†††††††††† Rev 16:6†††††††††††††††††† True and Righteous Are Thy Judgments††††††††††††††††††† 4/23/2006††††† Ŗŗ†††

  • The First Four Messengers (Rev 16:1-9)

 

 

 

 

#1.†††††† The First Four Vials Individually (Luke 17:26-30, Rev 16:2, 12:12, 13:16,8, Rom 1:26-27)

 

 

 

 

  • Every Living Soul Died in the Sea (Rev 16:3, Isa 57:20-21)

 

 

 

 

        The Angel of the Waters (Rev 16:4-7, John 4:13-14, Psalm 36:7-9, Zech 13:1, 12:10, Rev 18:24)

 

 

 

 

  • And They Repented Not (Rev 16:8-9, Mal 4:1-3, Ps 121:5-7, John 3:36)

 

 

 

 

#2.†††††† The First Four Vials Combined (Rev 20:9)

 

 

 

 

#3.†††††† True and Righteous Are Thy Judgments (Rev 16:7, Isa 26:20-21)

 

 

 

Please open your Bibles to the Revelation of Jesus Christ, Rev 16:1 (2X). We have seen that Rev 15 was a mighty prelude to the events that are pictured in Rev 16. Yes, they are only pictured, since Rev 16 is again a chapter filled with symbolism. In fact, Rev 15, 16 and 17 belong together, for they are one vision. Chapter 17 begins with the words, ďAnd there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many watersĒ. And thus chapter 17 is part of the same vision that started in Rev 15. Here in Rev 16 we find that the time has come for the destruction of all that is unrighteous upon the earth. However, God does not destroy this earth all at once, but He delights to destroy the kingdom of Satan piece by piece. We already saw that at the sounding of the seven trumpets, but we will see it more clearly at the pouring of the seven vials of the wrath of God here in Rev 16. The saints in heaven are rejoicing that the time for Godís judgment has come. That is why I chose for the title of this sermon, ďTrue and Righteous Are Thy JudgmentsĒ (2X), a saying of the angel of the waters.

  • The First Four Messengers (Rev 16:1-9)

Two weeks ago we have seen that the seven angels who shall pour out the vials of the wrath of God are not angels, but they are fellow saints who were chosen to perform this task of judging the unsaved world before it is destroyed. There we found mention of the song of Moses and of the Lamb, which was not two but one song, since Moses and Christ are in total agreement about this song, where God is honored as a sovereign and omnipotent God, and who is the Protector and Defender of His elect children. There we found that this song will be sung at the occasion of the eve of the pouring out of the seven vials of wrath. Seven messengers stand in battle array, ready to receive the command out of the temple to pour out the last plagues of God upon the earth. They are brilliantly arrayed like priests with golden girdles, and there is a reflection of the holiness of God in their appearance. Moreover, they have come forth out of the temple of God in heaven, and they are ready to reveal the wrath of God over the ungodly and the oppressors of Godís people. In their hands they hold seven bowls filled with the wrath of God, and when they have poured these bowls Godís wrath shall have been spent, and all is finished. In these is finished the wrath of God, not for all eternity, but finished as far as this earth is concerned, and the way is open for the descent of the city of our God upon the NH&NE.

They that sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb are the multitude who stand on the sea of glass before the throne of God, and that sea of glass is symbolic of the glory and holiness of God, now also reflecting the wrath of the Almighty. They are the saints of all ages who have fought the battle against Satan and his Antichrist, and have prevailed by the grace of God and by the mercy provided through the cross of Christ. By this we have another indication that in eternity there shall not be two forces and two kinds of people of God, but only one multitude singing one and the same song, the song of Moses and of the Lamb. Moses is a type of Christ. Moses led his people out of bondage, and so did Christ. Moses and his people were pursued by the enemy, and so are Christ and His people pursued by the enemy of God. Moses led his people through the Red Sea that gave salvation to his people and the wrath of God on his enemies at the same time, and so did Christ cause His people to be delivered through the sea of the wrath of God and that same sea of wrath shall engulf the enemy completely. Moses taught his people to sing a song of deliverance and glory and triumph, and so does Christ teach His people to sing a song of victory to the glory of God, for God has done it all by His grace. It is a song all of God, a song praising the glory, and the holiness, and the truth, and the righteousness, and the justice of God as having become manifest in all His works and in all His ways. And now the command goes forth to the seven messengers, the seven privileged saints, who came out of the temple to pour out the bowls into the earth. Even though these messengers have already received their vials of wrath, they must still wait for the command from God, for everything must proceed orderly, and only at the exact timing may Godís judgment begin. And so, let us read the first nine verses of Rev 16,

Re 16:1-2And 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.††††††††† 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.

