The Second Bowl and the Sea

21 Jan
seven vials -2

from Google Images

We are considering the seven bowls of wrath as mentioned in Revelation 16. They represent the Lord’s final judgment upon mankind. The second angel poured out his bowl containing the wrath of God upon the sea (Revelation 16:3). As a result, the sea became “as the blood of a dead man” (cp. Exodus 7:14-24), and every living soul in the sea died! How should we understand this? For centuries literalists have been looking for events to occur that would validate their understanding that sometime in the future the judgment of God would turn the sea all over the world into a reddish color. The sea, or at least parts of it have been known to turn red in color, such as China’s Dead Sea and the phenomena that occurred in Sydney, Australia in February of 2016. However, are these natural events what John had in mind when he mentioned the sea had become “as the blood of a dead man” (Revelation 16:3)?

In Revelation 13 the beast with seven heads and ten horns rose up out of the sea (Revelation 13:1). In my study of this Scripture: The Beast with Seven Heads, I had this to say about the sea:

The sand on the seashore represents the great number of people in the nations (Revelation 20:8), and the sea represents the wicked of the land: “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). The sea, therefore, represents the loud cries of those in rebellion (Isaiah 17:12). It is out of such a context as this that the beast arises (Revelation 11:7; 17:8),[1] and it was out of such that Daniel’s four great empires arose (Daniel 7:2-3).

In this context the sea is not literal, but, rather, represents wicked people, i.e. according to Isaiah 17:12 and Isaiah 57:20, and in this context Revelation 16, the sea would point to the unbelieving Jews of the first century AD who supported and enable the wicked plans and aspirations of the Beast and the False Prophet. In other words, anyone who supported the persecution of the elect of God, meaning those who preached and believed the Gospel of Christ, were represented in the sea, upon which the second angel poured out the wrath of God (Revelation 16:3; cp. Revelation 13:7; Matthew 23:29-36).

A close consideration of the text would show that it doesn’t actually claim the sea became red, or that it became blood, so should these dots (i.e. a literal interpretation) be connected? I think not! Rather, the sea became “as the blood of a dead man.” It neither claims that the sea **became** red nor did it **become** blood. What it does say is “it became **as** the blood of a dead man!” but what does this mean? The Law teaches us that the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11, 14; Deuteronomy 12:23), and the Law forbids one to eat the flesh (death) with the blood (life). Such a thing would be spiritually contradictory and, therefore, confusion. Nevertheless, the New Covenant tells us to eat the flesh of Christ (death in the flesh) and drink his blood (life in the spirit). This refers to one who dwells in Christ and Christ in him, which means that one has eternal life (John 6:53-56).

Put in this context, then, we can say that the sea, or the wicked (Isaiah 17:12; 57:20) became **as** a dead man, because the righteous or the believers (the elect of God) had been separated from them (cp. Matthew 13:41-43; 24:31), and they no longer had life among them. The whole community of unbelieving Jews in the first century AD had become “as the blood of a dead man.” After the separation of the elect was accomplished, judgment could finally occur.

According to Ezekiel 5:5, 12, when the Lord would judge Jerusalem, he would slay a third through pestilence and famine, and a third by the sword, and a third would be scattered among the nations, but even they would need to fear the sword. The point is, that every unbelieving Jew wasn’t slain in 70 AD, so what does “every living soul died in the sea” mean? The phrase cannot refer to spiritual death, because the unbelieving Jews were never spiritually alive. I believe the phrase **must** then refer to believing Jews, and these particular believing Jews are mentioned in Revelation 11:11-13. Messianic Jews who had endured to the end were saved alive (Matthew 24:13), but the Messianics, who abdicated under the heavy arm of persecution (Matthew 24:9-10, 12) and returned to Judaism, repented (Revelation 11:11-13, because of the life still in them. Their inheritance, however, lay with the wicked (Matthew 24:48-51), whose comfort they sought during the days of their persecution. Although they are living souls (spiritually), they must come through the fire and die in the sea of the wicked (1Corinthians 3:13-15).


[1] The sea or the “troubled sea that cannot rest” is not The Bottomless Pit, per se, but it is due to the efforts and cries of the wicked (viz. the troubled sea of Isaiah 57:20 and the rebellious people of Isaiah 17:12) that the beast arises out of the bottomless pit.

1 Comment

Posted by on January 21, 2020 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


Tags: , , , , , , ,

One response to “The Second Bowl and the Sea

  1. apocalypse2blog

    January 21, 2020 at 06:51

    I use the color of the sea to identify the four horsemen. We have the Red sea, the Black sea and the white sea. Not the White sea but the Mediterranean which is called the white sea by the Turks.

%d bloggers like this: