Seven Bowls of Wrath


Revelation can’t be fully appreciated without attention to its literary structure. I’m no expert, but have a gander at this…

The most fundamental structure of the book is the 5-fold Covenant pattern:


Transcendence - Identification of the king: Vision of Christ (Adam – Garden)

…..Hierarchy - History of the Covenant: 7 churches recapitulate
…..Old Covenant history

……….Ethics – Terms and Conditions: true and false warriors under the Law

…..Sanctions - Blessings and Curses: True church commissioned
…..and false church decommissioned

Continuity - Renewal after death: The New Jerusalem (Greater Eve – City) [1]


As I have written elsewhere, I believe the 5-fold Covenant pattern (Word) in history expands into the sevenfold feasts to allow the ascension of the head and the ascension of the body. It is the Word making all things new, a new Creation.


Sabbath/Light – Vision of Christ
…..Passover/Firmament – Church lamps set apart as new rulers
……….Firstfruits/Altar&Table – Ascension of Christ as the “standing” sacrifice
……………Pentecost/Lampstand – 7 seals of the New Covenant opened
……………(Law given at Pentecost)
……….Trumpets/Incense – 7 trumpets of the Apostles warn the Judaisers
…..Atonement/Goats – 7 bowls and two brides, true and false
Tabernacles/Shekinah – Marriage supper of the Lamb. False bride eaten by vultures


James Jordan observes all of this and more in his lectures. He points out that the seven bowls are the final expression of the seven sprinklings of blood on the Day of Atonement. In this case, all the blood of innocent prophets would be avenged upon the Temple and its priesthood.

But, when this occurs, the passage itself does something cool. The angels with their bowls are in the centre of that particular structure. The seven seals, via the martyr trumpets, have become the seven bowls.


Genesis/Ark: and out of the sanctuary 

Exodus/Veil: came the seven angels with the seven plagues, 

Leviticus/Altar: clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. 

Numbers/Lampstand: And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, 

Deuteronomy/Incense: and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power,

Joshua/Laver (Atonement – Adam): and no one could enter the sanctuary

Judges/Shekinah (Tabernacles): until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.


These seven bowls finish off the mediatory priesthood of Aaron/Zadok forever. Once that is done, the “body” can follow the “head” into heaven (the first resurrection) completing the totus Christus in AD70.

But my point is that although this event is at Atonement/Laver in the larger structure, the position of the first mention of the bowls is at Pentecost/Lampstand. The Lampstand lights were seven separate “bowls” of oil with wicks. The Law was given at Pentecost. Day 4 here is the de-Creation of Judah’s governing lights. Her sun, moon and stars fell from heaven. Here, the curses of the Law are poured out in the mother of all Pentecosts. Those who would not be purified by the holy fire as a new Christian priesthood would be incinerated like the unfaithful sons of Aaron. [2]

As David Chilton points out in The Days of Vengeance [PDF], Revelation is a Temple worship service with Judah as the sacrifice. It is unintelligible to most Christians because we don’t know the patterns of the Old Testament. Those who do know them (Jews), don’t read the New Testament. Glad we’ve got Chilton, Jordan and others to join the dots for us.

For more of this sort of analysis, get Totus Christus for starters and Jordan’s lectures for the main meal.

[1] See Lambs in Limbo. Revelation is NOT about Rome. It is about the compromise with Roman political power of the Covenant people. The book is laced with the Covenant pattern. The harlot is burned with fire as the unfaithful daughter of a priest.
[2] See The Three Shepherds – 1

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4 Responses to “Seven Bowls of Wrath”

  • Kelby Carlson Says:

    That is interesting. According to Chilton, the trumpets fall under the category of “snctions’ (mirroring the curses on Israel and also dethroning the ROman/Jewish best) wit the bowls falling at step 5 (Disinhertiance and the destruction of the Old Creation through the blood of Christ/the Saints.) Your version is slightly different, and i’m not sure which one is more plausible. It’s interesting that you place the trumpets at Maturyity (repeating of the law). Wouldn’t Maturity be better express by Rev. 7, in which the glorified 144000 are (I think) martyred on the mountain? Just my thoughts.

  • Mike Bull Says:


    Good point. I disagree with that. The central three steps/feasts all come under the “Ethics”, the Rules.
    At ascension, the Law is given (Rev 4-5).
    At Testing it is opened (Seals).
    At Trumpets, the Law is repeated (as Deut) but the plagues are only partial judgments. Like the plagues of Moses and Aaron. This process warns the unrepentant and summons the faithful. It is not the end.
    The Bowls are Atonement – this is the Red Sea that drowns the old order and exalts the new.
    Chilton thinks the whole process was about the Jewish War. Jordan sees the Trumpets as being the apostolic witness, warnings to Herod’s Jericho.

  • Kelby Carlson Says:

    Actually that is not necessarily true with regards to CHilton. i do not have the exact quote at hand, but I do remember specifically Chitlon declaring that “Revelation 8-14 charts the apostolic churches creation and flight into the wilderness.” I think, therefore, that Chilton was less clear than he could have been at this point. I’m not sure how you equivocate the seven trumpets with the repeating of the law, either. And what would you place at step 4 (Sanctions) of the covenant model if not the trumpets?

  • Mike Bull Says:


    Trumpets always appear at “Maturity”. It is a new generation of Israel summoned. It is Moses repeating the Law before Conquest of Canaan.

    The difficulty with Revelation is that the entire book follows the feasts pattern, but in 1-19, you also have the pattern twice (not to mention it also appearing in 1-5, finishing with the Ascension).

    Step 4 (Sanctions) of the Covenant model is Step 6 (Atonement/Conquest) of the Feasts/Dominion pattern. In the two goats, we have the blessings and the curses of the Ethics incarnated.

    See diagram in:

    Also, Paul uses this structure in Galatians 4:1-7. There are seven steps, but the Law gets mentioned in the central three (the first time it is stoicheia, which always refers to the Old Covenant order.) This LAW-LAW-LAW combined makes the Ethics point at the centre of the 5-point model.

    Also, the 144,000 don’t get martyred till Revelation 14. That event is at the centre of the second large cycle. They are the Pentecost harvest.