Re 16:3And 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.

Re 16:4-7And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.†††††††† 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.††††† And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Re 16:8-9And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.†††††† 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.

What do we see in this passage? It seems that these first four vials of wrath are affecting the things of the material universe only. But is that really so? It is clear that Rev 15 must be understood entirely in a symbolic way, for in heaven the saints are not always standing on a sea of glass before the throne of God, and they are not always singing the song of Moses and of the Lamb, since we have already seen many scenes where the saints are doing something else. It is clear that Rev 17 must be understood entirely in a symbolic way, for God does not focus His wrath on just one woman, but on the entire evil human race that is still unsaved and going to Hell. And in Rev 16 itself the 5th vial and the 6th vial and the 7th vial do not make much sense unless they are understood entirely in a symbolic way. So now we come to the first four vials, which seem to affect only the physical universe. This cannot be right, for Godís wrath in these four vials is directed towards people, rather than things. Now this is how we must

consider the meaning of these four vials of the wrath of God. Let us look at these events symbolically.

#1.†††††† The First Four Vials Individually (Luke 17:26-30, Rev 16:2, 12:12, 13:16,8, Rom 1:26-27)

It would be a mistake to think of these vials of wrath as consecutive events. Like the seals and the trumpets before them the vials do not present a series of consecutive events, but they are describing one event in six different ways. I say six, because the seventh vial is Judgment Day itself. Constantly we need to keep in mind that there is only one FTP, and there is only one final battle, and there is only one rapture, and there is only one day that both the righteous and the wicked shall be resurrected and receive their final immortal bodies, which is to last for eternity in heaven, or in Hell. Moreover, there is only one goal of Satan, and that is to keep as many souls as possible for his infernal kingdom. Satanís only one desire is to be worshipped by the depraved souls of men. But God will give these depraved souls also a vile body to intensify their sufferings in Hell. Some people imagine earthly battles whereby the heathen in the world will go to war against the false church, since they consider them the Christian empire, and they will annihilate one another. But we must not go into detail and try to explain exactly how God shall work out His plan for those days. Suffice it to say that we must NOT think that these last of the last days will be a time of great calamity and suffering in the flames of a nuclear war on earth, for the Lord Jesus said in Luke 17 that those days will be like the days of Noah just before the flood, and like the days of Lot, just before fire and brimstone rained upon them. It shall be business as usual, without great earthshaking upheavals, for the intense battle that is raging is a battle for the souls.

R 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 first vial of wrath is poured out upon the earth, but actually it is poured out upon the inhabitants of the earth. We see this also in Rev 12:12, which pronounces woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea. Godís wrath is upon people, not upon inanimate objects. Who has the mark of the beast? Anyone at all who is a slave of Satan has the mark of the beast, as God declares in Rev 13:16. And who worships the image of the beast? All that dwell upon the earth whose names are not written in the Lambís Book of Life do worship the image of the beast, according to Rev 13:8. The effect of the first vial is such that man does not die, but that he is stricken with a sore. The Greek text says specifically that the grievous sore that fell upon the men, which had the mark of the beast, was a single sore, not many sores. In this sense the beggar Lazarus was struck far worse, for Lazarus was struck with many sores, which is the same Greek word for ďsoreĒ as Rev 16:2 has. And so we see that a single sore cannot be the condition wherein the wrath of God is finished, or complete. Clearly the focus is not upon some physical infection, but upon a spiritual sickness that is a continual source of pain in the lives of the unsaved. The idea of the first vial is that part of the judgment of God that He lets rebellious sinners reap the bitter fruits of their lustful sins as He gives them up, or He gives them over. God says in:

Ro 1:26-27For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the

natural use into that which is against nature: †† And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

In our days we can already see this grievous sore develop in men who are ďreceiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meetĒ. The terrible plague of AIDS is a deadly plague for which there is no cure, and it falls mainly on the homosexual community. The fact that AIDS is running rampant in Africa is only indicating that fornication is at an all time high on that continent. Most of those that are struck with AIDS do not seek repentance and do not seek to be saved. Most of them consider themselves to be a victim of someone elseís crime. God is saying here in Rev 16:2, and in Rom 1:27, that because of their persistent wickedness, the unsaved of the world will have a grievous sore for which there is no healing possible, and they have a spiritual sore that is dragging them into Hell from which no escape is possible. Let us now see the effect of the second vial of wrath:

  • Every Living Soul Died in the Sea (Rev 16:3, Isa 57:20-21)

Re 16:3And 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 verse speaks about people in the sea, not the ones in boats on the sea. How many people are living in the sea? At any point in time there are only a few people who are swimming in the sea, or are scuba diving, or are deep sea diving. How then can this vial represent death and destruction in the kingdom of Satan? We must realize that almost throughout the entire prophecy of the Revelation of Jesus Christ God uses earthly words and earthly events to teach us spiritual truths. We must consider that God is speaking in symbolic terms, and thus we glean our information again from Isa 57:20-21, where God says, ďBut the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.Ē This judgment is very similar to one of the ten plagues that came upon Egypt. If we remember that Pharaoh and his entire army drowned in the Red Sea, we can see that those ten plagues in Egypt were also a picture of the end of the world, since for the children of Israel their entire world was Egypt. In hindsight we might say that the first nine plagues typified Godís anger in the FTP, and the killing of the firstborn typified Judgment Day itself. God does not teach us that all the seas and oceans will turn into blood during the FTP. It is true that during the first plague in Egypt all the waters in Egypt literally became blood and brought forth death. But there God was setting up types and figures of the wrath of God that was to come. But here in Rev 16:3 God is picturing the hopeless state at the end time of all those who are not among Godís elect. In their wickedness they have hardened their hearts, and according to Rom 1 God will give them over to their shameful lusts, and to their vile affections, and to their reprobate minds. And while their sin reaches full measure, every living soul among them dies, and together they shall die the second death in Hell. And thus the focus of this second vial is that unsaved man is spiritually dead and unclean, just like shed blood in the OT was characterized as dead and unclean, and just like the blood of Christ indicated that He was under the curse and under the wrath of God. Let us now look at the third vial.

        The Angel of the Waters (Rev 16:4-7, John 4:13-14, Psalm 36:7-9, Zech 13:1, 12:10, Rev 18:24)

Re 16:4-7And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.†††††††† 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.†††††† And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

The third vial of wrath is poured out upon the rivers and fountains of waters. If the sea represents the sea of unsaved mankind, the troubled sea of the wicked, then what do the rivers and fountains of waters represent? We have always learned that these waters represent the water of the Gospel. Like water flows out of a well or out of a fountain, so do the words of the Gospel flow out of the mouths of evangelists. Please turn to Psalm 36:7 (2X). The Lord Jesus said to the Samaritan woman in John 4:13

Joh 4:13Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

Joh 4:14But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

In other words, whosoever drinks from the water of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and takes it all in, and is spiritually satisfied with the Good News of salvation for all that believe, that person shall himself be a source of this spiritual water for other people whose spiritual thirst need to be satisfied. What a wonderful privilege that each one of us becomes a well of living water, quenching the thirst of many who are about to die, for they have been wandering in a dry and thirsty land. Then we read in Psalm 36

Ps 36:7-8How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.††††† They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.

Ps 36:9For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

God gives us the picture of people who become saved, showing as the evidence of their salvation that they have put their trust under the shadow of the wings of God as the great Eagle, who is their Protector and their Defender. They shall drink of the river of living water that is flowing out of the Word of God. We also read in Zech 13:1,

Zec 13:1In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

The day that God refers to is the day that Christ hung on the cross, as is evident from Zech 12:10 where we read, ďThey shall look upon Me whom they have piercedĒ. These waters of the Word of God that are such a delight to the saints are being turned into blood by the messenger of the third vial. What does this mean? Blood has to do with death and judgment. The fact that Christ shed His blood to save us, means that He endured eternal damnation for us, in our place. But if the majority of the church is no longer bringing the true Gospel as we find it in the Bible, then the imitation gospel that is being fed to happy converts is not a gospel that brings them salvation. Instead it brings them death and judgment. And thus we observe today that this world is being bombarded with a wide variety of false gospels that are O-so-close to the true Gospel, but in fact they bring death and judgment. In addition there are all kinds of other religions and beliefs that are peddled today that lead only to death and Hell. All this does not mean that no one will be saved any more. Even though the institutional church has become faithless, God remains faithful. He will preserve for Himself a people that do not bow the knee to Baal, and that still bring the true salvation message to the last of His elect. The world at large, however, is kept from hearing the true Gospel. First of all, God has shut their ears so that they cannot understand the Gospel even if the truth is preached to them. Secondly, what they hear is a confusing mixture of truth and lies, because God has allowed false prophets to pollute the message of the Gospel. And since they are unsaved only the Law of God reaches their ears, and thus they are condemned for not obeying the Law. Then we hear the messenger who poured the third vial upon the waters say, ďThou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thusĒ emphasizing the perfection of Godís holiness and justice in all that He does. And then ďwhich art, and wast, and shalt beĒ means that God is from everlasting past and that He also is from everlasting future. Our God is from everlasting to everlasting. And then we hear the messenger of the third vial say, ďFor they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthyĒ. When God begins to judge the unsaved of the world, He puts special emphasis on one particular sin that they have committed: They have shed the blood of saints and prophets. They have killed His people. And God repeats this accusation in Rev 18:24 where we read, ďAnd in her was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.Ē This is an important attribute of God that He is our Defender and our Avenger. God tells us that we should not avenge ourselves. We should leave that up to God, for it is His task to avenge us. We must not take that out of Godís hand.

When the fifth seal in Rev 6 was opened we saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the Word of God. They were asking God to avenge their blood. Now from the altar comes a statement of satisfaction, that Godís judgments upon the unsaved are true and righteous. Once we are in heaven we also will be able to say with the souls under the altar: ďYes Lord, true and righteous are Thy judgmentsĒ. Let us now continue to the pouring of the fourth vial of wrath. Please turn in your Bibles to the prophecy of Malachi, Mal 4:1 (2X).

  • And They Repented Not (Rev 16:8-9, Mal 4:1-3, Ps 121:5-7, John 3:36)

Re 16:8-9 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.††† 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.

The sun is spoken of in many passages in the OT. The clearest passage is in Mal 4:1-3, which says

Mal 4:1 ∂For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

Mal 4:2But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

Mal 4:3And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.

In this context the Lord Jesus Christ is pictured as the sun. He is called The Sun of Righteousness. And while He brings healing to those who fear Him, He will also bring destruction to the whole universe when He returns. So the pouring out of this fourth bowl upon the sun is a figure of speech indicating that the time has come for God to begin judging the unsaved. By the grace of God none of His elect children will be hurt by this scorching. God assures us this in Psalm 121:5-7, where we read,

Ps 121:5The LORD is thy keeper: the LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.

Ps 121:6The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.

Ps 121:7The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.

The fourth vial reveals that as God brings the message of judgment the unsaved have a hateful reaction. The fire is the fire of Hell. When sin multiplies terrible things begin to come to pass. We only have to read Romans chapter 1 to find the low points of manís depravity. Does mankind finally blame themselves for the problems in the world? No! They blame God, or they blame Mother Nature. This is how they blaspheme the name of God. They refuse to give God the glory. Instead of repenting they go deeper and deeper into sin. And this takes the world into the FTP, where the wrath of God abides on the unsaved more than ever, but where the wrath of God is spoken of less and less, until God is moved entirely out of the lives of many. What people delight in is the Sunday paper, and the Sunday brunch, and the Sunday football on TV. But fewer and fewer people delight in hearing the Word of God on Sunday. We must keep in mind that we donít have to wait till Judgment Day itself to experience the wrath of God abiding on us. God says in John 3:36,

Joh 3:36He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Now that we have seen the first four vials individually, let us keep in mind that these events are occurring simultaneously. These are actually one event seen from four different vantage points. Therefore let us now consider:

#2.†††††† The First Four Vials Combined (Rev 20:9)

