Revelation 17:1-6 Unveiling the Great Prostitute

Chapter 17 begins a new section of Revelation, and for it John’s tour guide is one of the seven angels who poured the bowls of wrath on the earth. This indicates that this sixth cycle will culminate in the judgment of Christ’s enemies (v. 1). Before God brings an end to the idolatrous world system, He wants John and his readers to see it for what it is. John sees worldly culture personified as a detestable harlot, awash in iniquity and violence, who has not only turned from godly virtue but used her sinful pleasures to lead multitudes into idolatry. The opening verses of chapter 17 presents five notable features in describing the great prostitute: her location, her mount, her adornment, her cup of abominations, and her name, which unfolds the mystery of her role in history.

First, her location is given in verse 3. The wilderness has several meanings in Scripture. It depicts the barren results of sin. In Matthew’s Gospel, the wilderness is inhabited by demons (Matt. 12:43) and Jesus was led into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Matt. 4:1). Isaiah described the desert as the place from which invaders would come to destroy Babylon (Isa. 21:1-10). Later, Babylon will herself be turned into a wilderness (Rev. 18:2). Since Babylon is “the great city” where sin festers (17:18), the wilderness is also a place where John can view the harlot while being out of reach of her sinful allures. Persecution or social rejection will often cause Christians to be excluded from worldly society, but this very seclusion offers a refuge from the allure of sin.

Second, the brazen woman is mounted “on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns” (v. 3). There is no question that this beast is the persecuting tyrant of earlier visions, the antichrist government rulers of the earth. The seven heads correspond to the four beasts of Daniel 7, which stood for violent world kingdoms, and the ten horns identify Daniel’s fourth beast, the Roman Empire (Dan. 7:7). This composite beast thus symbolizes all “the great persecuting power which rules by brute force and is the supreme enemy of Christ and the church. The beast’s scarlet color identifies him with Satan, the red dragon, and reflects his bloody persecution of the saints. The blasphemous names reflect his idolatrous demand to be worshiped, the very danger facing John’s readers from the bestial Roman emperor.

Third, this picture is amplified with the harlot’s adorning (v. 4). The first thing we notice is the costliness of her garb: scarlet dye was expensive and purple was so costly that it was the symbol of aristocracy and royalty. She adds the gaudy shimmer of jewels and pearls to complete the impression of wealth and carnal beauty. The harlot’s luscious depravity contrasts with the true beauty of the church as the bride of Christ (Rev. 12:1; 21:11). The harlot dresses seductively, so as to lure the worldly kings to their destruction. In contrast, the outward beauty of a Christian woman is modest, seeking to edify rather than allure, and her most precious beauty is inward and spiritual (1 Pet. 3:4).

Fourth, we are shown the harlot’s cup (v. 4). The golden cup suggests riches and glory, while its contents impoverish the soul and disgrace those who drink of it. “Abominations” speaks of things especially offensive to God, such as false worship, occult practices, and sexual perversions such as homosexuality and gross indecency, while “impurities” refers to sinful corruptions in general. The point is not merely imbibing of impiety and sin but their intoxicating influence in promoting idolatry in the place of faith in the true God. Secular culture holds forth this very cup, in all the apparent glitter of gold, so as to seduce people by its contents, making them slaves of the consumer enterprise and willing servants of the idolatrous state.

Finally, John learns her name (v. 5). Harlots in Rome were said to wear headbands bearing their names. Here, the name is “Babylon the great.” This symbolizes the oppressive kingdoms of the world that disregard God and don’t recognize Jesus as King is here personified as a human female who sells herself and gives birth to abominations. It doesn’t stretch the imagination to think of young American girls who imbibe the values of secular society and early in life take on the appearance and values exemplified by this harlot. This symbolizes the spiritual harlotry of a culture that has turned from God.

The point of John’s vision of the harlot is for Christians to see the truth of the world for what it is. It works like a fairy tale in which magic of the beautiful seductress wears off to reveal a hideous and evil witch. “Do you see the world for what it is?” Revelation asks. The problem is not the world itself but the secular-humanistic world system in rebellion to God. Apart from God’s rule of grace and truth, the world falls to the deadly alliance of the prostitute’s moral corruption and the tyrant’s abuse of power.

The model for this decadent world system is the ancient Rome that dominated the world in John’s time. Rome provides an apt symbol for worldly idolatry especially in the two great threats she posed to the church, threats that organize Satan’s assaults in every age. The first of these is persecution. John’s readers could not forget the shocking torment of Christians in the reign of Nero, and they now face the deadly threat of the emperor Domitian if they continued to refuse to worship his idolatrous images. The second form of satanic attack on Christians is moral corruption. Rome was a cesspool of the worst debaucheries, especially sexual. These two strategies – persecution and corruption – continue to be used by Satan in his attempt to destroy the Christian church and witness.

When Christ’s people see the abominations of the great harlot world culture, what should be their response? The answer is obvious from the nature of this vision, but it is explicitly given in Revelation 18:4-5. Probably the best advice ever given on how to avoid the pollution of sin and the enticements of a harlot world is found in the very first chapter of the book of Psalms (Ps. 1:1-2). This says that Christians are shaped by the influence of their associations.

The message to which we open our ears and our hearts will end up determining the way of life that we will follow. On the one hand are those who live close to the world, receiving its ideas and following its fads, who then begin walking in that way and end up seated, or confirmed, in worldly corruption. On the other hand are those who live close to God’s Word, listening to the counsel of God and practicing a lifestyle that is pleasing to Him. These are the two ways that will yield two different lives.

The harlot Babylon allures with pleasure that leads to the embrace of death and despair. The Savior Jesus calls with life from God for those who believe. The only blood He bears is the blood He shed in our place, to free us from the penalty of our sin. The key to Christian living, then, is in part to see the ugly destruction of the harlot who rides the beast. An even greater key is to see Jesus, who is altogether lovely, and who imparts true beauty, life, and glory to those who take the cup of life from His hands.

Revelation 17:1-6 Study Questions:

Whose judgment does the angel invite John to observe next?

Why is the image of the “whore” used to describe Babylon and the system it represents?

This terrifying, multilayered denunciation of the out-worldly delightful and inwardly deceitful city ought to give pause for serious thought to all those of us who live within today’s glossy Western culture – and all others who look on and see our glitzy world from afar, where are we in this picture?

Babylon has worshiped idols: the quick-fix pseudo-divinities that promise the earth, take all you have to give and then leave you with nothing. What are the life-draining effects of serving false gods today?

What does it mean that the whore has become drunk with the blood of God’s people (v. 6)?

Revelation 16:17-21 The End Has Come

The final verses of Revelation 16 conclude the fifth major section of Revelation. As we draw closer to the end of the book, we also focus more clearly on the end of history and especially on God’s judgment of His enemies. Christians may have become weary of the unrelenting scenes of divine wrath, as God brings down His enemies one by one. But Christians may find through careful attention that the bad news of God’s wrath on His enemies is organically tied to God’s good news for believers.

Looking ahead to upcoming chapters, we find that God’s judgment on Babylon avenged and vindicated “the blood of prophets and of saints” (Rev. 18:24). The casting down of the harlot Babylon precedes the arrival of Christ’s glorious bride for the marriage feast of the Lamb (19:6-8). A blood-drenched Jesus who slays His enemies is also the Savior, mounted on a white horse, who is called “Faithful and True” (19:11). Moving back unto our passage, as the seventh bowl of wrath is poured out; the voice from heaven’s throne shouts words that thrill the hearts of biblical believers: “It is done!” (v. 17).

There is a profound redemptive-historical relationship between Christ’s cry from the cross and this loud call from heaven. Having accomplished redemption by His atoning death, Jesus uttered the Greek word tetelestai, meaning “it is accomplished.” Now, from heaven at the end of the gospel age, at the brink of His return, Jesus shouts gegonen, meaning “It has come to pass.” This perfectly fits the redemptive relationship between the two events: the salvation that Christ accomplished on the day of His crucifixion will come to pass only in the crowning victory of His day of return.

What results, then, will occur at the end of this age when Christ returns? Our passage presents four endings that arrive with the coming of Jesus and the final judgment: the end of the world, the end of worldly society, the end of sin, and the end of the gospel opportunity for salvation.

First, a clear emphasis of these verses is that Christ’s return spells the end of the world in its present form. When the seventh bowl was poured, “there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, pearls of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake” (v. 18). These violent phenomena intensify descriptions that we have previously seen about the end of the world. Revelation 6:12-14 spoke of “a great earthquake” and the sky vanishing “like a scroll that is being rolled up.” Now, with the seventh bowl of wrath thrown into the air, the physical world is assaulted by lightning, thunder, and an earthquake to end all earthquakes.

Verse 20 tells how sweeping the upheaval of this final earthquake is: “every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.” Objects that symbolize permanence – mountains and islands – are swept away in destruction. The best way to understand this is that the present physical order will be shaken and purged so as to be renewed and glorified in the new age after Christ’s return. Jesus Himself referred to the new world as the “regeneration or renewal” (Matt. 19:28). Paul spoke of the undoing of the world as its “redemption” (Rom. 8:23), when “creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption” (Rom. 8:21).

Even more pointed than the world’s end is the end of worldly society (v. 19). Scholars suggest that in John’s day, “the great city” would have referred to Rome. If that is so, Rome was identified as a symbol of the world system, together with Babylon, a city that had been deserted by then for centuries. It is not merely one city or one nation that falls under this judgment but “the cities of the nations,” that is, the entire corrupt world system in service to Satan and opposition to Christ. It’s not just Rome or some later great capital of evil that is decimated but all the worlds cultural, political, economic, and sociological centers.

This judgment reminds believers today not to be intimidated by the menacing power of the world or enticed by the seductive pull of its sinful pleasures. When Christians are tempted to desire worldly approval, we should remember this end that is in store for the city of the world. Paul urged Christians to realize, therefore, that “our citizenship is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20). Christian parents should thus be raising their children not for the world but for the kingdom of Christ. While believers live in the world, we must not be of the world so as to enter into its way of thinking and acting.

Together with the destruction of the worldly society, this passage also shows Christ’s return as bringing the end of sin. The reason that God remembered Babylon is that God keeps a close record of all sin. The Old Testament presents countless examples of God’s noting, recording, and remembering sin, as well as His obligation to punish it. Often God patiently provides a long opportunity for repentance and salvation through faith. Paul writes that “in his divine forbearance he passed over former sins” (Rom. 3:25), not fully punishing them immediately.

In the end, sin itself will be brought to an end. Paul wrote that after ascending to heaven, Christ “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet” (1 Cor. 15:25). In the cataclysmic end of the world, including the final judgment and its punishments, we see the end of sin in the creation made by God. No wonder the angels sing, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns” (Rev. 19:6). Knowing that sin will be defeated at the end of the age should decisively shape the lifestyles of those who look to Christ for salvation.

We have seen that the great cataclysm that accompanies the return of Christ brings the end of the world, the end of worldly society, and the end of sin. This being the case, it is evident that this same event heralds the end of the gospel opportunity by which sinners can be forgiven and cleansed through faith in Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 9:27-28 the writer states that Christ’s first coming, culminating with His atoning death for sin on the cross, establishes a present opportunity for salvation, through faith in Him. During this age, sinners who die without believing in Jesus face the immediate prospect of divine judgment. Then, when Christ returns at the end of the age, the opportunity of salvation is no longer offered. Instead, Jesus delivers those who have been waiting for Him even as He brings a destructive end to all those who have rebelled against Him.

John’s vision showed that even as the terrible judgment falls on the last day, Christ’s enemies “cursed God” for this severe plague (v. 21). This reaction to God’s just punishment confirms their enmity to God. As unrepentant enemies and sinners, they are smitten to the ground with “great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each,” which “fell from heaven” on them (v. 21). Great hailstone attacks from heaven are a biblical symbol of wrathful judgment on the enemies of God (see Josh. 10:11; Isa. 28:2). Hailstones of this colossal size would easily have enough force to slay all those beneath them, utterly silencing the lips that curse their God.

