Revelation commentary: chapter 15 - angels prepare to deliver last plagues

by Don Koenig

 

The information from the little book is complete. John in this chapter sees the final preparation that takes place in heaven before the outpouring of the seven vial judgments from Father God. The vials are poured out on a world that rejected the mercy He gave through His Son. They would not have His Son save them from the cycle of sin and death on the earth and this cycle cannot continue without bringing continuing suffering on the innocent. This chapter is the introduction to these judgments to cleanse the world from evildoers so that a kingdom of righteousness can be established on the earth. The judgments themselves are described in the next chapter.

 

1  And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

 

John sees another great sign in heaven he sees seven angels with the seven last plagues that complete the wrath of God. After these plagues, Jesus will come, defeat the Beast and set up the Kingdom of God on the earth. As angels carried out the wrath of the Lamb in the trumpet judgments angels will also carry out the wrath of the Father on all who will not accept Godís Son to rule over the earth.

 

2  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.

 

Those who had gotten victory over the Beast stand on what looks to John like a sea of glass. The sea of glass John sees is actually a sea of people. This is a picture of the Church made perfect resting at the throne of God. The fire seen within this sea is the Holy Spirit that dwells in their midst. Those now standing on the foundation made pure are the saints who died during the great tribulation. They obtained victory over the Beast by dying for their faith in Jesus. They proved this faith by not bowing to the image of the Beast or receiving his mark or his number. Now that the tribulation saints are in heaven, the bride is completed.

 

3  And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.

4  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

 

These that came out of the great tribulation sing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. The King of the Saints is Jesus. The words of the song that they sing are partly given in the verse. The song is one of victory like the song Moses wrote telling about Israelís deliverance from Pharaohís army at the Red Sea (Pharaoh was a type or foreshadow of the Beast). God supernaturally delivered Israel and then destroyed Pharaoh and his army in the red sea. This was a foreshadow of the destruction of the Beast and the casting of the Beast alive into the Lake of Fire (a Red Sea).

 

They also sing a song of eternal redemption through the blood of the Lamb. In their song they proclaim the holiness of God and sing that all nations shall come and worship before Jesus after the final judgments are poured out.

 

5  And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

6  And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.

 

After the full measure of tribulation saints are in heaven and singing songs of victory, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony is opened in heaven. This is the Holy of Holies. The tabernacle made on earth was just a copy of what Moses was told was in heaven. The tabernacle of the testimony contained the ďArk of the CovenantĒ. The earthly copy contained the Ten Commandments, manna, and Aaronís rod. The Ark seen in heaven will be a witness against the world because the world has now rejected everything in it.  They rejected the covenant in heaven that contains the Word of God (Jesus), the true bread of life (Jesus) and Godís choice for high priest (Jesus).

 

Out of the temple come the seven angels that have the task to bring the seven last plagues that will come on all those who reject the God of heaven and who worship the Beast. The white linen that the angels wear shows that these angels are righteous and stand in the presence of God. Their golden girdles indicate that these seven angels are priests in the heavenly temple and have full authority from God to carry out His commands.

 

7  And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

8  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

 

The seven golden vials full of the wrath of God are given to the seven great angels by one of the four living Beasts that surround the throne of God. The hierarchy in heaven remains consistent. After this is done the temple is filled with smoke from the glory of God and no one is able to enter into the temple until the seven plagues are fulfilled. This is indicating that the judgment is firm and there will be no intercession before God to delay or intercede against these judgments. Since those on earth have rejected Godís mercy (Jesus) the only thing they have left to receive is God's wrath.

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