Revelation 16:15-21
(Rev 16:15 KJV)
Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Right on the heels of the gathering of the armies in verse 14, we read this interjection which the Lord Jesus Christ makes. Here He is warning the world and assuring the believers that He will return to earth and those who are truly saved will be watching for Him but to the rest of the world, He will come as a thief in the night which means His return to them will be unexpected. In the Bible, walking naked means that a person has no savior to cover their sins.

(Heb 4:13 KJV) Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.

Every unsaved human being will stand before the Lord Jesus Christ on judgment Day and if they be found naked, that is unsaved, then they will be cast into eternal hell.

(2 Cor 5:1-4 KJV) For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. {2} For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: {3} If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. {4} For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.

In these verses Paul is speaking of the believer being clothed but he is not speaking of physical clothes. In verse 4, we read that the clothing which the believer has is that of eternal life because this mortality is swallowed up in eternality.

The interjection of the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is keeping in harmony with the other two judgment visions of John. (Chapters 4-7 & 8-11) In each case the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is mentioned. Here there is no difference because the battle of Armageddon is not a physical battle but the final spiritual battle between God and Satan where the forces of Satan are destroyed along with the earth which is to be made a new.

(Rev 16:16 KJV)
And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

Now we resume the scenario of the final scenes of earth’s history. We saw previously that the kings of the earth and the kings of the east, which were in position symbolically on the Euphrates. Now the call goes out for the forces of God and the forces of Satan to meet for the final time. The name of the place is “Armageddon.” The name actually means “hill of Megiddo.” In Joshua 12, we are told that Joshua had defeated the king of Megiddo along with many other kings. However, we are to understand that this being apocalyptic language does not mean a specific geographical location. Wherever this final battle takes place, there is no great physical battle on earth accompanying it. What the nations will do is try to outlaw and quench Christianity as best as they can and when it seems like they are winning or have won, then the Lord will return upon them as a thief in the night.

(Rev 16:17 KJV)
And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

Now we read that the final vial is poured out into the air which may also be understood as the atmosphere. This is a significant location because Satan is called the prince of the power of the air.
(Eph 2:2 KJV) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: The spiritual realm is where the real battle of Armageddon will take place because the real forces of evil are in the air. Once Satan is defeated, then his earthly followers are removed from the earth for final judgment.

(Rev 18:9-10 KJV) And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, {10} Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come.

Here we jump ahead for a moment that the kings of the earth are standing afar off because they are watching the destruction of the kingdom which they placed their faith in all their lives. They will apparently see the destruction of earth before they stand for final judgment.

Then we are told in 16:17 that a great (loud) voice from the throne, probably God the Father declaring that it is done. The word in the Greek for “it is done” is in the perfect tense which is the tense of completed action. That means the end of Satan’s kingdom is finalized.

(Rev 16:18 KJV)
And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

In verse 17, we are told that the announcement of the end of Satan’s kingdom came with a loud voice. In this verse we are once again given the loudness of that announcement. There was voices, lightnings, and thunder but this time it is accompanied by a great earthquake.

(Isa 13:13 KJV) Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

(Hag 2:6 KJV) For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

(Heb 12:26 KJV) Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

Here we read three verses which harmonize with the great earthquake. God had prophesied through Isaiah and Haggai that He was going to shake the earth and the heavens. The great voice which came out of heaven shook the earth as well as heaven. We are told that this earthquake was so immense that the earth never before saw one of such magnitude. This is because it is the final earthquake and the day of Judgment is now at hand so the earthquake has been greatly magnified.

(Rev 16:19 KJV)
And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

The result of the great earthquake was that the great city was divided into three parts. The three parts would tell us that the break up is complete and great Babylon, the kingdom of Satan, was now coming apart in judgment. As God begins the final judgment of the kingdom of Satan, His wrath is so great that it breaks the kingdom apart. It is now time for the final judgment of those who followed Satan. The three parts may refer to the two beast systems and the dragon’s reign. This would teach us that the kingdom of Satan which was once a unified force against the body of Christ, is now coming apart for the last time and for the final judgment.

(Rev 16:20 KJV)
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.

The result of the mighty earthquake tells us that the islands fled and the mountains had disappeared. This is teaching that as God is judging the kingdom of Satan, we are also seeing the destruction of the present earth. Mountains in Scripture may also refer to kingdoms and because the kingdom of Satan is being judged, all the kingdoms which aligned themselves with him are no longer found on the earth because of their removal to judgment.

(Rev 16:21 KJV)
And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Here we are seeing a judgment which has been used by God on the enemies of God. We saw hailstones come down as a judgment against the Egyptians and in Joshua 10:11, God also sent hailstones down upon the five opposing kings. In 16:21, we are seeing that these hailstones weigh about 100 pounds each which means that this judgment is a great one because of the size of the hailstones. The hailstones, are symbolic, and we are told of their great weight to emphasize the immensity of the judgment which is in view. As usual, those whom the judgment fell upon did not repent of their sins, rather they blasphemed God, which is the typical response of the unbeliever. We are told that this judgment was exceeding great. The word for “exceeding” in the Greek may also be understood as “violent or excessive.” Whatever this final plague is, it will be a very violent judgment.