Bible Study: Revelation 16 – Seven Plagues

Revelation is the only book that says we are blessed to read, hear and keep the things that are written, for the time is near. Hence, let us not be like hypocrites without discerning times and seasons. Here we will look into Revelation 16 and understand what it says.

(Rev 1:3) Blessed [is] he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time [is] near.  

(Luke 12:56) “Hypocrites! You can discern the face of the sky and of the earth, but how [is it] you do not discern this time?

Seven Plagues

(Rev 16:1) Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.

As we saw earlier in our study of Revelation 8 & 9, the seven trumpets and seven plague are connected and refer the same events from a different perspective.

(Rev 16:2) So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. 

(Rev 9:4) They were commanded not to harm the grass of the earth, or any green thing, or any tree, but only those men who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

The seven plagues are for those who have the mark of the beast. The events that follows the blowing of seven trumpets are for those who do not have the seal of living God. As you can see, both actually refers the same but from different perspectives. Events following the blowing of Trumpets are from a perspective within the church and plagues are from a perspective outside the church, while both representing the same events.

Plagues Trumpets Notes
1 (Rev 16:2) So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. (Rev 8:7) The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up. Plague of sores followed by hail during Moses
2 (Rev 16:3) Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead [man;] and every living creature in the sea died. (Rev 8:8-9) Then the second angel sounded: And [something] like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea, and a third of the sea became blood. And a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed. Sea becoming blood
3 (Rev 16:4-7) Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying: “You are righteous, O Lord, The One who is and who was and who is to be, Because You have judged these things. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And You have given them blood to drink. For it is their just due.” And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous [are] Your judgments.” (Rev 8:10-11) Then the third angel sounded: And a great star fell from heaven, burning like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter. Plague on rivers and on the springs of the water
4 (Rev 16:8-9) Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. (Rev 8:12) Then the fourth angel sounded: And a third of the sun was struck, a third of the moon, and a third of the stars, so that a third of them were darkened. A third of the day did not shine, and likewise the night. Plague on the sun, moon and stars.
5 (Rev 16:10-11) Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds. (Rev 9:1,5) Then the fifth angel sounded: And I saw a star fallen from heaven to the earth. To him was given the key to the bottomless pit. … And they were not given [authority] to kill them, but to torment them [for] five months. Their torment [was] like the torment of a scorpion when it strikes a man. Plague of Pain
6 (Rev 16:12-16) Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared. And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [coming] out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, [which] go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed [is] he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon. (Rev 9:13-16) Then the sixth angel sounded: And I heard a voice from the four horns of the golden altar which is before God, saying to the sixth angel who had the trumpet, “Release the four angels who are bound at the great river Euphrates. So the four angels, who had been prepared for the hour and day and month and year, were released to kill a third of mankind. Now the number of the army of the horsemen [was] two hundred million; I heard the number of them. Battle of Armageddon
7 (Rev 16:17) Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done! (Rev 11:15) Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become [the kingdoms] of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever! (1Cor 15:52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

The above table must be read along with our study from Revelation 8 and Revelation 9 to understand better.

Can someone having Mark of the Beast repent and get saved?

If anyone having the mark of the beast, if they do repent, God is merciful to forgive them. We see His merciful nature in the seven plagues. A foul and loathsome sore was for those who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image which is the first plague.

Rev 16:2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. … Rev 16:9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. … Rev 16:11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

However, we see end of the 4th and 5thplagues, it is clearly mentioned that they did not repent. It means, God did expect them to repent and turn their ways towards God because of the plagues but they did not do so but rather blasphemed Him. Hence, it is wrong to assume that repentance is not for those who have the mark of the beast.

Noises, Thunderings, Lightnings & Great Earthquake

(Rev 16:18-19a) And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth. Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell.

The city not only divided into three parts, but also a 10th of the city fell and killed 7000 people.

(Rev 11:13,19) In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven. …  Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.

This is a future event which happens when the seventh trumpet is blown.

Babylon Remembered

(Rev 16:19b-21) And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And great hail from heaven fell upon men, [each hailstone] about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.

Babylon, was finally remembered by God to judge her. Great hail also fell upon men.

(Rev 11:19) Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.