© Copyright 2010-2015
© Copyright 2010-2013.

Revelation 16 - The Last 7 Vials of God's Wrath!
By Brother Mike  

Revelation 16 is an aggregate of word pictures which help to describe the period of spiritual judgment that the world now finds itself in ever since May 21, 2011 and right up to the end of the world. It is important to understand that the things described in these verses are not literally taking place, but they are painting a picture of what has been and is going to happen in the spiritual realm. The entire chapter is written in a parabolic language which points to a deeper spiritual reality of which teaches over and over again the great spiritual judgment that has come upon the entire world ever since May 21, 2011 with no longer any saving gospel to give humankind hope. All hope, spiritually speaking, is lost! 

It is evident that Revelation 16 is speaking about judgment upon the entire world in that whereas Revelation 8 spoke about judgment upon the third part, Revelation 16 uses a similar terminology but without mentioning the third part in order to emphasize that this is not just judgment upon the third part, which we had learned a long time ago refers to the corporate church, but this is judgment upon the entire world. For instance, it states in Revelation 8: 

7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.
8
And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood
9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. 
10
And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters
11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Notice the great focus upon the third part, which we had been learned long ago to give reference to the churches and congregations in the world; that is, Revelation 8 is speaking about God's judgment upon the churches, which from other studies we know to have had begun on May 21, 1988 and to have continued until May 21, 2011. But now notice what it states in Revelation 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.
3
And 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.
4
And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood

The language is very similar to that of Revelation 8. The first vial of God's wrath was poured upon the earth just as it was first poured upon the earth in Revelation 8. The second vial was poured upon the sea just as the 2nd angel sounded in Revelation 8 which resulted in God's wrath being cast into the sea. And, the third vial of God's wrath was poured upon the rivers and fountains of waters just like the third angel sounded in Revelation 8 to also pour out wrath upon the rivers and fountains. The main difference between the two is that Revelation 8 focuses upon bringing wrath to the third part of what is being spoken about while Revelation 16 focuses upon bringing wrath to the entire earth, sea, and rivers. In other words, whereas Revelation 8 speaks of bringing judgment upon the third part of the sea, or, for instance, the third part of the rivers, Revelation 16 reveals God's wrath against the entire sea and all the rivers. So what is seen is that Revelation 8 speaks of God's wrath upon the churches, but Revelation 16 speaks of God's judgment upon the entire world, or as it states in verse 1, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth. 

Now let's look at Revelation 16 verse by verse: 


VERSE 1

1 And 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. 

The great voice out of the temple is the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is evident in verses like Revelation 1:10-13: 

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet . . .
12
And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;
13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man [the Lord Jesus] , clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle

But who are the 7 angels who pour out the vials of God's wrath? In order to answer this question, it is necessary to go back to Revelation 15 to read a further description of these 7 angels. There it states, 

Re 15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles

From this, we are told that these 7 angels are wearing golden girdles upon their breasts. This immediately reveals that these 7 angels are priests since such clothing is that of a priest. But angels are no where spoken of as priests in the Bible, so who can these 7 angels be? Well, they are not celestial angels at all. The word angels can be translated simply as messengers, and the number 7 is symbolic of the complete perfection of whatever is in view (see the meaning of Bible numbers ). Therefore, these 7 angels refer to the complete perfection of messengers who are priests, and who are clothed in pure and white linen - the pure and white linen means that the sins of these priests are covered and paid for. These can be none other than all of God's saved people; they are God's messengers and priests who have been covered with pure and white linen through the salvation which is in Jesus Christ.

So what is seen in Revelation 16:1 is that God's people who are symbolized by the 7 angels are the ones who are pouring out the vials of God's wrath. This means that God's people are actually involved in bringing judgment upon the world, which agrees with 1Cor. 6: 

1Co 6:2 Do ye not know that the saints [God's people] shall judge the world? 

And just how might God's people be judging the world? As they declare and stand for the fact that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 with the removal of any possibility for salvation to the inhabitants of the earth, this is judging the unsaved. Yes, it is God who actually brought an end to salvation on May 21, 2011, but as God's people make this known and stand in the truth of the Bible, they are participating in the judgment of God. 