This judgment shows the need for the renewing grace of the Holy Spirit through the ministry of God’s Word. Not even the cataclysms of the end of the age can motivate Satan’s minions to repent and give God the glory He deserves, even as the seconds of gospel opportunity flee from history forever. Their example should help persuade you that now is the time to repent before your heart is so hardened in sin and unbelief that you are no longer able to do so. This call is especially urgent if you angrily rise against God in response to minor trials and judgments that you have already experienced. Joy and peace can be yours by confessing you sin to Jesus and calling on His name for forgiveness. God’s covenant of grace promises all who seek forgiveness through Christ: “I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb. 8:12).

Revelation 16:17-21 Study Questions:

Why does the voice from the throne announce “It is done!” after the seventh bowl of wrath is poured out (v. 17)?

As we consider this news of the impending collapse of the world’s idolatrous systems – economic, social, environmental and political systems – what does it mean to be faithful in the present?

Revelation 16:8-16 Armageddon

As we have studied Revelation’s visions of the seven seals, trumpets, and bowls, we have noted that these generally refer to God’s judgments taking place throughout the church age. The sixth bowl in these series, however, refers to events shortly before the end of the age, and the seventh bowl brings us to the return of Christ. In considering the fourth and fifth bowls of wrath, and therefore, we should see them as characterizing the world’s ungodly response throughout the age as it leads up to the climatic final events.

The fourth bowl of wrath was poured out “on the sun,” to make it “scorch people with fire” (v. 8). The key to this bowl is to note it as the opposite of what the Bible promises to God’s faithful people. Psalm 121:5-6 says, “The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.” Similarly, Revelation 7:16 promised that the redeemed “shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.” Here, the Lord is doing exactly the opposite in judging the sinful world.

As a judgment for sin, the fourth bowl addresses the situation of Western society today. Our secularist world has deliberately rejected God and tried to bar His influence. As Revelation envisions, we have replaced God with the beast of all-pervasive government, the false prophet of secular humanism, and the seductions of the harlot Babylon. The fourth bowl depicts judgment by scorching the world with “fierce heat” from a divinely cursed sun. In sin, the world becomes harsh and painful.

What is the response of the sin-corrupted secularist to the misery that results from God’s judgment of sin? We hear the answer all the time today, as media figures unceasingly blaspheme against God. John writes: “They cursed the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory” (v. 9). On this same basis, “religion” and Christianity are publicly maligned today. Angry atheists point to widespread poverty, ignorance, disease, lawlessness, and relationship breakdowns – all of which are rooted in sin – and then curse God for them. “Where is this kind and loving God that you Christians speak of?” the secularists revile. The answer is that man’s own idolatry and sin have turned God’s face away in anger.

God not only places His curse of judgment on a faithless world, but also targets the leaders of spiritual opposition (v. 10). This judgment is based on the fourth plague on Egypt in the exodus, when God brought darkness on the realm of Pharaoh. The plague of darkness in the exodus showed God’s sovereignty over Egypt, and God likewise shows His sovereignty over Satan’s rule by sowing confusion among his earthly servants.

Although sinful people would not “repent of their deeds,” they still “gnawed their tongues in anguish and cursed” God (vv. 10-11). Having their sources of security toppled – whether financial, political, or ideological – they are portrayed by John as gnawing on their tongues, seeking to maintain self-control. “There is no peace,” the Bible says, “for the wicked” (Isa. 57:21). The anxiety of sin is especially intense when God’s shadow brings dismay to the dominion of Satan, afflicting the spirits of those who will not forsake their sin or give God the glory He deserves.

While the first five bowls show God’s judgment in striking satanic powers throughout the church age, the sixth bowl, like the sixth seal and the sixth trumpet, moves us forward to the climatic events preceding Christ’s return. The vivid picture of this penultimate vision begins with the angel’s pouring “out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east” (v. 12).

The Euphrates River was the border between the lands that God gave to Israel and her enemies beyond it. Similarly, in John’s time, the Euphrates was the border between Rome and the dreaded Parthian Empire. The city of Babylon was located on the Euphrates, and in Revelation Babylon symbolizes the idolatrous world system. In the Old Testament, the parting or drying up of waters was an act of God’s intervention in order to advance the cause of His people. Here, He dries up the Euphrates “to prepare the way for the kings from the east.”

