in the Christian Library
John L. Kachelman, Jr.
I. The encouraging message of John begins to deepen as
it reveals the complete victory of the Lamb and His followers.
1. In this section the theme is final judgement. We find
emphasis on the completeness of God's judgement.
2. The trumpets had announced partial judgement (1/3)
on the wicked but now we see the bowls are fully poured out, indicating
the final and complete judgement.
3. The picture symbolized in this section is God's overthrow
of all evil!
II. It is good to pause and look at this section as John's
readers would view it.
1. They had been told of God's trumpets of judgement.
They had witnessed the calamities resulting. But they had also seen the
hard, impenitent result (9:4-6, 28, 21).
2. They were probably asking, "What happens now? Does
God allow such hardness and impenitence to go unpunished?" The answer is
given in this section. God's punishments come now in this life and also
in the final Judgement. All who continue to follow evil will find their
treasures have yielded a tragic harvest which will be paid with God's terrible
wrath (cf. Ro 2:5).
3. The bowls of wrath present a terrible experience to
the world. Faithful Christians need fortification to be prepared for it,
they need to see it from heaven's viewpoint. So in 15:1-4 the joy of saved
believers is presented. There will be certain victory for the Lamb and
4. The joy and celebration of the saints is in marked
contrast to the evil men. The evil have treasures awaiting them but their
end is far different! Just as God gives peace He can give calamity (15:6;
16:1). Note the following about these treasures of wrath which the evil
I. We observe the PAYDAY of these treasures.
A. Evil and wickedness have a definite payday coming (Galatians
6:7-8). This payday cannot be avoided (Hosea 12:2b).
B. From John's message we notice the following about this
great payday of the treasures of wrath.
1. It comes when time is "completed" (15:1; 16:17; 10:6;
6:11). The word refers to the end of time. There is going to be a point
when God says "It is time! Time is no more!" When this time comes nothing
can stop the final judgement. God's wrath, so long restrained, will be
2. When this completed time arrives all who are unsaved
will be forever lost (15:8). The sanctuary, where intercession is made,
will be closed - "tomorrow" has never arrived and doom is present. Men
will cry out but their pleas will not be heeded (Jeremiah 8:20).
3. This payday will come suddenly and at a time unexpected
(16:15). Knowing this we need to keep our "garments" (symbol of Christianity,
Ephesians 4:214ff) spotless so we will be prepared. Those who fail to do
this will be put to shame (1 Thessalonians 5:2-6; 2 Thessaloni ans 2:8ff).
4. This payday will arrive with terror to those unprepared
II. The NATURE of these treasures.
A. These treasures of wrath will be paid while some are
1. The first 4 Bowls affect man's natural environment.
a. He is physically affected (v. 2).
b. His commercial efforts fail (v. 3).
c. His ordinary life support system fails (v. 4).
d. His world and universe, that which he worshipped, will
become his enemy (v. 2, 3, 4, 8).
2. Man's life will be affected!
B. These treasures of wrath will be paid in eternity (16:19).
God will not forget sins, evil deeds, and the harm committed against His
church. His anger will be experienced throughout eternity! (14:10).
III. The CAUSE for these treasures of wrath.
A. Blasphemy (16:9, 11, 21) Man has rejected God's
word, His nature, and His salvation. Foolish man spurned the many opportunities
of reaching out to grasp God's mercy!
B. Injustice to others (16:5-6) God is concerned
about His children and will not allow their abuse to go unpunished (Matthew
18:10; 1 Peter 3:12-14). God is going to vindicate His children who suffer
(6:10). 16:7 - those in 6:10 answer God.
C. Submission to Satan (16:2b) Those who are marked,
recognized as the followers of Satan, will be judged (Mt 12:30).
IV. The RECIPIENTS of these treasures.
A. All men who wear the "mark" of the beast (16:2b). These are those who fail to obey God and live by His commands.
B. Satan and his army of dark demons will receive the
unmixed wrath of God (16:12-16).
1. The frogs represent all the evil governments, false
prophets, and false religions which unite to draw men from God. These foes
are Satan's greatest allies for their lies and deceptions persuade millions
to follow them.
2. Their constant opposition is pictured in the great
Battle of Armaged don. This war is never fought!
I. Matthew 6:19-21 - every man is laying up some kind
of treasure. What kind of treasure are you expecting?
II. From this section we are reminded that we are in one
of two possible groups. You are either a part of the Lamb and His followers,
or you are a part of the Beast and his followers (Matthew 12:30). Notice
the great contrast presented in this section.
1. The Lamb and His followers (15:2-4).
2. The Beast and his followers (16:10-11). Note 16:6b
3. With which do you wish to spend eternity?
III. The message of the 7 Bowls - No evil can triumph
over God's people. It does little good for Satan to send out his allies
because God's judgements are coming and no one can withstand! It is folly
to reject God or to turn your back on Him after obeying His will!
Copyright 1998 by John
L. Kachelman, Jr. may be reproducted for non-commercial purposes
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