VERSE 2

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 is poured out upon the earth which results in a noisome (better translated as evil) and grievous (bad, malignant) sore upon those who had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image. This is a word picture portraying God's judgment upon all the unsaved of the world. The sores symbolize God's judgment, and those who have the mark of the beast are all the unsaved people in the world. The mark is not a literal mark of any kind, but it is a spiritual mark which identifies each unsaved person as ruled over by the beast (Satan). Also, it is not that all the unsaved have literal sores upon their bodies, but from God's perspective in the spiritual realm, they are all sick with evil and bad sores because there is no hope for them any longer. Salvation is no longer possible ever since May 21, 2011, so all of the unsaved have an incurable disease of sin which brings nothing but death. 


VERSE 3

3 And 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. 

The sea in the Bible represents all the unsaved of the world or simply the world as can be realized in the following verses:

Isa 57:20
But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Ps 98:7 Let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein

So the second angel who represents God's elect poured out his vial (bowl) upon the world (sea), and it became as the blood of a dead one: and every living soul died in the sea. The point being made is that just as the blood of a dead person no longer flows or carries the life-giving oxygen and nutrients to all the cells of the body, which results in the death of the body, so is there no spiritual flow of the life giving Spirit, which results in all the unsaved remaining unsaved; they, in a sense, have died because there is no longer any hope for any of them to be saved. Not only are they all spiritually dead, but they are all going to be spiritually dead for sure, so it is as if they all died. 


VERSE 4
:

4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.

In this verse the rivers and fountains of waters have become blood. The rivers and fountains of waters symbolize the life giving gospel, and blood represents death. So what this verse is saying is that the gospel of life has now become death. Whereas the Word of God (the gospel) could at one time bring life to an unsaved person, it now brings death because it declares judgment upon the entire world ever since May 21, 2011 with the end of salvation. Anyone who was not saved before May 21, 2011 has now nothing to look forward except death, and it is the rivers and fountains of waters (the gospel) which declare this to so be. Indeed, the gospel has become blood, DEATH. 


VERSES 5-7

5 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.
6
For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy.
7
And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments. 

In these verses the Lord is being lifted up as righteous because His judgments are true and right. Not just one angel declares the Lord to be righteous in His judgments, but two. With respect to this, I am reminded of the following verse: 

2Co 13:1 . . . In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 

Certainly, by not one but two angels testifying to the righteous judgments of God, it is being emphasized that the judgments of God as pronounced here in Revelation 16 are true and righteous and every word is established. 

Now the reason for God being righteous in His judgments against the unsaved of the world is stated to be because they have shed the blood of saints and prophets. This does not just mean that the unsaved have literally killed God's people at various times in history, which they have, but it also means that they have much more broadly killed God's people by their hatred toward them, for God equates hatred with murder as can be seen 1John 3:

1Jo 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer . . . 

So the killing of God's people has been much more pervasive than one might think, especially when it is realized that the very sinful heart of the unsaved not only hates the true God, but it hates God's people. As it is written, 

Mt 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. 

But this hatred of God's people throughout time does not go unrewarded, for what does the scripture say:

Ro 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord

And what we see in Revelation 16 is God's vengeance as He has given them blood to drink. As I stated earlier, blood has to do with death so that ever since May 21, 2011 God has given the unsaved of the world death to drink because there is no hope for them to be saved any longer. The only thing they have to look forward to is death, and this is a terrible thing to have to drink, indeed. 


VERSES 8-9

8 And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire.
9
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 in the Bible represents Christ who is the Word of God. Normally the Word of God is a light that brings salvation to the world, but now ever since May 21, 2011, has the light of the gospel been put out - the sun has been darkened (Mt. 24:29) - and it has now become a judgment against the world. Christ, symbolized by the sun, is now bringing judgment, and this judgment is symbolized by the scorching of men with fire. People are not literally being scorched with fire, but such a word picture is being used to teach that God's spiritual judgment is now upon humankind. It is a terrible judgment because salvation has come to an end ever since May 21, 2011; this is the fire which is scorching mankind to death. 

