-13), and thus indicates that perhaps the Book of Joshua is a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. (The word "Joshua" means "Jesus.") "And men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great." Compare Psalm 18:13, Leviticus 24:16, Revelation 11:19, 2 Peter 3:9.) Aren't we glad that He was "longsuffering" toward us?


So throughout the Tribulation, men don't get any better, they get worse. The blood of God (Acts 20:28) manifested by the bleeding Lamb, hanging on Calvary's cross, did not change hearts. The Holy Spirit, the Blessed Comforter, who is purer than the fairest woman that ever walked across the face of this earth, has been wooing the hearts of men and women for 2000 years, and He yet is unable to do the work. Every gentle, refined influence of Bible Christianity, every gentle reminder of a Christian mother, a Christian home and even church bells on Sunday morning, flowers at funerals and weddings, with the preacher presiding with a Bible in his hand have failed. All these gentle and refined Western Christian influences for 2000 years have failed to change the hearts of unbelieving men, or renovate human nature.


And now in the end time, as God pours out hell upon the inhabitants of a Christ-rejecting, Bible-despising, religious world, man still does not repent. He does not get right. With hailstones weighing eight pounds apiece destroying his gardens, crops, houses, automobiles, etc., man will not repent. With the sun scorching the skin off his back, with his tongue swelling with pain from thirst, with nothing to drink but blood, with half-drugged populations reeling across the earth (Revelation 9:21), and rabid animals (remember the movie Hitchcock's "The Birds?!" Revelation 6:8) killing children, man will use the tongue God gave him to blast Jesus' name, and goes right on worshipping sex, education, money, and "science."







Please make a list of questions for group discussion.




Is there something our home group can pray with you about?