Fifth Bowl

The first “four bowls” destroyed the economic infrastructure used by the World Empire to dominate the “inhabitants of the earth” and wage war on the “saints.” This undermined the very global commerce on which the “Beast” system depends for wealth and power. Now, the “fifth bowl” targets its political power and prestige.

The destruction of the economic and political power structures will set the stage for the final “war” between the earthly forces of the “Dragon” and of the “Lamb,” the “battle of the day of God Almighty” at “Armageddon.” It will occur when the sixth “bowl of wrath” is emptied - (Revelation 16:12-16).

  • (Revelation 16:10-11) – “And the fifth 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 “Beast” received its “throne and authority” from the “Dragon” - It is the earthly agent of the Devil.

But the real conflict behind the scenes is between the “Dragon” and the “Lamb.” Just as Jesus reigns from his “Father’s throne,” so the “Beast” sits on “Satan’s throne” and does his bidding – (Revelation 3:21, 13:2).

And “Satan’s throne” was seen first in the letter to the church in Pergamos, the administrative center of the provincial government and the Roman imperial cult - “I know where you dwell, even where Satan's throne is; and you are holding fast my name, and did not deny my faith, even in the days of Antipas my witness, my faithful one, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells” - (Revelation 2:13).

The plague of “darkness” targets the political authority of the “Beast.” This is a literary link to the sounding of the “fifth trumpet” when the sun is “darkened” by the “smoke from the Abyss,” and the imagery is drawn from the ninth plague of Egypt - (Exodus 10:21-22).

Likewise, the “pain” that causes men to “gnaw their tongues echoes the earlier plague of “locusts” when the followers of the “Beast” were “tormented for five months.”


And so, here, the “inhabitants of the earth” who give allegiance to the “Beast” are tormented by “their pains and sores.” The plague harms both the “Beast” and those who render homage to its image. - (Exodus 10:21-29, Revelation 9:1-3).

However, just as when the “sixth trumpet” sounded, the men who take the “mark of the Beast” refuse to repent. Instead, they “blaspheme the God of heaven.

In Revelation, “blaspheme” denotes “slander,” false accusations, and legal charges made against the “saints.” This behavior is another link between the “Beast” and the “inhabitants of the earth,” for the “Beast” also slandered the name of God, and his tabernacle, even them that tabernacle in heaven” - (Revelation 2:8-9, 13:6-7).

In the “fifth bowl of wrath,” the political structures of the “Beast” are under direct attack, the authority and state power necessary for the maintenance of power over humanity and the persecution of the church.

And with the destruction of the economic and political means, the final downfall of the World Empire is now inevitable, and very probably, imminent.



The Word Made Flesh

Language of the New Testament