Revelation 16: Seven Angels "Pour Out" God's Judgments

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 174


Revelation 15 tells how John saw seven angels come out of the temple in the presence of God. Each was given a vial, or container, “full of the wrath of God” (Revelation 15:7). Revelation 16 describes each of the angels pouring out his vial upon the earth, bringing the judgments, or punishments of God upon the wicked.Some of what is found in Revelation 16 is like what we read in Revelation 8–9. Remember that in Revelation 12 John’s vision went back in time and showed him things leading up to what he saw in Revelation 8–11. Consequently, Revelation 16 might repeat some of the things he saw earlier, but this time they are shown for different purposes. For example, in Revelation 16 John saw the role the beast, Satan, played in these latter-day judgments.In Revelation 9 are several verses about the warfare after the sixth angel sounded his trump. In Revelation 16, after the sixth angel poured out his vial, John saw that the beast gathered people to Armageddon (see vv. 14–16), which is the place of a last great battle before the Second Coming of Christ. The next thing that happened in Revelation 16 was the seventh angel, like the seventh angel in Revelation 11, announcing that “it is done” (Revelation 16:17), or that the time of the Second Coming had come. This was a most terrible time for those who refused to repent through the previous judgments, but a glorious time for the righteous.In Revelation 16 John saw that the final event as the Savior came was the destruction of Babylon, which represents the kingdoms of the devil. The destruction of the kingdoms of the devil was the great victory of good in the battle against evil that has been a theme since Revelation 12. The destruction is described in Revelation 17–18.