But even though mankind is now under the wrath of God, they blasphemed the name of God, and they repented not to give Him glory. This is the nature of mankind. They hate God and will continue in their sins unless repentance is granted to them. Repentance is a gift from God, so if God doesn't grant one the gift of repentance, he or she never will repent. The fact that they repented not is simply another way of saying that God is no longer saving anyone; otherwise, there would be repentance by those whom God were saving.


VERSES 10-11

10 And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain,
11
And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. 

In these verses God's judgment comes upon the ruler ship (seat) of Satan, and his kingdom was full of darkness. The darkness is a reminder of the second to last ten plagues which God brought upon Egypt in Exodus 10:21. Darkness has to do with an absence of light, and light has to do with the saving gospel; therefore, that Satan's kingdom is now full of darkness is emphasizing the lack of any gospel light; there is no more salvation possible in the kingdom of Satan (the world) ever since May 21, 2011. But full of darkness also means that Satan's kingdom is now full of sin like never before in history. God is restraining mankind's sin less and less with the result that we see sin multiplying faster than rabbits. Just think of the gay pride and marriage movement, for instance. States are rapidly voting in gay marriage, and the gay movement is rapidly being accepted as a viable lifestyle. Or, what about the tremendous increase in fornication? Living together and sex before marriage is now widely accepted, and trumpeted as the norm all over the media. Or, what about all the divorces now taking place? It really was a relatively short time ago when divorce, especially in the church, was on the rare side, but now it is as common as grass. And I could go on and on to show how sin has greatly multiplied in these days. Yes, this world - Satan's kingdom - is full of darkness. 

Now we are told that those in Satan's kingdom gnawed their tongues for pain. This is a word picture. People are not literally gnawing their tongues for pain. It is a figure of speech which is used in order to portray judgment upon the unsaved of the world. 

Then we read that they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds. As was stated under the previous verse, unsaved mankind actually hates the true God, and they will not repent unless God grants them the gift of repentance; they would rather continue in their sin to blaspheme God. Since we are told that they did not repent, it must be due to God having not granted them repentance. This emphasizes that God is no longer saving anyone; otherwise, we would expect to see some repent due to His mercy. 


VERSE 12

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 

Historically, the great river Euphrates ran right through the kingdom of Babylon, which kingdom typified the kingdom of Satan (the world). It was a river responsible for much of Babylon's prosperity and wealth. For this river to be dried up would mean death to its inhabitants. Spiritually speaking, the drying of the river now means there are no life-giving waters any longer, which means there is no longer any salvation for those who are in the kingdom of Satan (Babylon, the world). God has now poured out His wrath upon Babylon, and the waters of Babylon can no longer bring life because they have become completely dried up. The reason why God dried up the waters of Babylon is stated in Jeremiah 50: 

38 A drought is upon her [Babylon's] waters; and they shall be dried up: for it is the land of graven images, and they are mad upon their idols

In other words, God has now brought judgment upon the kingdom of Satan (the world) because of all of their idols of worship, and this judgment has to do with the removal of salvation. There is no longer any possibility of salvation ever since May 21, 2011. 

Next, it is stated why the great river Euphrates was dried up: that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. This lets us know that God's judgment upon the great river had to come before the way of the kings of the east could be prepared. But who are the kings of the east, and what is the way of the kings of the east? In discovering who the kings of the East are, we read in Isaiah, 

Isa 41:2 Who raised up the righteous man [Christ] from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings? He gave them as the dust to his sword, and as driven stubble to his bow

Here we are told that the righteous man who is Christ was raised up from the East. Just like the sun rises in the East, so also is the Son of God spoken of as raised up from the East. Therefore, we could say that Christ is the king of the East because that is where He comes from in the spiritual sense. And if Christ can be called the king of the East, so can His people who are of the same royal blood. The logical conclusion, then, is that the kings of the East are God's elect people; they are the people who are in Christ, and so He and they come from the East. 

Now what is the way of the kings of the East? The way of God's people is from this world (Babylon) to the Promised Land, which is heaven. This was all typified by the literal land of Babylon and the literal land of Canaan. To get to the land of Canaan from the East, it was required to pass through the land of Babylon and then through the great river Euphrates, which marked the boundary barrier to the land of Canaan (the Promised Land). The land of Babylon represents this world through which God's people must pass before they can enter into the Promised Land of heaven once the great river Euphrates has been dried up so that the river can be crossed. As was already discussed, the drying up of the river has to do with God's judgment upon this world (Babylon). This judgment, which began on May 21, 2011, must take place first before God's people will be able to leave this world and pass (be raptured) into heaven, so the drying up of great river Euphrates is in preparation for the way of the kings of the East (God's people) into heaven.


VERSES 13-14

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
14
For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. 

Right in the midst of God bringing judgment upon this world (Babylon), three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. These three unclean spirits are mentioned in order to emphasize that this is God's purpose (see the symbolic meaning of the number 3 ). Also, these unclean spirits (demons) are said to be like frogs because frogs are a symbol of God's judgment as, for instance, they were actually one of the ten plagues of judgment which God brought upon Egypt in the book of Exodus (Exodus 8:1-6). There are no literal frogs being referenced to here, but the unclean spirits are simply like frogs; that is, they are coming in judgment to destroy like the frogs in the Exodus account, but they are not literal frogs. 

Next, we are told that these demons come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. All three of these creatures - the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet - refer to the same person, namely Satan himself, and it is mentioned that these unclean spirits (demons) come out of Satan's mouth because it is the spoken word from the mouth of his ministers by which he lies and deceives with His false gospels and teachings. So, in short, what we have learned so far by this verse is that at the time of judgment, which we have learned in other studies began on May 21, 2011, it is God's purpose that Satan comes with his false gospels and lies in order to destroy people through deception.  

Now in verse 14 we are told just who these unclean spirits which come to destroy are and what they do: For they are the spirits of devils [demons], working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. The word for miracles is the same word translated in other verses as signs or wonders. It is used in connection to the signs and wonders which the apostles did in order to validate the gospel in the first century, but here it has to do with the signs and wonders that Satan is permitted to do near the end of the world in order to attempt to validate his false gospels. The miracles (signs or wonders) that Satan works through his ministers can be seen in many of the churches of our day. For instance, there is a focus upon miraculous things which ever since the first century have actually ceased such as miraculous healings, speaking in tongues, dreams, visions, or direct voices from God. Another miraculous sign that Satan does is declared in Revelation 13 which says, 

11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.
12
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
13
And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men . . . 

Notice that the beast (Satan) maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men. This is not a literal fire coming down from heaven, but it is symbolic of what is seen in churches today when people are caused to fall backward. In the Bible, fire coming down from heaven is representative of God's judgment, and Satan would like to be able to do this because it would make him appear as though he were the judge of the earth - remember, his goal is to be like God - but he is unable to bring literal fire down from heaven (1kings 18:20-40); so what he does instead is to make people fall backward. Like making fire come down from heaven, making people fall backward is also representative of God's judgment. This can be seen, for instance, when Jesus' captors in the garden of Gethsemane fell backward as recorded in John 18: 

Joh 18:6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground

This falling backward meant that these men who had come to capture Jesus were actually under the judgment of God. In fact, Jesus could have called fire down from heaven and destroyed them right then and there, but it was His plan that He be captured and crucified for the sins of His people; so instead of destroying them right on the spot, He made them fall backward in order to show that they were under the judgment of God. Satan, today, does the same thing: he makes people fall backward to make it appear that he, like God, has the authority to judge mankind.


VERSE 15
:  

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. 

When God says, " Behold, I come as a thief," He does not mean that He comes as a thief for everyone, but rather it means that He comes as a thief only for the unsaved people of the world. With respect to His saved people, He does not come as a thief as is seen in 1Thessalonians 5: 

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2
For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3
For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren [God's saved people] , are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 

Now it is because Christ does not come as a thief for His saved people that we know it is they who will watch and keep their garments, and so are blessed. On the other hand, those who will not watch and keep their garments are the unsaved; they will walk naked; that is, they will not have Jesus Christ to cover their sins upon the Lord's return. The garments which God's people wear represent the robes of Christ's righteousness that they received, spiritually speaking, when they were saved.


VERSE 16

16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. 