We need to be reminded again that Revelation presents visionary symbols, not a straightforward narrative of historical events. This becomes clear when we see Satan’s response to this assault from the worldly powers in verse 13.By means of his unholy counterfeit trinity – the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, signifying Satan, the Antichrist, and false teachers in society and within the organized church – Satan unleashes a spiritual assault. Demons, called “unclean spirits,” go forth “like frogs.” This points to the exodus, when God sent a plague of frogs on Egypt (Exod. 8:2-14). The frogs penetrated every household, spreading defilement and making a mind-numbing sound. It is for both the corruption and the deception of their slick and slippery speech that the demons are compared to frogs.

Added to their success in misrepresenting truth, the spirits are “performing signs,” going “abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty” (v. 14). In this way we see both Satan’s and God’s purposes in these events. In response to assault from worldly powers, Satan deceives all the nations into gathering for the climactic battle against God. It was for this purpose that God dried up the river, which symbolizes the removal of His restraint that kept earthly forces from uniting against His church.

The name given to this final battle symbolizes the cataclysmic end of the world is “Armageddon” (v. 16). This place is commonly known as Mount Megiddo. Megiddo was a fortress city overlooking the plain to the north-west of Jerusalem that hosted great battles in antiquity and as recently as Napoleon and the British army of World War 1. Some scholars envision a literal battle taking place in the future at Megiddo, in which the armies of the entire earth will be gathered to assault a future Jewish state.

This approach does not fit the symbolic nature of Revelation’s visions. Moreover, large as the plain around Megiddo was for ancient warfare, it could not hold even a single large military formation today, much less the combined armies of the world. Moreover, Revelation specifies the symbolism at work in this passage. Chapter 17 states that the reference to the Euphrates River was a symbol for “peoples and multitudes and nations and languages” (Rev. 17:15). Even the name Armageddon, or Mount Megiddo, is symbolic, since Megiddo is not a mountain but was a city on a small mound.

While Mount Megiddo is a symbol, it depicts a very real future event. The Bible gives abundant witness to a final conflict in which the forces of the world unite under a satanically inspires Antichrist to wage war on God’s people. It is, verse 14 proclaims, “the great day of God the Almighty,” to which the Scriptures so often looked, when Christ returns to destroy Satan and his evil powers, to rescue His church, and through the final resurrection and judgment to establish His eternal reign over a rescued and renewed creation that will fully display His glory.

Revelation 16:8-16 Study Questions:

What is the target of the fifth plague?

Why are the kings of the earth drawn into such a foolish confrontation (vv. 13-14)?

Why does John suddenly issue an encouragement to his readers to “stay awake” (v. 15)?

How do we also need to “wake up” to what is happening around us in the world?

Revelation 16:1-7 The Vindication of Wrath

Most everyone struggles with the terrifying descriptions of God’s wrath in the Bible. Even the prophet Malachi bemoaned, “Who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears?” (Mal. 3:2). It is hardly necessary, when studying the later chapters of Revelation, to argue that the Bible does in fact speak of God’s angry and violent judgment on sin. This is true not only of Revelation: hundreds of references to God’s wrath are found throughout the Bible. Yet one need only read Revelation 16:1 to prove the Bible’s teaching on this subject.

With the Bible’s teaching of wrath, the question turns to the moral acceptability of divine anger. This question is also answered in the opening section of chapter 16. Not only does the angel who speaks in verses 5 and 6 defend God, but he praises God profusely for His wrath (v.5). He further explains the reason why God’s wrath is to be praised in verse 6. The doctrine of God’s wrath and judgment on all sin needs to be proclaimed by Christians today.

Verses 1-4 describes the outpouring of the bowls of God’s wrath on the earth, beginning with His command in verse 1. Chapter 15 concluded with a picture of the inner sanctuary so filled with smoke that “no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished” (15:8). This being the case, none other than God Himself could be speaking from within His temple. This inner sanctuary is the most holy place in the entirety of creation. This fact tells us the most important thing for us to know about God’s anger: It is a holy wrath that responds in terrible violence precisely because of God’s moral perfection and the morally heinous nature of sin.

