Bible Topics
in the Christian Library
Treasures of Wrath!

Revelation 15-16

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 His followers.

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 will get.


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 fully exposed.

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 (16:18ff).

II. The NATURE of these treasures.

A. These treasures of wrath will be paid while some are on earth. 

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 at no cost to others.

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