Revelation Chapter 16, “The Seven Last Plagues”, Part 1
“The Seven Last Plagues and the Destruction of Babylon”
Excerpts for this study have been taken from the “New Albany Notes on Revelation”, and on occasion
from Brother Frank Shallieu’s book “The Keys of Revelation”; any other sources will be duly noted.
With regards to the pouring out of the Seven Last Plagues there are three typical viewpoints held among
the brethren, A) The plagues are all past, B) The plagues are in progress of being poured out,
and or C) The plagues are still yet future, it is our opinion that (B) is the correct thought, that the
plagues are in the process of fulfillment.
However before we attempt to interpret the seven last plagues it is first necessary that we take into
consideration the fact that there are five distinct accounts of the final and total destruction of
Babylon found within the book of Revelation, these are found in the 14-19th Chapters of the book of
Revelation, each of these accounts presents its own means or perspective of the destruction of
The first is found in Rev 14:6-8, 19, and 20 and pertains to how the harvest work leads up to this
destruction. Babylon is destroyed in the “wine press” picture.
The second is found in Rev 15:1-16:21 and pertains to how the various events (bowls full of plagues
of wrath) lead up to its destruction, with Babylon finally destroyed in the “seventh plague” picture.
The third is found in Rev 17: 1-16 and pertains to how the world’s powers, both the governments
and the people re-align themselves against Babylon leading up to its destruction. Babylon is destroyed,
devoured and burned by the 10 horns and a beast.
The forth is found in Rev 18:4-24 and pertains to how the various political and economic entities
deal with Babylon’s loss of prestige and power since 1914 leading up to its destruction. Babylon is
destroyed in the “great millstone” picture.
The fifth and last is found in Rev 19:11-20 and pertains to how the Lord and his saints (the Church)
cooperate in the “battle” which leads to the destruction of Babylon, in the end Babylon is destroyed by
being cast alive into the lake of fire.
It is from the foregoing perspective that we present our view of the “seven last plagues” as
various events, not as messages, the messages were presented in the “seven trumpets”. “It is also
clear from church history that the messages presented by the angels in the trumpets were not heard
(heeded to) by any accept the true church. If they were even heard at all by others, they were generally
misunderstood, misinterpreted, and condemned.”
Now since the sevens trumpets did not convert the world nor destroy the old order it would be necessary
for something else to force or re-focus these truths upon them, to bring about the destruction of the
present order, and to make way for the new. Thus we have the “bowls of wrath”.
Another IMPORTANT POINT to be made before we proceed is that we clearly distinguish between the
“bowls of wrath” and the “plagues” themselves; they are not one in the same item, although
related, but are rather two separate items.
How do we know this? Recall Rev 15:1 it is clearly stated that these angels were already in
possession of the plagues (various truths, they are only dubbed “plagues” in the sense that they vex
those who prefer error, to those who accept them they are blessings) now a little later in Verse 7 it is
stated that one of the four creatures (one of the Father’s four attributes, in this instance Justice) gave
the seven angels “the bowls of wrath”, thus something new, something which they did not
previously possess (thus marking a distinction between the two).
So what are the “bowls of wrath”?
“The bowls are the media of delivery, specific events which are used to force truths to the
attention of the old order. The thought is that justice has arranged for (given) the vehicles to
deliver the plagues. Justice is retributive; In God’s arrangement it is often the natural result of things
sown earlier.” The “plagues” apparently are IN the bowls; the event which forces the truth (the
plague) on Babylon. Note also that the bowls also contain “wrath”. Thus the bowls (events) are
carriers of wrath in the form of forced truths (plagues, vexations) used for judgment.
Now it has been suggested that the Volumes (i.e. the “Studies in the Scriptures”, series) have been
(and are being) used by the Lord in the destruction of Babylon, with this we are in agreement, this can be
scripturally proven, however what particular part in this work they play is disputable.
We will begin with the First Plague in our next post.
INDEX NEXT PAGE