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Revelation 15 Step-by-Step

Revelation 15

Table of Contents

THE OPEN TABERNACLE DOOR

In Revelation 15, John describes his vision of the heavenly tabernacle with the door open. Something is about to happen. Who or what will emerge from it?

STATE AND RE-STATE

A Hebrew author typically provides an overview and then re-states it in more detail. 

It is like an artist sketching and then revisiting to add colours and brushstrokes to enlarge and add finer nuances to the scene he has already drawn.

In the previous chapter, John gave an overview; in Revelation 15, he re-state and elaborates.

ESCALATION

Seven seals were opened in Heaven, and seven trumpets sounded. Seven vials are still left. Together, they make up the 21 plagues unleashed on Earth, escalating in severity.

GOD’S WRATH

Revelation 15:1: “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.”

The wrath of God had come. It is God fulfilling an eternal purpose.

LOVE OR WRATH

Reading Psalm 98, you find yourself in the middle of a celebration with music; God is coming to judge the earth.

Psalm 98

“4Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,

burst into jubilant song with music…

8Let the rivers clap their hands,

let the mountains sing together for joy,

9let them sing before the Lord,

for He comes to judge the earth…”

We think if God loves, He won’t judge. If God judges, He doesn’t love. But get this: the opposite of love is indifference. God’s coming judgement confirms that He loves and deeply cares about us.

“WRATH’S” GREEK TRANSLATION

In ancient Greek, there were two words for wrath: “thymos”, which describes volatile, passionate anger, and “orge,” which describes anger from a settled disposition.

“Thymos” is used eleven times in the New Testament, ten of those in Revelation.

GOD’S WRATH IS JUST

The Gospel would mean nothing without God’s wrath against sin. But God, in His mercy, provided a substitute for us in Jesus Christ. You will be saved from God’s wrath if you believe in Him.

Revelation 3:10: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.”

The blood of Christ is God’s answer to sin. See Crucifixion, why so bloody? 

TRIBULATION SAINTS

Revelation 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.”

John had seen this sea of glass before in Revelation 4: 6, “And before the throne, there was a sea of glass like unto crystal.” It was in the throne room. This time, it is mingled with fire, which may refer to God’s divine judgment.

Those who “got victory over the beast” refer to the tribulation martyrs, also called Great Multitude in Revelation 7:9-17. These were those faithful to God, under the Antichrist, unto death.

These martyrs were in Heaven, worshipping God.

THE SONG OF THE SAINTS

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.

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.”

This song perfectly combines God’s law and love in the Old and New Covenant. The song of Moses represents the Old Covenant, and the song of the Lamb represents the New Covenant. 

These Tribulation saints gave praise to:

God’s works, “great and marvellous are thy works.”

God’s ways, “just and true are thy ways.”

God’s worthiness, “who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy.”

God’s worship, “all nations shall come and worship before thee.”

HEAVENLY TABERNACLE

Revelation 15:5: “And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.”

John saw the original tabernacle in Heaven, which God commanded Moses to build an earthly copy of.

Exodus 25:8-9: “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them. According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle.”

Parenthesis before the Bowls according to Revelation 14
Parenthesis before the vial judgments

SEVEN ANGELS

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 angels, carrying the seven vials, emerged from this heavenly tabernacle, ordained and sent out by God himself.

John described their clothing as “pure and white linen”, a reminder that God’s judgment is pure and righteous.

SEVEN VIALS

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.”

The King James Version speaks of vials, which other translations call bowls. They were broad, flat, saucer-like bowls used ritually for pouring drink offerings – the shape of the bowls made for quick and complete pouring out.

The words “God, who liveth for ever and ever” bring us back to God’s description in Revelation 1: ” He who was, who is, and who is forever.” God is not capricious, and His judgement is not impulsive but slow and measured.

2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.”

God’s wrath was poured out after thousands of years of warning and waiting.

SMOKE IN THE TEMPLE

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.”

Down in the earthly tabernacle, Moses could not enter the Tabernacle when the smoke of the cloud of God’s glory filled it. Scripture refers to it as the Shekinah glory of God.

Exodus 40:34-35: “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle. And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.”

Amid God’s judgment, there was God’s glory.

THE END

BOOK OF REVELATION

Revelation, Scope and Sequence

Revelation, Introduction

Revelation 1

Revelation 2

Revelation 3

Revelation 4

Revelation 5

Revelation 6

Revelation 7

Revelation 8

Revelation 9

Revelation 10

Revelation 11

Revelation 12

Revelation 13

Revelation 14

SOURCES FROM THE WEB:

Missler, Chuck at koinonahouse.org

Korman, Baruch at  loveisrael.org

Barnett, John at dtbm.org

Ice, Thomas at pre-trib.org

Breaker, Robert at thecloudchurch.org

De Young, Jimmy at sermonaudio.com

BOOKS:

Johnson, Ken. Ancient Church Fathers.

Missler, Chuck. Daniel’s 70 Week’s: Profiles in Prophecy.

Hitchcock, Mark. 101 Answers to Questions About the Book of Revelation.

 

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