christine's bible study

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever. Isa 40:8

revelation 16, the second bowl of wrath

Read Revelation 16 at Bible Gateway.

Previously: revelation 16, the first bowl of wrath

Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became blood as of a dead man; and every living creature in the sea died. Rev 16:3

If we go on as we have begun, and not only continue the pattern established by the trumpet judgments, as these first four also are on the land, sea, rivers, and sun; but then we must also look at blows delivered to the imperial power, the Roman papacy, and the Holy Roman Empire at the close of the 18th century.

Jul 14, 1789 — storming of the Bastille prison in Paris to secure arms for the revolutionaries; this date is France’s “4th of July” celebrated today as its date of national independence;
Oct 1789 — march on Versailles forcing the royal family to reside in their palace in Paris, from this date Louis XVI is virtually imprisoned within his palace;
1790 — clergy were stripped of association with papacy and nationalized; their first loyalty was to be to France, rather than to pope or Rome;
1791 — new constitution adopted, government by national assembly;
1792-1799 — Wars waged by the revolutionary government against other European powers, which resulted in France gaining control of the Low Countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Holland), Italy, and the Rhineland in Germany;
Dec 1792 — trial and sentencing of Louis XVI for treason;
Jan 1793 — Louis XVI executed at the guillotine;
Sep 1793- Jul 1794 — Reign of Terror as 40,000-50,000 “counter revolutionaries” were executed without trial by guillotine and mob murder;
Jul 1794 — Robespierre, national leader during Reign of Terror, arrested and executed for treason;
1795 — a new constitution adopted, government by directorate;
1799 — military coup under the leadership of Napoleon Bonaparte overthrows the directorate; revolution ends; Napoleon declares himself First Consul of France. First Consuls were political leaders of the ancient Roman Republic;
1799-1815 — Napoleonic wars throughout Europe, northern Africa, and the Middle East, as Napoleon seeks to establish an empire as great or greater than the old Roman empire;
1801 — Napoleon signs the Concordat with pope Pius VII, reestablishing ties between the French church and Rome, although with the balance of power favoring France;
Dec 1804 — Napoleon crowns himself emperor at Notre Dame in Paris; he took the imperial crown from the hands of pope Pius VII during the ceremony so that his authority would not be dependent on the Roman church (in an intentional recreation yet departure from the coronation of the French emperor Charlemagne in 800);
1806 — Napoleon abolishes Holy Roman Empire after the image of the beast ruled for 1000 years;
1808 — Peninsular War in Spain;
1811 — Napoleon’s son born, given the title “King of Rome;”
1812-1814 — series of defeats drive Napoleon in retreat to Paris; he abdicates his rule and is exiled to Elba; Louis XVIII, a relative of King Louis XVI, ascends the French throne;
1815 — Napoleon escapes, arrives in Paris, gathers his army to regain his losses; but is defeated decisively at the Battle of Waterloo, and is exiled to St Helena; end of the Napoleonic era.

Now we can see that the French Revolution ended the imperial power, and dealt a great blow to the papacy, but in Napoleon it seemed to all be reborn again, Napoleon going so far as to wage war on a scale not seen since the Crusades, in order to establish his empire as a resurgent Roman empire!

But look at what the Napoleonic era did in fact accomplish: in 1806, Napoleon abolished the Holy Roman Empire, who is the image of the beast, after it had reigned a full millennium; and from that day to this it has not risen from the ash heap. One third of the Roman beast was dealt blows which resulted in its death, and the other two thirds were considerably weakened, for Napoleon did not succeed in reestablishing an empire in the pattern of the old Roman empire.

The second bowl of wrath is poured out on the sea, so that death in the sea occurs on a grand scale. It just so happens that the premier naval military powers, at the opening of the era of the French Revolution, were papal. They were Spain and France. Anyone who has studied American history knows that Spain was the greatest military power of the sea all throughout the 1500-1600s, and was still a mighty force during the 1700s. France, during the 1700s, grew in naval might until it eclipsed Spain, and is the main reason the fledgling American Revolution sent Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson as ambassadors to France, to secure its aid against the British.

During the epoch of the first four bowls of wrath, or 1789 to 1815, the papal powers, Spain and France, went from the premier military might of the world, to compete and utter destruction as military powers. The second bowl of wrath particularly dealt a death blow to Roman power exercised on the seas:

1798 — British fleet destroys French fleet of seventeen ships in Battle of the Nile;
1798 — British capture French fleet of nine ships off the coast of Ireland;
1799-1800 — infant American navy captured or sunk 90 French ships, with a total of 700 guns; and had retaken a great number of American vessels previously captured by the French;
1799-1800 — British navy doubled in size for a total of 800 ships; while the French navy had been reduced by one half through the combined efforts of the American and British navies;
1801 — Spain’s two largest vessels lost in a battle off Cadiz;
1803 — in Haiti, the British capture a total of 25 French ships and 8,000 men, all that was left of a French force sent there to put down the slave rebellion that eventually resulted in Haiti’s independence;
1804 — British Admiral Nelson defeats four Spanish ships returning from the Americas, capturing ten million dollars in gold, silver, and treasure;
1805 — Battle of Trafalgar; a combined French and Spanish fleet of 40 ships met a smaller British fleet commanded by Admiral Nelson; only four French ships escaped the destruction, which were later found and destroyed; this pivotal battle in military history completely destroyed the French and Spanish (papal) naval power and established British sovereignty of the seas for the next 100 years.

Continued in revelation 16, the third bowl of wrath


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