Brother Mike’s Message
Victory in Jesus: The True Story of Revelation | Chapter 16
Chapter sixteen begins with John hearing “a loud voice from heaven.” This voice must have been the voice of God commanding the seven angels with the seven bowls of wrath (16:1; cf. 15:1) to pour out devastation and destruction on the Roman Empire.
The pouring out of the first bowl sorely affected those who had the mark of the beast. The second bowl spoiled the travel, trade, and resources gained by the sea. The third bowl tainted the fresh water supply. The fourth bowl charred man with the intense heat of the sun. The fifth bowl upset the power and authority of the Roman Empire. The sixth bowl of wrath was poured out on the river Euphrates opening the way for Rome’s most dreaded enemy. In spite of all the suffering, Rome refused to repent; and before the seventh and final bowl of wrath is poured out on Rome, John saw “three unclean spirits like frogs” coming out of the mouths of Satan, the emperor, and those charged with enforcing emperor worship. These “unclean spirits” went out to entice the world to join forces with the Roman Empire in the fight against the forces God would use to destroy Rome.
It should be noted that the first four bowls of wrath could be regarded as natural catastrophes. The fifth and sixth bowls of wrath could be regarded as internal corruption, and external invasion. This, as well as Rome's attempt to employ the whole world to help her in her fight against external invasion is in keeping with her history. Rome was not destroyed by miraculous means. Her destruction came about through ordinary means. We often hear of the battle of Armagedon (Har-Magedon) being the end-time war. John is not explaining the events at the end of time. While Har-Magedon is a bloody battlefield (see 2 Chron. 35:22, Judges 5:19), it is not used in Revelation to signify a physical battle. This battle signifies the end for the Roman Empire. This battle is used simply to show that Satan loses. God wins!
When the seventh angel poured out the final bowl of wrath upon the wicked world controlled by the Roman Emperor who was a servant of Satan, God shouted from the throne room, “It is done” (16:17). This shows the complete destruction of the Roman Empire. Verses 18-21 describes the fall of Rome; and Chapters 17 and 18 further explain the fall of Rome.