Revelation 16:17

Thursday, 13 May 2021

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!” Revelation 16:17

With the interlude referring to the great battle of Armageddon complete, John now returns to seventh and final bowl judgment, saying, “Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air.”

What results from this pouring into the air is not actually stated, and it can only be guessed at what the result is. Some see it as the domain where the devil is. That would then be a reference to Ephesians 2 where he is called the prince of the power of the air. Others see it as supernatural events that appear to come from the air, such as tempests and storms and the like. Indeed, Zechariah 14 says the following –

“And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the people who fought against Jerusalem:
Their flesh shall dissolve while they stand on their feet,
Their eyes shall dissolve in their sockets,
And their tongues shall dissolve in their mouths.
13 It shall come to pass in that day
That a great panic from the Lord will be among them.
Everyone will seize the hand of his neighbor,
And raise his hand against his neighbor’s hand;
14 Judah also will fight at Jerusalem.
And the wealth of all the surrounding nations
Shall be gathered together:
Gold, silver, and apparel in great abundance.
15 Such also shall be the plague
On the horse and the mule,
On the camel and the donkey,
And on all the cattle that will be in those camps.
So shall this plague be.” Zechariah 14:12-15

This plague of being dissolved there is probably linked to a modern neutron bomb or the like. Something ignites the atmosphere, and the plague comes from that. However, it is what precedes this plague that is recorded in Zechariah 14 that is also recorded in Revelation 19 –

“Then the Lord will go forth
And fight against those nations,
As He fights in the day of battle.
And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives,
Which faces Jerusalem on the east.
And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two,
From east to west,
Making a very large valley;
Half of the mountain shall move toward the north
And half of it toward the south.” Zechariah 14:3, 4

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. 16 And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:

KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.

Both end times passages refer to the return of the Lord to fight the battle for His people. Other similarities will be noted in the coming verses as well. The pouring out of the bowl into the air may simply be a way of saying that Christ, who is coming from heaven, will appear in order to bring final judgment upon the unrepentant people of the world. In this, there is a note of finality. As such, John continues with, “and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, ‘It is done!’”

There are various minor differences in these words. Some manuscripts leave out the words “of heaven.” One says “God” instead of “throne.” Either way, the intent is clear enough. A voice is issuing forth, and its proclamation is that of finality. It is not that everything has come to pass yet, but that everything that is necessary for the final accomplishment of the redemptive plan has been fulfilled. With the pouring out of the bowl, nothing further needs to occur for everything to come about.

Life application: The words “it is done,” or more literally, “it has come to pass,” are not to be confused with Jesus’ final words on the cross. An entirely different word is used for each pronouncement in the Greek. In the case here, it is signifying the completion of the outpouring of the wrath of God, not an accomplishment of fulfilling the law and atonement on behalf of God’s people – both of which were completed by Jesus on the cross.

This verse is also not the finality of the bowl judgment, only an indication that the time of the judgment has come. The next few verses will contain a limited description of the judgment which results from the outpouring of the bowl. Because of this, it is good to look back and remember now what was stated before the outpouring of the first bowl in verse 1, “Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth’” (Revelation 16:1).

There has been no word from the throne since that time, but now that the seventh bowl is poured out, the Lord again speaks. There was, however, the brief interlude that was recorded after the sixth bowl in verse 15, saying, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.”

The Lord has given the warning that these great judgments are coming and that they will be executed with His authority. Therefore, He asks all to be ready for His coming so that these calamitous events can be avoided. When they come, the world will have no excuse for having rejected His offer of pardon. Now is the time of God’s favor; today is the day of salvation. God has extended His glorious offer. He has given us JESUS.

Heavenly Father, You have given us everything we need to know in order to be saved and to be kept from the hour of trial which is coming upon the world. You have also told us in advance what it will be like. Thank You for showing us these things. Give us the wisdom to call upon You now before these terrifying events come to pass. Thank You, O God! Amen.