The Seventh Bowl (Revelation 16:15-21)
12. a. Jesus speaks in Revelation 16:15.
Jesus said, “the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Luke 12:40 (NLT)
But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. 2 Peter 3:10 (NLT)
b. The Seventh Bowl Judgment (NLT)
- Thunder crashed and rolled.
- Lightning flashed.
- The worst earthquake the earth had ever experienced took place.
- The city of Babylon split into three sections.
- The cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble.
- Every island disappeared
- All the mountains were leveled.
- A terrible hailstorm with hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. (NLT)
The Great City called Babylon, often represented Rome. Some think it also represents nations and empires throughout history.
c. Example of severe destruction
(This didn’t turn out to be the best example. I was curious about what happened to Ancient Babylon. It wasn’t what I expected from Isaiah’s prophecy.)
Isaiah began to prophesy in 740 BC. He prophesied the total destruction of Babylon.
Babylon, the most glorious of kingdoms,
the flower of Chaldean pride,
will be devastated like Sodom and Gomorrah
when God destroyed them.
Babylon will never be inhabited again.
It will remain empty for generation after generation.
Nomads will refuse to camp there,
and shepherds will not bed down their sheep. Isaiah 13:19-20 (NLT)
Babylon’s destruction occurred in stages. 200 years after Isaiah wrote the prophecy, the Medes captured the city without a battle and did not plunder the city. But they did kill a great number of people.
After several other invasions and rebellions, the city began to decline in importance. (At its height, the population was about 200,000.)
“About 250 years later the Roman writer Strabo wrote, “Seleucia at the present time has become larger than Babylon, whereas the greater part of Babylon is so deserted that one would not hesitate to say…‘The Great City is a desert’” (Geography, 16.1.5, Loeb Classical Library). Before long Babylon was completely empty.” Beyond Today
It’s interesting, to me, that the destruction prophesied about Babylon was compared to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The destruction in the latter example was sudden. The rubble of Ancient Babylon still exists. The general location of Sodom and Gomorrah may have been discovered. Archaeologists found evidence of melted stone.
d. Seventh Bowl brings record-breaking destruction
Josephus wrote something similar to Rev 16:18 about the destruction of Jerusalem, “no other city ever suffered such miseries; nor was there ever a generation more fruitful in wickedness from the beginning of the world.”
“From the beginning of the world.” He didn’t say until the end of the world. It’s possible worse destruction has occurred since and will occur in the future.
He witnessed the event, so I can understand why he felt that way. If I saw the quantity of blood flowing from the slaughtered was putting out fires, yeah, I would say that. That’s a lot of blood.
Just saying. I don’t know if the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem was the seventh bowl. I’m trying not to read anything into my study. If I assume everything in the book of Revelation will occur in the future, then I make other assumptions that may not be correct.
13. a. Be ready all the time
In Matt 24:34, Jesus said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, this generation [the people living when these signs and events begin] will not pass away until all these things take place.” (AMP)
Jesus said the event He is speaking about would occur within forty years. (That’s how long the Israelites were in the wilderness waiting for the previous generation to die.)
Mark records the same warning for that generation. He said they should flee from the city of Jerusalem when the time comes. Not even the angels knew the day. The warning in Revelation would be familiar to the church who received the vision.
Likewise, we should also discern the direction of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
2 Peter 3:10 Similar to Matthew and Mark
b. Dressed in a robe of righteousness
Isaiah 61:10 (NLT)
Clothing of salvation, a robe of righteousness
Like a bridegroom dressed for his wedding or a bride with her jewels
Romans 13:11-14 (NLT)
—We should exchange our dark deeds and dirty clothes and put on the shining armor of right living
—Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see.
—Instead of participating in the darkness…clothe ourselves with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
—Don’t let ourselves think about ways to indulge our evil desires.
Galatians 3:26-27 (NLT)
“All who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes.”
14. Why is there suffering in the world?
Unbelievers often ask questions like, “If there is a God, why would he allow floods, hurricanes, abuse, cancer, etc.?”
God did not create evil and suffering. Now, it’s true that he did create the potential for evil to enter the world, because that was the only way to create the potential for genuine goodness and love. But it was human beings, in our free will, who brought that potential evil into reality…
Some people ask, “Couldn’t God have foreseen all of this?” And no doubt he did. But look at it this way: many of you are parents. Even before you had children, couldn’t you foresee that there was the very real possibility they may suffer disappointment or pain or heartache in life, or that they might even hurt you and walk away from you? Of course — but you still had kids. Why? Because you knew there was also the potential for tremendous joy and deep love and great meaning.
Now, the analogy is far from perfect, but think about God. He undoubtedly knew we’d rebel against Him, but He also knew many people would choose to follow Him and have a relationship with Him and spend eternity in heaven with Him — and it was all worth it for that, even though it would cost His own Son great pain and suffering to achieve their redemption.
So, first, it helps me to remember, as I ponder the mystery of pain and evil, that God did not create them. The second point of light is this:Though suffering isn’t good, God can use it to accomplish good.
He does this by fulfilling His promise in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Notice that the verse doesn’t say God causes evil and suffering, just that he promises to cause good to emerge. And notice that the verse doesn’t say we all will see immediately or even in this life how God has caused good to emerge from a bad circumstance. Remember, we only see things dimly in this world. And notice that God doesn’t make this promise to everyone. He makes the solemn pledge that he will take the bad circumstances that befall us and cause good to emerge if we’re committed to following Him. (excerpt from Why Does God Allow Tragedy and Suffering?)
When I have time, I must reread this article and others that answer this question. It’s the number one thing unbelievers (and believers, for that matter) ask. I need to have a good answer.