Revelation 16:8-11 The Fourth and Fifth Bowl

Revelation 16-8-11


The suffering on the earth is literally intolerable—every living thing in the sea is dead, and the fresh waters have become blood… But it is worse for those who followed the beast; they have loathsome and malignant sores on their bodies. The conditions are insufferable, but perfectly righteous and true… The judgments are not finished though… not just yet… Things are actually going to get worse… the intensity of pain and torment will continue to escalate…

The fourth angel poured out his bowl upon the sun, and it was given to it to scorch men with fire. Men were scorched with fierce heat; and they blasphemed the name of God who has the power over these plagues, and they did not repent so as to give Him glory. Revelation 16:8-9

When the fourth angel poured out his bowl, he directed it at the sun and gave it the “responsibility” to scorch men with fire. If people are afraid of “global warming”, they should consider worrying more about the wrath of the God Who controls the sun! However, those who will not bow their knees in submission to their Creator will not repent of their independence from Him even when He scorches them with fire and fierce heat. They will blaspheme His Name even though He alone has power over the plagues which are aimed directly at them.

Glory… Men do not want to accept the fact that God created His creation to bring Him Glory… or that He will receive His Glory before all is said and done…

The angel who flew in midheaven proclaiming an eternal gospel told the earth-dwellers to fear God and give Him Glory because the hour of His judgment had come. They were warned to worship Him Who made the heaven and the earth, including the sea and the springs of waters. (Revelation 14:7) But here we see that the earth-dwellers will not repent even though they acknowledge that it is God Who controls the very elements which are destroying them; instead, they blaspheme Him just as their leader, the Beast, does.

But those who are victorious over the beast (and stand in the very presence of their Creator) rightfully proclaim that everyone will eventually fear the Lord and glorify His Name! All the nations will eventually come and worship before God—after His righteous acts of wrath and judgment have been revealed (Revelation 15:4).

Those who are saved by the blood of the Lamb but are killed during the period of the Great Tribulation (the very time frame we are observing) will dwell in the presence of God, before His throne. They will no longer experience the terrible environmental situations of the earth which will plague the earth-dwellers at that time—no more hunger, thirst, or scorching heat—three of the very things the first four plagues will cause. (Revelation 7:16)

Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became darkened; and they gnawed their tongues because of pain… Revelation 16:10

Again we see that the bowl of wrath is poured out with specific accuracy—the fifth angel pours out his bowl directly onto the throne of the beast. The result is that his kingdom is darkened. The Greek word for “darkened”, skotoo, is the same word used in Revelation 9:2 when the sun and the air were darkened by the smoke of the bottomless pit. It means to shroud in darkness. The agent of the darkness is not revealed to us in the fifth bowl as it was in the fifth trumpet.

Nor are we told the immediate source of pain for those who are part of the kingdom of the beast (grammatically, “his kingdom” and “they” are synonymous). We are informed, however, that their pain was so intense that they gnawed their tongues in response to it. Again, I am reminded of the fifth trumpet when those who were stung by the locusts from the bottomless pit were tormented to the point they tried to commit suicide (although God denied them death at that time).

…and they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they did not repent of their deeds. Revelation 16:11

The reaction of the kingdom of the beast is to blaspheme the God of heaven (which the beast has been doing since the time of his coronation). They find God at fault for their pains and their sores—the truth is, they themselves are to blame—God is the Master of all His creation, which most certainly includes them, but they have rebelled against him. He has every right, as Creator and Lord, to punish and terminate their insurrection.

Amazing… knowing full well the plagues were sent from God and being in such tremendous pain… they still refuse to repent of their behavior… they still refuse to bow their knees in submission to the Majesty on high…

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017