Throughout Scripture, God’s wrath is mentioned many times. Deuteronomy 29:23 tells us the Lord destroyed the cities of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboim, “…which the LORD overthrew in his anger, and in his wrath:” As the Lord poured out the plagues on Egypt, preparing for the exodus of the Israelites, Psalm 78:49 tells us, “He cast upon them the fierceness of his anger, wrath, and indignation, and trouble, by sending evil angels among them.” The Lord’s wrath “waxed hot” against the children of Israel in Exodus 32:10-11. His wrath was kindled against Israel in Numbers 11:33. These are specific examples of the Wrath of God upon mankind.
One would think having witnessed the judgments of God, men would fear the Lord, repent and align themselves with His Word to avoid His wrath.
However, the Bible tells us it is in man’s heart to do evil because judgment is not executed immediately. But, this will not always be the case.
Currently, the Lord is giving mankind a season to repent. However, the time is coming when those who do not renounce their wicked ways will face His judgment.
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…,” (2 Peter 3:9-10).
The Bible prophesies, in the near future, God will pour out His wrath again—and He will be justified in doing so.
Prophesied Wrath of God
There are many synonymous terms used to describe the end time Wrath of God:
The Day of the Lord: “Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it,” (Isaiah 13:9).
The Day of Wrath: “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” (Romans 2:5, NASB).
The Day of His Wrath: “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand,” (Revelation 6:17)?
The Great Winepress of the Wrath of God: “And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God,” (Revelation 14:19).
Other passages provide clues to the events that will occur when the Wrath of God is poured out in the end time.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 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,” (Revelation 11:15-18).
This happens when the Seventh Trumpet sounds. Then, there is the Seven Vials account:
“And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever,” (Revelation 15:7).
From these passages, many questions arise when discussing this ominous prophecy. Will every person suffer when the Wrath of God is poured out? When will it occur and is it a global event?
To find these answers and more, we will look to the most detailed account of God’s Wrath, which is found in the Book of Revelation—The Seven Vials.
Satan’s Wrath Versus God’s Wrath
Before we analyze the Seven Vials, I want to clear up a common misconception. It has been taught that the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of God in the end time. However, Scripture clearly teaches that the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of Satan, not God.
In Revelation 12:7-8, we are told that Satan and his angels will launch a war against God and His angels. This will be Satan’s last–ditch effort to overthrow God before he himself is bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
Satan will be defeated and his punishment for this ultimate rebellion will be his banishment from appearing in Heaven, and his confinement to the earth. Until this time, Satan enjoyed access to Heaven where he regularly accused God’s people. An example of this was when he appeared before God to accuse Job.
The casting down of Satan is described in Revelation 12:10.
Revelation 12:10, “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Satan’s confinement to the earth is recorded in verses 12-13:
Revelation 12:12-13, “Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.”
We learn several things from this passage. When Satan is confined to the earth, he knows that he only has a short time left. He is filled with great wrath. He launches great persecution upon the earth and specifically against the woman. The woman is described earlier in the chapter as having a crown of 12 stars upon her head. The woman is Israel and the 12 stars are the 12 tribes of Israel.
Revelation 12:14 tells us what happens next: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.”
Israel will be protected by two wings of a great eagle (the United States). She will fly into her place (the Promised Land) and she will be protected there all during the time of the Great Tribulation. We are also told the length of the Great Tribulation—three and one-half years (time, and times, and half a time).
When Satan tries to war against Jews in Israel proper and cannot, he will then resort to persecuting Jews and Christians around the world.
Revelation 12:17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
This verse distinctly says that the dragon (Satan) will make war not just against the woman, which is Israel, but against the, “…remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Wherever the Antichrist and his world government has power, Jews and true Christians will be subjected to the persecutions of the Great Tribulation.
This passage leaves no doubt; the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of Satan not the Wrath of God. The Wrath of God will be poured out later at the Battle of Armageddon, which occurs at the end of the Great Tribulation.
How can we predict the timing of these events? To answer this question, one must understand the thesis and skeletal structure of the Book of Revelation.
The Revealing of Jesus Christ
The Book of Revelation is devoted to the revealing of Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.
“The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass,” (Revelation 1:1).
The word translated “revelation” is the Greek word “apokalypsis”, which means to reveal. The Book of Revelation is devoted to dramatizing and telling the story of how the Second Coming is going to happen. The Second Coming is the crowning moment of all human history. Jesus Christ will return to the earth to put down the thrones of men and establish the long-promised Kingdom of God.
