The 7-Vial (or Bowl) Judgments


The following seven vials (or bowls) are poured out by 7 individual angels as judgments upon the inhabitants of the earth during the last 3 1/2 years (or 1,260 days) of the Tribulation period, as revealed in the scripture verses below.

  1. And the first [angel]  went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore [Greek: helkos (GSN-1668), ulcer] upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” (Rev 16:2)

    Could not this happen literally, as it did in Egypt (Exodus 9:8-12) and also to the Phillistines (Deut 28:27)?  It is only to come upon the people who have the mark of the beast and who worship his image.  This proves its limitation of this judgment from God to those within the kingdom of Antichrist.

  2. 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.” (Rev 16:3)

    Could this not happen literally, as it did under the second trumpet (Rev. 8:8-9)?  The sea here perhaps refers to the Mediterranean around which is probably located the kingdom of Antichrist.

  3. And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood.” (Rev 16:4)

    Could this not happen literally also, as it did in Egypt (Exodus 7:19-24)?

  4. And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power [or authority from heaven] 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. “ (Rev 16:8-9)

    In the 4th trumpet, the stars are partially darkened (Rev. 8:12), but here the heat is increased until it scorches people.  One is as easy for God to bring about as the other.

  5. And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast [or Antichrist’s followers]; and his kingdom was full of darkness [Exodus 10:21-22]; and they gnawed their tongues for pain [meaning, people will go into convulsions], 11 And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Rev 16:10-11)

    a    "And the fifth angel poured out his vial".
          This compares with the 9th Egyptian plague (Exodus 10:21-22).

    b    "seat of the beast"
          The throne of the beast, which will then be located in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:1-2; Dan 9:27; Dan 11:40-45; Dan 12:7; Matt 24:15-22; 2 Thes 2:3-4).

    c    "his kingdom was full of darkness". This plague is stated to be upon the kingdom of Antichrist, proving it is limited to wherever Antichrist rules on earth.

    d    "they gnawed their tongues for pain". People will go into convulsions because of the pains and sores.

  6. 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. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon [Satan or the Devil], and out of the mouth of the beast [Antichrist], and out of the mouth of the false prophet [or Antichrist’s religious leader]. 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. 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. 16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon [or the Valley of Megiddo – Rev 19:17-21].” (Rev 16:12-16)

    Could not this in Rev 16:12 be as literal as the drying up of the Red Sea and the Jordan river in Exodus 14:13-22; Joshua 3:4; 2 Kings 2:8,14?  The purpose of this is to prepare the way of the kings of the East to come into Palestine to cooperate with Antichrist at Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16; Rev. 19:19-21; Zech. 14:1-5; Joel 3).

    With reference to Rev 16:13, this is the 7th parenthetical passage.  It is inserted between the 6th and 7th vials and the events will be fulfilled in the order given.  It explains how the kings of the earth (who are not under Antichrist) will be persuaded to cooperate with him at Armageddon (Rev. 16:13-16).  Unclean spirits will inspire ambassadors and do miracles through them to convince the kings of the earth that the success of their future lies in the whole earth cooperating together to stop Christ from taking over the earth at His Second Coming.  They will inspire the nations to fight against Christ, fulfilling Psalm 2. Just as Ahab was allured to battle and destruction by demons in 2 Chron. 18:18-22, so the nations will be led to Armageddon by demons in the vain hope of defeating Christ (Rev. 16:13-16; Rev. 19:11-21)

    Christ again announces His Second Coming, which He here associates with Armageddon (Rev. 16:15-16; Rev. 19:11-21).

  7. 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!” 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. 19 Now the great city [of Jerusalem] was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 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.” (Rev 16:17-21)

    Twenty Things Done under the Seventh Vial:

    1.     The earthly events between the Rapture and Second Coming end (Rev. 4:1-19:21)
    2.     The 70th week of Daniel ends (Daniel 9:27)
    3.     Great tribulations ends (Rev. 11:15-19:21; Matthew 24:15-22; Daniel 12:1-7)
    4.     The judgments of the seals, trumpets, and vials end (Rev. 6:1-19:21)
    5.     Wrath of God started in the 6th seal ends (Rev. 6:12-17; Rev. 16:17-19:21)
    6.     Two witnesses end their earthly career (Rev. 11:3-14; Rev. 16:17-19:21)
    7.     Israel is liberated from Gentiles under Antichrist (Rev. 12:1-19:21; Zech. 14)
    8.     Jerusalem delivered from Gentiles (Luke 21:24; Rev. 11:1-19:21; Zech. 14)
    9.     Martyrdom of saints ends (Rev. 6:9-11; Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 15:2-4; Rev. 20:4-6)
    10.   Beast worship ends (Rev. 13:1-18; Rev. 19:20)
    11.   Babylon is destroyed (Rev. 16:17-21)
    12.   The times of the Gentiles end (Luke 21:24; Romans 11:25-29; Rev. 19:11-21)
    13.   Gentile world powers defeated at Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-21; Zech. 14)
    14.   Many cities of the nations fall by an earthquake (Rev. 16:17-21)
    15.   Great physical changes on earth take place (Rev. 11:13; Rev. 16:17-21; Zech. 14:4)
    16.   First resurrection is completed (Rev. 11:12; Rev. 7:9-17; Rev. 15:2-4; Rev. 20:4-6)
    17.   Day of the Lord begins (Rev. 20:1-10)
    18.   Antichrist's reign ends (Rev. 19:11-21)
    19.   Satan's reign on earth ends (Rev. 19:11-20:3; Isaiah 24:21-22)
    20.   Second coming; eternal reign of Christ begins (Rev. 19:11-21; Rev. 20:1-10)

The above-listed judgments come from heaven and are in addition to the oppressive conditions that the Antichrist imposes upon all those who have taken his ‘mark’ – believed to be a microchip implant.


Throughout the last half of the Tribulation period that is initiated by the Antichrist placing the ‘Abomination of Desolation’ in the (3rd) Jewish temple, the “two witnesses” from heaven appear in Jerusalem until they are killed by Antichrist prior to Christ’s return to the earth.

And I will give power unto MY TWO WITNESSES, and they shall prophesy a THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED AND THREESCORE DAYS [1,260 days or 3-1/2 years], clothed in sackcloth. 4 These are the two olive trees [Enoch and Elijah who have not yet died as all others do - Gen 5:24; 2 Kings 2:11; Heb 9:27], and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. 5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. 6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” (Rev 11:3-6)

At the end of their 3 1/2-year witness of Jesus Christ being the Messiah to the Jewish nation, God allows Antichrist to kill them (Heb 9:27), so that they can be raptured into heaven (Rev 11:12):

And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. 8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. 9 And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half [the same period Christ’s body lay in the tomb - Matt 12:40], and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10 And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. 11 And after three days and an half the Spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them” (Rev 11:7-11)

It is believed that the 'two witnesses" are Enoch (pre-Flood - Gen 5:24) and Elijah (one of the major prophets - 2 Kings 2:11-12) who have been taken to Heaven ALIVE and are yet to die, so as to fulfil the following verse of scripture for ALL who have lived upon the earth:

(Heb 9:27-28)  "And as it is appointed unto [ALL] men ONCE TO DIE, but after this the judgment: {28} So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation."

Quite a number of my comments above have been taken from the notes of the Dake Annoted Bible commentary.

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