by Philip Layton
The seven bowls of God’s wrath are poured before Christ’s return
- Having read the chapter, who would you say is in control of these judgements?
- What is the reaction of those in Heaven?
- What is the reaction of those on earth?
- Imagine you saw such things predicted in the Bible, and then witnessed them actually happen. Would you curse the judge or seek his mercy?
Share your thoughts below, or tweet about it with the #boundlessbible hashtag. Don't forget this week's Children's Challenge!
Going Deeper From 'Words of Life'
In chapter 14 we are told that, during the final days of the Great Tribulation, 144,000 people are in Heaven (v 1). They have been redeemed; the Father’s mark is on their foreheads – having gained victory over the beast and his wicked system. They join the heavenly chorus, singing a new song. The apostle John then sees a vision of the returning Christ, to reap ‘the harvest of the earth’ (v 15). Christ gathers his ‘elect’; his faithful followers.
After this, seven angels appear (chapter 15). They represent a divine intervention at the end of the conflict between the dragon and the woman. The intervention is the culmination of God’s wrath against sin in the world.
A judicial sentence is pronounced on evil. Seven plagues will be administered by the angels – the completion of God’s wrath, bringing to a close God’s judgement over earth.
These seven plagues are the seven bowls of wrath poured out during the reign of the beast – which runs for three and a half years, before the end of time. The plagues, intended for those who have the ‘mark’ of the beast (13:16), are:
Sores: These will cause great sickness and suffering.
Sea to blood: The oceans will be contaminated.
Rivers and springs to blood: All fresh water will be turned to blood.
Sun intensified: Searing heat will burn up the earth.
Darkness everywhere: No light will mean people cannot live and work normally.
Euphrates dried up: Nations will invade nations.
Then, when the kings are gathered together at the place called Armageddon, the final bowl is poured into the air.
Lightning, earthquake, hail: More severe and terrible distress. However, a voice from the throne then says, ‘It is done!’ (v 17).
Father God, once again this is all so frightening! Yet I know Christ’s ultimate victory is assured. Hallelujah!
The January 2016 edition of Words of Life is available now.