Revelation gives at least four accounts of Christ’s Second Coming—all from different perspectives.
Structure of Revelation
The Book of Revelation is divided into three segments. John was told to:
“Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter,” (Revelation 1:19).
Revelation, chapter one, is a vision that John saw. Chapters two and three are letters written to seven churches in existence 2,000 years ago. The prophetic portion of Revelation begins in chapter four, verse one.
“After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter,” (Revelation 4:1).
This is a major turning point that many people miss. It is a key area that has caused many to misinterpret the Book of Revelation.
Another very important thing to understand is that the future is described in four different ways through four major categories of events. These categories form a sort of skeletal structure for the Book of Revelation. They are: Seven Seals, Seven Thunders, Seven Trumpets and Seven Vials. Although the Seals, Trumpets and Vials are explained in some length, the thunders are not explained at all.
“And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not,” (Revelation 10:4).
God only allowed John to write what He wanted understood.
The structural elements of the Book of Revelation are revealed when you compare the Seals, Trumpets and Vials. The Seals are the long story ending with the Second Coming of Jesus Christ back to earth. The Trumpets are the shorter story ending at the same time. The Vials or Bowls, are the very short story ending at the same event.
Each of these structural elements begin at different times but they all end at the same time, proving conclusively the Book of Revelation is not written in chronological order.
Of these, lets analyze the fourth and final narrative, detailing the Wrath of God.
The Seven Vials
The Seven Vials are filled up with the Wrath of God.
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God,” (Revelation 15:1-2).
“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: 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. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled,” (Revelation 15:5-8).
Remember, the Great Tribulation is the Wrath of Satan, not God. At this point on the prophetic timeline, we will be at the end of the Great Tribulation and the Seven Vials of the Wrath of God are ready to be poured out.
How do we know? The first Vial provides the answer.
The First Vial
The angels are commanded to pour out the Wrath of God upon the earth.
“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. 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,” (Revelation 16:1-2).
The prophecy does not provide a clear description of the plague itself. However, it does reveal the timing. Notice the first Vial cannot be poured out until the Mark of the Beast has been administered.
Other passages tell us the Mark of the Beast is implemented during the Great Tribulation and the reign of the Antichrist, which is within the final three and one-half years prior to the Battle of Armageddon and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
“…and power was given unto him (Antichrist) to continue forty and two months (Great Tribulation)…And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them,” (Revelation 13:5, 7).
It is at the very end of the Great Tribulation when the Vials will be executed.
The Second Vial
“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,” (Revelation 16:3).
Is this literally saying every single creature in the earth’s major bodies of water will be killed? It is our opinion they will not. Here’s why.
Consider that many of the plagues of Egypt, in the days of Moses, strongly resemble the ones prophesied in the Vials. The Egyptian plagues (i.e. water turned to blood) were localized and almost exclusive to the nation of Egypt. This perspective will aid with the interpretation of this prophecy.
From this, we can estimate with high probability that vials two through seven will not be poured out globally. They will be focused on the Antichrist, on his kingdom and on the invading armies of his world government that will invade Israel at the Battle of Armageddon.
As we go along, I will provide scripture for this.
The Third Vial
“And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. 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. For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, and thou hast given them blood to drink; for they are worthy. And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are thy judgments,” (Revelation 16:4-7).
All of the waters in that region are being turned to blood. People are suffering. Then the angel tells the Lord these folks are worthy to suffer God’s Wrath. This is very different from the prevailing message being taught throughout Christendom today—God is all love; live any way you want with no consequences. That is not scriptural.
It is true that God is a God of infinite mercy and grace. However, the same Bible teaches that He is a God of judgment for those who have not been born again and living a Christian life.
“For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil,” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).
Revelation 16:6 says they will be given blood to drink because they are worthy of it. They would not repent but worshipped the Antichrist, and they are worthy of judgment.
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting,” (Galatians 6:7-8).
We are individuals of free will. We will either walk the path of Jesus Christ or we will walk the path of sin. No man can serve two masters. In this life, we will either serve God or Satan. These are the only two choices for every human being.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live,” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
The choice of life or death is our free will decision alone, and it is of eternal consequence. In the end time, many will not choose to live for Jesus and walk in His statutes.
“And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him (Antichrist), whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world,” (Revelation 13:8).