This is the only place in the Bible where the Hebrew word Armageddon appears. It literally means Mountain of Megiddo, and is thought to refer to a mountainous region over in Israel which overlooks the plain of Megiddo where many think that the battle of Armageddon will take place. It has been thought that Russia, or perhaps China, will descend upon Israel from the north, and will fight against Israel in the plains of Megiddo. With help from God, Israel is supposed to be the ultimate victor. 

But is the battle of Armageddon actually a physical battle in the physical land of Israel? I think not. Remember that the context of this verse in Revelation 16 is the completely spiritual judgment of God upon the earth ever since May 21, 2011, and the verse just previous spoke about the false gospels and lies of Satan, including miracles, which come to spiritually deceive the world during this time. Obviously, the battle taking place is a spiritual battle. Furthermore, the battle is not with literal nations such as Israel and Russia, but it is with the spiritual demons and their followers, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. Notice that the whole world is involved and not just Israel and some other nation(s). So, based upon the context, it must be concluded that the battle of Armageddon is completely spiritual and it involves the entire world; not just Israel and a few possible nations. 

The battle of Armageddon is further spoken of in Revelation 19: 

19 And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him [Christ] that sat on the horse, and against his army.
20
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
21 And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh

In these verses, it becomes evident just what the battle of Armageddon actually is: It is judgment day itself when Satan is cast into the lake of fire, and his followers are slain by the sword that comes out of Christ's mouth, which is the Word of God. Since we are now in spiritual Judgment Day ever since May 21, 2011, spiritually speaking, this has and is taking place, but literally and physically this is yet to come on the last day when this world is physically destroyed by fire. So Judgment Day is a two stage process: first comes the spiritual which began on May 21, 2011, and then comes the physical which will take place on the last day of this world. 


VERSE 17

17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 

With the pouring out into the air by the seventh angel, there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, it is done. As in verse 1, the great voice is that of Christ. His voice is said to come from the throne to emphasize His authority and ruler ship over this matter. In other words, to say that it is done, or completed, is with the very authority of God Himself. And, what is done? The wrath of God upon the earth is done; that is, with this last vile of God's wrath having been poured out into the air along with the other 6 viles of wrath that were poured out, God's wrath upon the earth is completely finished. This brings God's judgment right up to the end of the world. May 21, 2011 began God's spiritual judgment upon the world as pictured in the first 6 plagues of Revelation 16, but the 7th plague emphasizes the completion of that spiritual wrath right at the end of this world. 


VERSE 18

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

The voices, thunders, and lightnings are symbolic of the glory of God. They are stated, for instance, in the book of Revelation first in chapter 4 in the context of describing the glory of God:   

Re 4:5 And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God.
6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behnindt
[compare with Ezekiel, Chapter One, to see that the 4 beasts are representative of God's glory so called in Ezekiel 1:28].
7 And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle.
8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come

And a voice, thunders, and lightnings are mentioned when the glory of God descended upon Mount Sinai:

And a voice, thunders, and lightnings are mentioned when the glory of God descended upon Mount Sinai: 

Ex 19:16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. 

Because the voices here in verse 18 are mentioned in the context of the end of the world when God's wrath is finished or completed, they may very well include the following voices which will take place on the last day as well: 

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first . . . 

John 5:28-29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation

Next, we are told that there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. This earthquake is called so great and so mighty an earthquake, and one unlike any that has ever been because it represents the final and complete judgment of humankind. Never before has there been a judgment like this. It does not mean that this will necessarily be a literal great earthquake. In fact, the earthquake mentioned in Revelation 8:5, for instance, which had to do with God's judgment upon the churches in 1988-94 was actually spiritual, so it could very well be that this is a spiritual earthquake as well, and especially since the context of Revelation 16 is spiritual. But whatever the case, this is the final and greatest judgment of God ever, which is what makes it so extraordinary. 


VERSE 19

19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath . 

Because the context of this verse is the wrath of God upon the entire earth and not just upon the great city Jerusalem, the corporate church (see verse 1), the great city must be Babylon, which refers to the entire world including the corporate church. This agrees with several passages in Revelation which call the great city, Babylon. For instance, 

Re 14:8 And there followed another angel, saying, Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city, because she made all nations drink of the wine of the wrath of her fornication.

