Revelation 16:4–11 (NKJV)
The angels pour out their bowls in a massive attack on earth of God’s judgment. While they most likely poured out the bowls simultaneously, they were described in some sort of sequence. This writing discusses the third, fourth, and fifth bowls being poured out.
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood. 5 And I heard the angel of the waters saying:
“You are righteous, O Lord,
The One who is and who was and who is to be,
Because You have judged these things.
6 For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,
And You have given them blood to drink.
For it is their just due.”
7 And I heard another from the altar saying, “Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are Your judgments.”Revelation 16:4-7
The third bowl appears to continue the action of the second bowl, only extending from the sea to the fresh water sources, like the sequence of the plagues associated with the breaking of the seven seals. In this case, the rivers and springs of water were also turned to blood. In this occurrence, though, the explanation is given that the reason for this plague is the bloodthirsty killing of those faithful to Christ. Since they had shed the blood of saints and prophets, they would drink blood from their normal sources of fresh water as well. There is also a statement that the judgments of the Lord God Almighty are true and righteous. This bowl seems to necessitate an explanation of God’s actions, supporting them as right and appropriate.
8 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. 9 And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory.Revelation 16:8-9
The fourth angel pours out his bowl on the sun, and it became hotter or closer than before. The earlier plague from the seals seemed to point to some cosmic disturbances, even causing some of the cosmic objects like the sun and stars to move out of their normal orbits. This plague, from the fourth bowl, seems to move them even further, and the sun proceeds to scorch the people on the earth with fire and heat. Those who were burned blasphemed the name of God. They did not repent, nor give God glory. Therefore, the judgment was severe and painful.
10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.Revelation 16:10-11
The fifth angel’s bowl was poured out on the throne of the beast, a darkness covered all of his kingdom. The people of the antichrist’s kingdom gnawed their tongues in agony. They now had sores, were scorched by the sun, had not water to fish from or to drink, and wandered around in darkness, searching for their way. These five bowls were enough to make the people miserable. They blasphemed the God of heaven, and refused to repent, and were thus being judged and punished by the wrath of God. Two more bowls await description. We will see how the judgment of God is completed on the earth. This is a period of time when the church should be with Christ and out of the flow of these bowls. Be sure you are ready when Jesus comes. No one wants to be present when the bowls are poured out!
Artwork from https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/rev16-bowls.png