Bowl 4, Fierce Heat of the Sun, Revelation Chapter 16 Verses 8-9 (NASB)

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    And the FOURTH ANGEL poured out his BOWL upon the SUN;
This is most often interpreted literally. The symbolic interpretation is that "the SUN" is a great leader (probably military) who directs a scorched earth campaign. A parallel to Joseph's dream in Genesis 37:1-11 is used to explain this position. What is difficult to understand with this symbolic view is why this great leader would want to torture/destroy his own constituents (verse 2)?

The literal interpretation, on the other hand, is not without its difficulties too. Unlike the fourth trumpet, where the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars probably is an earth generated event, this bowl requires an increase in the SUN's energy output. Now the earth only receives about one two billionth of the sun's total energy output. It is believed that the energy is derived from the conversion of mass following the Einstein's energy = mass (converted) times the speed of light squared formula. Estimates are that about 4 million tons of solar matter per second are turned into energy. But this implies that the mass and thus energy output of the sun is slowly decreasing (not increasing as this bowl indicates).

Thus, something in the fourth bowl causes an increase in the SUN's energy which is directed toward the earth. It is well known that solar flares generate immense heat but the flare usually lasts a half hour or less. So this bowl event must be a sustained set of flares with the possibility of holes in the earth's ozone layer augmenting the heating effect.*

    and it was given to it to SCORCH MEN with FIRE.

Numerous scholars believe the following Old Testament prophesies are fulfilled with the pouring of this bowl:

The use of fire to convince is not new in the Revelation. The false prophet confirmed the beast by "making fire come down out of heaven" (Revelation 13:13). In contrast, the tribulation saints are specifically protected from the heat of the SUN (Revelation 7:16).

Economic impact: The SUN is the light source for the whole earth. If MEN are scorched this severely, one can assume that plants will wither quickly and a world-wide famine will set in. Furthermore, the polar ice caps will melt rapidly into the sea (blood- verse 3). Since it is assumed that blood doesn't evaporate as quickly as water, the so called "greenhouse effect" probably won't come into play.  Any clouds which do form would be burned away.

    And men were scorched with FIERCE HEAT;

This is a FIERCE HEAT not a mere heat wave. Most likely this will exceed the air conditioning capacities and force people outdoors. This is only make matters worse and may explain the rest of this verse.

    and 1) THEY BLASPHEMED the NAME of GOD who has the POWER over these PLAGUES; and

These people don't have the Helper (John 14:15-31). The "ruler of the world" (John 14:30) has come and the Antichrist has NOTHING in Jesus. So these people, Antichrist's followers, too, will have nothing in Jesus or God. Hence they BLASPHEME the NAME OF GOD!

        2) THEY DID NOT REPENT, so as to give HIM GLORY.

These people can't bring themselves to admit that they are getting their just punishment for taking the mark of the beast. Furthermore, they feel POWERless because even their "ruler of the world" leader cannot turn down the HEAT.

From a longer view, these people must be done away with in order for the prophesy in Isaiah 52:1-6 to become a reality. This bowl through the FIERCE HEAT of the sun is saying "Here I am.".

Glory to God only comes from a repentant and obedient heart. We believers, need help from Him who will make us stand in the presence of His GLORY (Jude 24-25). These people refuse to repent and will not stand in the presence of His GLORY but rather their knees will bow to Him (Isaiah 45:20-23-25).

* ASTRONOMY, Franklyn M. Branley, Mark R. Chartrand III, and Helmut K. Wimmer, Thomas Y. Crowell Publishing, p. 108-113, 278
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, © Copyright The Lockman Foundation, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 Used by permission."

References to the Revelation of Jesus Christ are in bold italics. All other references are in bold only