This will begin by giving you the scripture from the King James Version of the Bible, then will go into our description of what the verses mean. You will be able to read various additional information contained in more specific files under "Research Materials".
Revelation chapter 15 begins the preparation for the last seven vials. The wrath of God began with the seven seals in chapter 6 and will be finished with the last seven vials. Chapter 15 is an introduction to these last seven and final plaques on mankind.
Throughout history God has poured out his wrath in judgment on early sinners. Adam's sin in the Garden of Eden brought the entire human race under judgment. Judgment
By Noah's days, people had turned so wicked, that God sent the judgment of the flood to destroy the entire world except eight people. Noah, his three sons and their wives.
Centuries of disobedience and wickedness by the Jewish people eventually led to their judgment and captivity. First the northern 10-1/2 tribes in 722 B.C. by the Assyrian Empire, then the southern kingdom of Judah in 586 B.C. by the Babylonian Empire.
Cities named Sodom and Gomorrah was completely destroyed by God with fire and brimstone.
Now in Chapters 15 and 16 we see the final outpouring of God's wrath before Christ's return. That wrath is expressed by the effects of the seventh trumpet which was opened in chapter 11, verse 15. Chapter 15 is very short and begins the introduction to those last seven judgments.
15:1 "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God."
This chapter in the book of Revelation sets the stage for the last seven vial judgments that cover the last three and one-half years of the tribulation which are described in Revelation chapter 16. Great Tribulation
The seven angels prepare to administer the last seven Tribulation judgments of Christ: the seven vials). Vials are actually shallow bowls (these are called the bowl judgments), used for pouring libations (5:8; 1 Chronicles 28:17; Jeremiah 52:18; Zech. 9:15; 14:20). The bowls are full of the wrath of God (2 Thess. 1:7 - 9). God has the right to judge, because He is the Eternal incense that filled the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle. Until the seven plagues are finished, no one is able to enter into the temple. The time for intercession is past; God's judgment will now be completed.
This "seven" just means this is the end. The only good thing about these plagues is that the Christians are in heaven when this occurs. The wrath of the devil is bad, but to fall into the hands of Almighty God and have His wrath fall on unbelievers is the very worst thing that could happen.
These plagues will conclude with the wrath of God on sinful mankind for rejecting His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The last seven plagues indicate that these are in order and this finishes the 21 total plagues on mankind before the end of time.
15:2 "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."
The sea of glass was before God's throne in Rev. 4:6. "And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind."
John was seeing the same crystal platform, but now it was mixed with the fire of God's judgment.
The victory over the beast has been won through faith in Christ and refusal to submit to the Antichrist. These are the Tribulation Martyrs who are rejoicing over the victory they have won. The harps indicate they are rejoicing and singing praise to God. These believers are rejoicing because their prayers for God's vengeance on their persecutors are about to be answered.
Revelation 15:3 "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."
This "they" are the believers in Christ. The "song of Moses" and the "song of the Lamb" are the same. This is the song of redemption. God used Moses to redeem His people from bondage in Egypt. Moses had lead the people out of the land of Egypt to the Promised Land prefiguring now Jesus is leading the Saints to that promised land we call heaven.
Who purchased this for us? Who did all the work Himself? Jesus. His works are "marvelous". It is beyond our imagination to see a beautiful snow-capped mountain and realize that the One who created that, also loved us enough that He climbed on the cross and suffered for us. He has every right to be our King. Remember in all of this, He is not just a loving God, but a "just and true" God as well.
The exclamation, "just and true" reflects the Old Testament truth that all of God's works are true and His ways just Dan. 4 v.37; Deut. 32 v.4; and Hosea 14 verse 9.
"Lord God Almighty" celebrates God's omnipotence, essential to the triumphant power of the last judgments and appears frequently in Revelation. This name just tells us of His overwhelming power.
Revelation 15:4 "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."
In Proverbs 9:10 we read "The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy [is] understanding."
We are not to fear the world or its people. We are "to fear" (Reverence) God.
This "all nations shall come and worship", is speaking of the time when Jesus will sit on a throne in Jerusalem and rule the world. There will be a yearly pilgrimage by everyone to worship. We see Jesus is the only Holy one.
Philippians 2 verses 10 -11 says "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God, the Father."
After God's righteous acts of judgment has been made manifested or revealed, the time of Isaiah will come: "And it shall come to pass, [that] from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the LORD."
Revelation 15:5 "And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:"
This "tabernacle" is the original tabernacle in heaven that the one on the earth was patterned by. Moses was given instruction by God how to build the earthly one. The tabernacle was opened by Jesus, as the temple curtain which was in front of the Holy of Holies, was torn from the top to the bottom, when Jesus died on the cross.
In an earlier vision given John, God's throne room was opened so the faithful could see in. We see here that it "was opened" (past tensed). Now the heavenly tabernacle, which the earthly tabernacle was a copy, was opened to reveal the most severe earthly judgment ever on the unrepentant.
The tabernacle was sometimes referred to as the tabernacle of the testimony, so named as it contained the testimony. The two stone tablets which God had written the ten commandments on.
Revelation 15:6 "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."
Seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. These are the "plagues" that will strike the earth in the last three and one-half years to punish those who have chosen to serve the Antichrist, doing his bidding to persecute the saints for their faith in Christ.
So many people in this current, new wave of believers think that all punishment comes from the devil and no bad thing comes from God. They better take another look at this Scripture right here. These "angels" are operating under God's orders. They have just come "out of the temple" (which shows the origination). They are clothed in white (which shows they are good angels and not demons). The gold of their breasts show that they have been in the presence of God.
Revelation 15:7 "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."
Here, again, we see these "vials" are from God, because they are gold. These "sevens" just show the completeness of it all.
And again, we see the eternity of God in the forever and ever. They are ready to pour the wrath out on the inhabitants of the earth. God has the power to put an end to sin so that it can never exist again in His holy presence.
Revelation 15:8 "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."
As soon as the angels in verse 6 come out of the Temple, great smoke from the glory of the presence of God and His power and wrath fills the Temple so that neither angels nor human beings can go back into worship until "the seven plagues of the seven angels are completed."
We know that in the tabernacle in the wilderness, no one could go inside. God is a consuming fire as we read in Hebrews 12:29 "For our God is a consuming fire."
During this time no created human being will have access to the presence of God on His throne until the end of the Tribulation, for He will not be dealing with people in mercy, as is His usual custom. During the latter three and one half years of the Tribulation, He will deal with human beings in judgment.
This glory cloud will remain in the heavenly temple until the earth is completely purged, cleansed and prepared for the King and His kingdom that is coming. Kingdom
This "smoke" is from the Majesty of God. The children of Israel were led by God Himself. We read that a fire led them by night and a cloud by day, Exodus 13:21. This is the very same presence we read of here. No mere man can enter this holy place. Jesus enters here for us and takes us with Him after we are covered by His (Jesus) blood.
God sees Jesus' shed blood, instead of us, when we enter (after we are a believer); and that shed blood is what keeps us from being burned up in God the Father's presence.
God's anger is kindled at those on the earth who have caused such sorrow to the church and the true believers, and His fury has come in His face. These plagues, as we said before, are from God. What a terrible thing it is to fall into the hands of the Living God and be judged by Him guilty and deserving of His wrath.
In Hebrews 10:30-31, we read about just how terrible it is for the sinner to fall into His hands.
Hebrews 10:30-31 "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance [belongeth] unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people." "[It is] a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
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