Revelation Chapter 16, “The Seven Last Plagues”, Part 6
VERSE 10 and 11 “And the fifth (angel) poured out his bowl upon the throne of the beast; and
his kingdom was darkened; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, and they blasphemed the
God of heaven because of their pains and their sores; and they repented not of their works.”
The Fifth angel was John Wycliffe
And the fifth angel POURED OUT HIS BOWL UPON THE THRONE OF THE BEAST: This plague is
probably the Vatican II Church Council. The churches of Christendom had problems and did not look
very good once WWII ended. Pope John XXIII wanted to help the situation. But, because the Lord
designed a plague on the authority (throne) of the beast, Vatican II weakened the church dramatically.
Papacy, remember, is a HORN on the beast (Dan 7:20-25), but the seventh head - Nazi-Fascism - was
now gone (Rev 17:10). Thus this prominent horn is the de-facto authority (throne) of the beast.
Once again note the uncanny parallelism which exist between the fifth plague events and those
of the fifth trumpet.
AND HIS KINGDOM BECAME DARKENED: The Papacy has been subsequently questioned by its own
bishops (as well as by its priests, nuns, and parishioners. Those with whom it had concordats also look
askance at it. It is no longer seen by nearly anyone as an infallible source of light. The Roman Catholic
Church never before publicly questioned its past actions; it now does. Their very foundation
(throne) is shaken. All kinds of movements have sprung up within the Roman Catholic Church
which do not have Papal sanction and which continually challenge Papal authority.
AND THEY GNAWED THEIR TONGUES BECAUSE OF PAIN: They do not know what to say.
Contradictions are undermining confidence in her. When the Pope tries to be authoritative (on birth
control, Gays and women in the priesthood, sex allegations and etc.,) most of his subjects think he’s less
than capable. Again it appears that God’s subtle humor may enter into this verse. One of Vatican II’s
results was putting the mass into the vernacular languages -- a change, which met with great
consternation and resistance. Gnawing their tongues may be a humorous reference. In any case, the
Roman Catholic Church IS IN PAIN and seems quite uncertain of this next move (at least publicly) -- a
position most uncharacteristic of it.
16:11 -- AND THEY BLASPHEMED THE GOD OF HEAVEN: Note the change from 16:9 where the
blasphemy was against the “name of God” -- i. e., God’s character. Now here in Verse 11 the
blasphemy is directed at the “God of Heaven”, this most likely, refers here to the Pope, not the one true
God. The Pope has been ill-spoken of by many throughout his church, and He certainly IS the god of the
Catholic heavens (i.e. ecclesiastical heavens) 2 Thess 2:3, 4
AND THEY DID NOT REPENT: Five plagues don’t work; seven are needed. One great phenomenon since
Vatican II is the number of priests and nuns resigning their posts. The remarkable thing is that they don’
t leave the church, they don’t REPENT, no! they merely challenge the vows they took.
(N.A.N.O.R. Page 125)
From another view point,
“This pictures to us trouble coming upon Papacy (the Beast); not so much upon the masses of
Romanists as upon those in authority, its rulers--the throne power--their clergy. Papacy walls are
higher, its claims are stronger, and its claims to divine authority and infallibility of longer standing than
those of the Protestant system--her daughters; therefore she the longer escapes the increasing light of
this "Day of the Lord," and hence the longer escapes the trouble consequent to her errors.
But she shall not escape the trouble. It comes on the throne or ruling class, and their kingdom is
filled with darkness --uncertainty--absence of former unity and harmony, and in their trouble
the pain will be increased by tongue-biting.
The tongues of Papacy are its decrees and utterances, past and future. To bite, then, in pain, implies
contradiction and denial of former utterances. Whether this signifies a contradiction and reversal of
previous utterances of the Papal hierarchy, or whether it means controversy and differences between the
living rulers of the Church, we may not decide, but it will probably include both of these difficulties, and in
their attempt to justify their contradictory teachings, Gods character will be further dishonored,
misrepresented, or blasphemed.(I personally tend to agree with the before mentioned suggestion by
the New Albany group which suggest that it is the so-called, “God of Heaven”, i.e. the Pope, the god
of the ecclesiastical heavens who is the one here blasphemed, although it’s nonetheless true that
our Father’s name is likewise dishonored through association.)
As an illustration of this symbol, "biting their tongues," we note Papacy’s present humiliating
concessions and contradictions of her former teachings, in her present recognition of the Protestant
governments of Europe, which Papacy not only did not create, but actually cursed, and encouraged her
faithful to use every means to destroy. This biting is occasioned by the pain and humbled condition in
which Papacy finds herself. She has lost all temporal power, and to maintain long her spiritual influence,
feels that she must not antagonize the governments, which she can no longer claim the right to control.
When we remember that it was this same Papal system which in its prosperity had "a mouth
speaking great things" (Dan 7:8-25; Rev 13:5), making boastful claims, it should not surprise us
that God should ordain as part of its reward that it should eat its own words. (R509)
In our next post we will be taking a look at the Sixth Plague the one which we are presently experiencing.
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