Introduction: Do you love God? Are you grateful for what He has done
for you and those you love? Our study this week reveals the opposite
side of the spectrum. We see in great detail what happens to those
who hate God and who harm His saints. It is a terrible thing to fall
into the hands of a God who meets out justice! Let’s dive into
Revelation and learn more!

  1. Seven Angels

    1. Read Revelation 15:1. Where have we seen seven angels in
      the past? (We learned that seven angels “stand before God”
      at His throne in heaven. Revelation 8:2. We saw seven
      angels repeatedly in our studies: for the seven churches
      ( Revelation 1:20), the seven trumpets ( Revelation 8:6),
      and now the seven last plagues.)

      1. Why are they “last plagues?” (“With them God’s wrath
        is completed.”)

        1. Does it seem odd to you that God is pouring
          down His wrath on people? Isn’t He a loving

    2. Read Revelation 15:2. Who is this group? Are they the
      target of the plagues of wrath? (Remember that when we
      studied Revelation 7 we learned that God’s people had been
      sealed, and among that group is the 144,000. In Revelation
      14 we see another reference to those who are sealed, but
      this time just the 144,000. Revelation 4:6 tells us that
      there is a “sea of glass” before God’s throne in heaven.
      From this we learn that those who have been faithful to
      God are pictured in heaven. They will not have to deal
      with the plagues!)

    3. Read Revelation 15:3-4. What are the saved doing in
      heaven? Is this where they get the idea that we have
      harps in heaven?

      1. What do you think is their main message?

      2. I’m particularly interested in the language “Just and
        true are your ways.” We are about to study some
        terrible punishment being handed down. What do God’s
        people think about the justice of this? (They agree
        with God.)

  2. Introduction to the Seven Plagues

    1. Read Revelation 15:5-6. On who do these plagues fall?
      (Since these plagues complete God’s wrath (Revelation
      15:1) they would logically fall only on the wicked. If
      John is giving us a chronology, then the righteous are
      already in heaven. Whether this is a chronology or not is
      something we considered last week. Sometimes John just
      gives us a glimpse into heaven and it not intended to be a

      1. Why are the seven angels so dressed up? Why does John
        describe their appearance? (Imagine that you have
        been dealing with sin all this time. Imagine that you
        witnessed the suffering of Jesus and His followers –
        the suffering that the wicked have created. Finishing
        this controversy might cause you to dress up for the
        final counter strike.)

    2. Read Revelation 15:7-8. Aside from the smoke, can you
      think of a reason why no one could enter the temple in
      heaven? (One suggestion is that the mediation of Jesus,
      our High Priest, described in Hebrews has come to an end.
      All decisions have been made.)

      1. Read Exodus 19:18. What alternative explanation does
        this suggest? (The smoke represents God’s glory and
        power in a very dangerous way. The residents of
        heaven know better than to visit right now as God is
        staging the seven last plagues.)

  3. Seven Plagues

    1. Read Revelation 16:1-2. Does this remind you of anything
      you have previously seen in the Bible? (Read Exodus 9:8-9.
      A very similar plague was sent to Egypt. Notice that it is
      confined to the earth and does not affect animals.)

      1. Who suffers from this plague? (Those who have the
        mark of the beast.)

    2. Read Revelation 16:3. Is there a parallel in the Egyptian
      plagues? (Read Exodus 7:19 for the parallel.)

      1. What is the target here? (The sea. Remember the first
        plague targeted the earth.)

      2. What specific kind of blood is involved? (The blood
        of a dead person. The result is that everything in
        the sea dies.)

      3. Contemplate the extent of that disaster. How would
        that affect daily life?

    3. Read Revelation 16:4-6. What is targeted here? (The rest
      of the water: the rivers and springs.)

      1. What is the specific practical problem brought by
        this plague? (No drinking water. This targets fresh

      2. Unlike the earlier plagues, the justice of it is
        specifically explained. Read Leviticus 7:26-27,
        Leviticus 17:11, and Acts 21:25. Can you explain
        God’s reason for this plague? What is the justice of
        it? (Ingesting blood is specifically prohibited in
        both the Old and New Testaments because life is in
        the blood, and blood saves us from sin. These people
        are the opposite of Jesus. Jesus shed His blood to
        give us life. They have been taking life. Therefore
        they are blood drinkers. They are beyond saving.)

    4. Read Revelation 16:7. How did the altar enter this
      picture? Nothing in this chapter previously referred to
      it. (The sacrificial blood was poured out at the base of
      the altar in the temple. Leviticus 4:7. Thus,
      symbolically, the altar has a special interest in the
      blood. It approves of this otherwise unapproved use of
      blood. It confirms the justice of this.)

    5. Read Revelation 16:8-9. Will there be global warming?
      (Yes! Whatever the merits of the current debate, the sun
      will “sear” humans.)

      1. Why are we told that God has “control over these
        plagues?” (This is judgment. Those who deny that our
        loving God is also a God of judgment ignore the plain
        text of the Bible.)

      2. How do the wicked react to this judgment?

    6. Read Revelation 16:10-11. Does the beast have a throne?
      (When we discussed the dragon, the Ten Horn beast, and the
      Earth Beast in Revelation 13, we decided that there is
      good evidence that the Ten Horn is Pagan and Papal Rome.
      That is the conclusion of many of the old commentaries.)

      1. Read Revelation 2:13. What clue does this give us to
        the question of the location of the throne of the
        beast? (This tells us that Satan’s throne (the
        dragon, not the beast) is in Pergamum. Pergamum was
        the first city in Asia which had a temple for the
        worship of a Roman Emperor. This provides evidence
        that we are, in fact, looking at a specific city on

    7. Look again at Revelation 16:10-11. What does the plague of
      darkness mean to a modern city? (No electricity.)

      1. Would people chew on their tongues in agony if they
        were deprived of their electronic devices? (Their
        attention is not diverted by their electronic
        devices. It is dark and they are focused on their

      2. Notice the repeated statement that they still refuse
        to repent and give glory to God. How determined are
        these people to continue in sin? (We can see why they
        are such strong rebels against God.)

    8. Read Revelation 16:12. Of what does this remind you? (It
      reminds me of the transfer of power mentioned in Daniel
      5:30 from Babylon to Medo-Persia. The background is that
      Cyrus diverted the Euphrates river and marched into
      Babylon on the riverbed and conquered the city. This is
      referenced in Isaiah 44:27-28.)

      1. Who are the “kings from the east?” (Read Matthew
        24:27 and Ezekiel 43:2. I think this means Jesus
        coming out of heaven with His angels.)

    9. Read Revelation 16:13-15. How are the forces of good and
      evil lining up? (Jesus is coming, and those who are evil
      are preparing for battle against God.)

    10. Read Revelation 16:16-20. As this great army assembles,
      what happens as a result of the plague brought by the
      seventh angel? (A world-wide earthquake.)

      1. Why does God defeat an army through what appear to be
        natural disasters? (I don’t think the wicked are
        confused by this. Instead, it shows the great power
        of God that controls the forces of nature. God is not
        limited to the power of humans.)

    11. Read Revelation 16:21. What pounds what is left of the
      evil army after the horrible earthquake? (Hailstones as
      big as people!)

    12. Friend, choose wisely! Which side seems to be the better
      choice? Why not side with Jesus today, and right now?

  4. Next week: Judgment on Babylon.