Re 18:10 Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come

Now we are told that the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. The three parts probably refer to the three parts in which God has divided the human race as recorded in Zechariah 13: 

8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
9
And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God .

Notice that God divides the human race into three parts. One third refers to God's elect while the other two thirds refer to the unsaved who shall be cut off and die. So when God says that the great city was divided into three parts, He is making a division between the saved and unsaved, which makes a lot of sense if these events are taking place on the last day of this world's existence when God like never before separates the sheep from the goats by rapturing away His people into eternal life and condemning the unsaved to eternal damnation.

Then the verse states: the cities of the nations fell. This refers to the unsaved people of the world who on the last day will fall forever as they are condemned to eternal death, and a further description of this fall of humankind is pronounced in the words, and great Babylon [the world] came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 


VERSE 20: 

20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found . 

Literally, in the Bible, every island gives reference to all the islands in the sea including the huge continents on which all the people dwell, and the mountains are exactly that, all the mountains. But, spiritually speaking, islands can refer to peoples, and mountains can mean kingdoms. For instance, see how nicely peoples can be substituted for islands (or isles in the King James Version) in the following verses: 

Ps 97:1 The LORD reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles [peoples] be glad thereof .

Isa 41:5 The isles [peoples] saw it, and feared; the ends of the earth were afraid, drew near, and came

Also, in the following verses see how kingdom can be substituted for mountain

Jer 51:25 Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain [that is in reference to the kingdom of Babylon] , saith the LORD, which destroyest all the earth: and I will stretch out mine hand upon thee, and roll thee down from the rocks, and will make thee a burnt mountain [kingdom]

Isa 2:2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain [kingdom] of the LORD�S house shall be established in the top of the mountains [kingdoms] , and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it

So when God says, and every island fled away, and the mountains were not found, He is saying, spiritually speaking, that the peoples of the world and their kingdoms or governments are no more. It is the last day and the political kingdoms and nations are overcome by God's judgment, which is similar to what we had read in verse 19, the cities of the nations fell


VERSE 21:

21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great . 

This verse is symbolic of the terribleness of the complete wrath of God. There are not literal hail stones falling out of heaven, but these are simply used as a figure to express the awful judgment of God. This is also expressed in that the hail stones weighed about a talent; that is about 130 pounds! Hail stones this big would cause a lot of damage, and this figure is used to emphasize the great damage that the wrath of God brings. It destroys humankind forevermore, and separates them from all the eternal blessings of God such as no more pain, no sorrow, no sadness, no sin, and no more death, and eternal joy and life in the new heaven and earth in the wonderful presence of God where everything is in harmony and peace. What a terrible judgment to endure. What incredible blessings to miss out on. It is like being rained down on by huge hail stones. No wonder men are said to blaspheme God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

It is interesting to note that the only other place in the book of Revelation where great hail is mentioned right along with voices, thunders, lightnings and an earthquake like in the verses of Revelation 16 is in Revelation 11: 

Re 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail

This verse is couched in the context of the very end of the world, which can be seen by reading the verse just previous,

18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth .

Clearly, this is speaking about the time right at the end of the world. And if Revelation 11:19 is speaking about the very end of this world, it stands to reason that so is the last several verses of Revelation 16 because they use the same terminology of voices, thundering, lightnings, an earthquake, and great hail. Remember what verse 18 and 21 of Revelation 16 read: 

18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great . . .
. . .
. . .
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great


CONCLUSION:

Revelation 16 has portrayed the spiritual judgment which has come upon the whole earth ever since May 21, 2011 and right on up to the very end of the world. It has been a completely spiritual judgment, and God has symbolized it in a variety of word pictures that are basically teaching the same thing, namely that salvation has come to an end for those who dwell upon the earth. It is a most terrible judgment upon humankind because they have nothing to look forward to but death unless, of course, they were saved by God previous to when Judgment came upon the entire earth. When, finally, the 7th angel pours out the last vile of God's wrath, it will be the end of the world when the unsaved will be completely separated from God's elect to suffer eternal death; they will no longer be found. But God's people, on the other hand, will be resurrected and raptured from this world, which shall be destroyed, into the new heaven and earth.

 

aaaaaaaaaaaaiii