That is why, when God pours out His wrath and turns the water to blood, He will be undeniably justified in doing so.
The Fourth Vial
“And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire. 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,” (Revelation 16:8-9).
It is astonishing to me that while these men are being scorched with great heat, they are blaspheming the name of God instead of repenting. That is the wrong attitude. When we are chastised by God, we should respond with repentance instead of rebellion. It is no wonder God will be justified in punishing them.
Some folks believe and teach this Vial, when men are scorched with heat, is a result of global warming.
This is a clear misconception because global warming isn’t occurring. It has been proven to be a hoax.
Although it is easy to do, I do not have the space to provide in-depth evidence for this statement.
However, I will furnish one proof—Greenland. The Norse Vikings arrived in Greenland around 980 AD and were able to farm the land. However, due to a rapidly cooling climate they were forced to leave and by the mid-15th century their settlements were abandoned.
Currently 80% of Greenland is covered in ice, which means that it was much warmer when the Vikings were there than it is today.
Did the Vikings have coal burning power plants? No! Did they drive large SUVs? No! Yet the global warming alarmists say these are the causes for global warming and must be abolished.
The global warming/climate change hoax is United Nations’ propaganda used to redistribute the wealth of the world and to control the populace. Global warming has not occurred in at least the last 14 years.
The fact is, God has always controlled the thermostat and will continue to do so for at least the next 1,000 years.
“While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,” (Genesis 8:22).
No. During the fourth Vial, when men are scorched by the sun, it will be a sovereign act of God—not mankind.
The Fifth Vial
“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, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds,” (Revelation 16:10-11).
This vial is poured out on the seat of the beast.
We don’t know the geographical location of the seat of the Antichrist. Prophecy foretells the Antichrist will arise from Europe (Daniel 7:8). It is possible he may establish a residence in Jerusalem (Daniel 11:45)—possibly on the Temple Mount itself, although, we don’t know that for sure.
The passage also says this plague will be located on the seat of the beast and his kingdom will be full of darkness.
This is not a new thing. Do you remember the plague of darkness during the time of Moses—back in Egypt? They were afflicted with darkness for three days.
The Plagues and the Vials
In light of that analogy, I think this is a good place to analyze the comparison of the Vials in Revelation to the plagues of Egypt in Exodus:
First Vial: Grievous sore—Plagues of Egypt: Boils with blains (Exodus 9:9-10)
Second and Third Vials: Sea, river and fountains became as blood—Plagues of Egypt: Water turned to blood (Exodus 7:17-18)
Fourth Vial: Men were scorched with great heat. This did not happen during the time of Moses.
Fifth Vial: Kingdom of the beast (Antichrist) full of darkness—Plagues of Egypt: Great darkness (Exodus 10:21-22)
Sixth Vial: Euphrates is dried up. This did not happen in the time of Moses, but it will certainly happen in the near future.
Seventh Vial: Great hail—Plagues of Egypt: Great hail (Exodus 9:18)
A quick study of the correlation between the plagues of Egypt and the Seven Vials of the Wrath of God provides very important clues when determining the location of these future judgments.
It’s interesting to see that many of the Vials are similar and sometimes exact duplicates of the plagues of Egypt. Once we understand these similarities and the fact that the plagues of Egypt did not affect the whole world, it allows us to know the Seven Vials will also be localized and regional.
This is important because the Bible says, at the time of the Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon, the elements will melt with a fervent heat (2 Peter 3:10). And there will be a new Heaven and a new earth.
Some have taught that the entire earth will be consumed by fire at the time of the Vials. That has to be a misunderstanding because the Bible also says people will be allowed to live into the millennium after these Vials are poured out.
“I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time,” (Daniel 7:11-12).
This prophecy is fulfilled at the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:20). It is telling us that at the Second Coming and the Battle of Armageddon, human governments will be abolished but the people will not be consumed with fire but continue living.
So, what does 2 Peter 3:10 mean when it says the elements will melt with a fervent heat? To answer this question, let’s look at an Old Testament prophecy foretelling the same event.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth,” (Zechariah 14:12).
This is describing the effects of a nuclear bomb.
From these passages, we know there will be nuclear weapons used at the Battle of Armageddon. This is when the elements will melt with a fervent heat. Remember, this is a localized event—not global.
To be continued in the Jan/Feb 2020 edition of Endtime magazine…