The earth and the sea, the rivers and the fountains of waters, and even the sun in its effect upon physical prosperity on the earth, belong to the kingdom which God originally created upon the earth, with man as its divinely appointed head. But now all that has become part of the kingdom of Satan. And even though man became the subject of the kingdom of Satan, yet man knows how to subject the powers of the world for his own use. Therefore also that world must be subjected to the plagues of God, for all that unrighteous man touches becomes defiled in the eyes of God. It is through all kinds of agencies in the natural realm that God reaches the physical and the spiritual health of man, and sends unto him sickness and disease. It is through manís tinkering with the Word of God that his spiritual sun does not shine, and that there is no spiritual fruit in his soul. This lack of Godís Word penetrating into manís soul sends leanness in spiritual matters, in turn leading to utter depravity in his walk of life. It is through pollution in the atmosphere and global warming that God sends scarcity and famine and natural disasters. It is through the arctic ozone hole in the ionosphere that God sends ultraviolet light upon the earth to cause more skin diseases and suffering. But also through manís tinkering with the laws of God, and nourishing many sinful habits, the laws of the land are changing to accommodate these modified views of the laws of God.

If we compare each trumpet with each vial, we will see great similarities. The first trumpet affects the earth, and so does the first vial. The second trumpet affects the sea, and so does the second vial. The third trumpet affects the rivers and fountains of waters, and so does the third vial. The fourth trumpet affects celestial objects, and so does the fourth vial. And then, of course, these various spheres of nature affect in turn the world of man, and thus they affect the kingdom of Antichrist. In these plagues we see that the kingdom of Antichrist is broken up piece by piece. No longer can the beast hold on to the illusion that he is providing for man a heaven on earth.

God chose His words very carefully so that the natural phenomena affected in the first four trumpets runs parallel to the natural phenomena in the first four vials. If we take these portions in the literal sense of the word each one of the four trumpets, or each one of the four vials, affects one sphere of nature. And in each one of these the wrath of God is finished, meaning that the wrath of God is finished in that sphere. It must be the last of its kind, for it cannot get worse.

One of the messages of the trumpets is that judgment must shortly come to pass. One of the messages of the vials is that the same threatened judgment has now come. In general, there is progress in the destruction of the kingdom of Antichrist. In connection with the seals we found that the fraction of one fourth is mentioned for the rate of death and destruction upon the earth. In the trumpets we found that the fraction of one third is mentioned for death and destruction upon the earth. But in the vials there is no mention of a fraction whatsoever. There can be no fraction here, for the wrath of God is finished in these vials. In other words, it could not be worse. The wrath of God in these vials is complete. Notice that the plagues from the pouring of the vials of wrath are different from the plagues seen in the blowing of the trumpets: The plagues of the vials do not affect the saints, whereas the plagues of the trumpets did also affect the saints. This means that especially in the 6th trumpet, with the 200 million horsemen, the one third fraction referred to the church being decimated by the spiritual assaults of the horsemen. It separated the invisible church of the elect from the show church. But the vials of wrath touch only the children of wrath, the worshippers of the beast. Compare this with the plagues in Egypt. In the plagues of Egypt the children of Israel were at first also affected, but in the latter plagues the children of Israel did not suffer with the Egyptians. Some people think that the elect have already been removed from this earth when the seven vials of wrath are poured out. But this cannot be, for with the sixth vial Antichrist is still actively pursuing to win souls of men. Moreover, Rev 20:9 indicates that the saints are still on this earth until the last moment that Satan is on this earth.

#3.†††††† True and Righteous Are Thy Judgments (Rev 16:7, Isa 26:20-21)

Re 16:7And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments.

Please turn in your Bibles to the Prophecy of Isaiah, Isa 26:20 (2X).We may think that it is so depressing to listen to these prophecies of death and destruction, like in Rev 16, but we need to keep in mind that everywhere in the Bible God is speaking, and that His ways are not our ways, and that His ways are always righteous, and that His ways are always just. Through the reading of His Word we gain a better understanding of Who God is, and Him we really want to know, for knowing Him is salvation. But God takes good care of His children. All through these horrible events God shows us what His grace has done for us. We should not be frightened, but we should rejoice in His grace towards us. Here in Isa 26 God speaks to us in these times of the FTP, and here we find exactly the words that actually belong to the message of the pouring out of the seven vials of wrath. In Rev 16 God is speaking only about His wrath on the wicked. But these words in Isa 26 are addressed at the same time to His elect who must endure these troubled times with all patience. Listen to God speaking to us:

Isa 26:20 ∂Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

Isa 26:21For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

AMEN. ††††††††††††††† Let us turn to the Lord in prayer.