The holiness of God, the wrath of God, and the health of the creation are inseparably united. God’s wrath is His utter intolerance of whatever degrades and destroys. Here, the wrath of God is linked to His love, since He does not simply walk away in disgust from His fallen creation. The world belongs to Him and was created for the display of His glory. God in His love for His own work is utterly, irreconcilably opposed to sin, is resolved to stamp it out, and through His wrathful judgment is determined to cleanse the world for its holy destiny in the glorious return to Jesus Christ (Rom. 8:19-21).

Another aspect of God’s wrath is His vengeance against His enemies. Who are the recipients of God’s vengeful wrath? They are “the people who bore the mark of the beast and worship its image (v. 2). God’s wrath falls on the unbelieving world as servants and worshipers of His supreme opponent, the dragon and his beasts. Jesus said, “Whoever is not with me is against me” (Luke 11:23). Revelation shows this by depicting all mankind as bearing either the mark of the beast in idolatry or the mark of Christ through faith (Rev. 13:17-14:1). The world on which the bowls of God’s wrath are poured is a world that rejected God in rebellious unbelief and chose instead to worship the evil powers under Satan.

When we speak of the vengeance of God’s wrath, we are noting its necessity in saving His people from the wicked. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Deliver us from evil” (Matt. 6:13), and it is by His wrath on the ungodly that God fully answers this prayer. Therefore, God’s vengeful wrath is also His redeeming wrath. The cataclysmic outpouring of wrath that will end the history of this age will have the result of finally delivering the people of God and granting them the victory of eternal rest.

The next feature that indicates God’s anger is the justice of His wrath (vv. 5-6). “True and just are your judgments!” adds the voice of the martyrs (v. 7). We may notice that the judgments of the seven bowls correspond closely to the previous judgments of the seven trumpets. The point for us to grasp is that these bowl judgments exact a just retribution for sin. They represent God’s justice acting in punishment for violations of God’s law. Verse 6 says that since the wicked shed the blood of God’s servants, they are given blood to drink in return. They receive in God’s wrath exactly “what they deserve” (v. 6). This is in keeping with the pattern of judgment taught all through the Bible.

One more way to see God’s wrath vindicated in these verses is to note that the testimony of the angel and the martyrs joins to rejoice in the beneficial results of God’s wrath: “Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgments!” (v. 7). God’s wrath is beneficial because it upholds God’s law for the well-being of all creation. The world cannot be whole, good, and at peace while evil is in play. What good news it is that God’s wrath is directed at all sin and evil so that the world will be cleansed in the end and that God’s righteousness will finally reign over all.

How blessed it is when divine judgment achieves this in history, and how completely wonderful it will be when God concludes history in a holy, vengeful, and just wrath that puts everything to rights! David anticipated this joyous achievement in Psalm 58:11: “Mankind will say, ‘Surely there is a reward for the righteous; surely there is a God who judges on earth.’” And because of the goodness of God’s wrath in judging evil, the redeemed people of God will add their voices to those of the angels in worshiping God with great praise: “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was, for you brought these judgments. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink. It is what they deserve!” (vv. 5-6).

In the book of Romans, Paul started by saying that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men” (Rom. 1:18). He added, “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10). Paul summarized that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23), and that therefore all are under God’s wrath. But the good news that we need declares that God sent His Son, Jesus, to be a propitiation for our sin, that is, a sacrifice to bear the wrath of God in the place of those who receive Him in faith.

Before this statement, everything is bad news because of God’s wrath on sin. After this provision of God’s grace, everything is good news because of the saving sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Revelation 16 has answered complaints against the wrath of God by showing that it is a holy, vengeful, just, and beneficial wrath. But for sinners themselves who are under the threat of God’s wrath, the true solution is to believe in Jesus so as to be freed from the righteous judgment that our sin deserves.

Revelation 16:1-7 Study Questions:

What are each of the four bowls of wrath poured out on and what do they have in common (vv.1-9)?

What then, are the implications and significance of these four bowls?

Why does the “angel of the waters” burst out in praise when the third bowl of wrath is poured out on the rivers and springs (vv. 4-6)?

How does the picture of God we find in this chapter reshape the way we understand the nature of “love” and our idea of how God extends His love to us?