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There is no denying the fact that the book of Revelation is a book of judgment. It was written to people in the first century who were smiting under the angry whip of Roman persecution. It was given to them to let them know that God has a plan for the judgment of all those who have rejected Him.
While there are passages that allow for rejoicing in the chapters of this book, it is, for the most part, a chronicle of God’s final judgment of sin, sinners and Satan. In Revelation there is a series of three judgments which are executed in seven stages each. There are the seven seal judgments, the seven trumpet judgments and finally the seven bowl judgments.
As the judgments progress, the intensity and severity of the judgments increase.
We have arrived at the final set of judgments. In Rev. 15:7 shows one of the four beasts giving to seven angels seven bowls “full” of the wrath of God. Just as a reminder, the word “full” means “to swell”. It is the image of a dam, under pressure, nearing its bursting point. This is a good description of the wrath of God.
Ever since Adam sinned in Eden, the wrath of God against sin and sinners has been building. The grace and mercy of God have served as a powerful dam, which has held that wrath in check. In the judgments of the Revelation, the dam of God’s wrath bursts and a Christ rejecting world is swept away in the wave of judgment that issues forth.
Up to this point, God has always tempered His wrath. God has been faithful to honor the request of the prophet Habakkuk. In Hab. 3:2, the prophet prayed, “in wrath remember mercy.” But, now the time for judgment has come. There will be no mercy any longer. The wrath of God is about to be poured out. God is preparing to commence His final judgment of the earth.
In Rev. 14:10, John writes, “The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation.” In these verses, the world is about to experience the undiluted wrath of an offended God.
In verse 1 God issues the command for the angels to begin pouring out the bowls filled with His wrath upon the earth.