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Chapter 14=    =Chapter 16


: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.

: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.

:3 And they sing the song of Mo'ses, 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 alone art holy; for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

: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 breast girded with golden girdles.

:7 And one of the four beast gave to 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 the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.


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Statement of Faith

Revelation of Jesus Christ


Chapter 15, a relatively short chapter, sets the stage for the next phase of judgments which are to unfold in chapter 16. We basically see two things happening in this chapter.

First, there is a brief description of those who gain victory over the Beast by refusing to take his mark, or the number of his name; even on pain of death.

Second, we see the format through which the judgments of God will be carried out concerning those who do give their allegiance to the Beast.

Most will receive his mark, or the number of his name freely, while others will probably do so in order to avoid the severe consequences of not complying {Rev. 13:15-16}. They will literally sell their souls to the Devil.

Verses 1 - 4

"...seven angels having the seven last plagues..."

Verse 1 offers more evidence that John had a full understanding of the visions of the Book of Revelation, before he ever set forth to put them into a physically written format. In this opening verse, it is stated that he saw the seven angels having the seven last plagues; however, these angels are not actually seen as receiving the bowls of the plagues until we reach verse 7. So it principally serves to inform us of the events which are now about to be described. Before John describes this however, he sees a group of saints in heaven, whom he says are those who have gotten victory over the Beast.

"...sea of glass mingled with fire..."

Here we see martyred saints of the great tribulation, who refused to receive the mark of the beast, or take the number of his name (666). They are seen as standing upon a sea of glass, mingled with fire {Dan. 11:33,35}, having harps in their hands.

The fire here is representative of the tribulation {I Pet. 4:12-13}, which they went through, with the sea of glass speaking of the peace (calm) which they obtained after overcoming the Beast, even by their deaths.

Harps in their hands, and the songs which they sing, are offered as praises to God, who has delivered them through the veil of death into everlasting joy and assurance.

 
 
 


Verses 5 - 8

The above is spoken in contrast to the awesome judgments about to be poured out by the Holy God in heaven.

"...the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony...opened"

The prayers of the saints have been presented and heard before the throne of Almighty God. Now the full fury of His wrath is kindled and about to be unleashed against the wicked of the earth {Rev. 6:10}.

The righteousness of the saints is represented here as the "clean and white" linen garments {Rev. 19:8}, worn by the seven angels who are to go forth from the temple in heaven. There is some suggestion in the book that these seven angels may in fact be saints, or prophets of God, rather than angelic beings as indicated by one of the seven in {Rev. 22:9}.

Prior to their coming out of the temple, one of the four creatures which stands near the throne of God, gives each angel a bowl filled with a specific plague. As with the trumpet judgments, the magnitude of the plagues poured out upon the earth here, increase in intensity as each one is delivered to the intended recepients.

The seven angels go forth, as it were, having a sort of legal power of attorney, whereby they act on behalf of the saints, with the total backing of God Himself {Rom. 12:19}. One by one, they exit the temple, showing a sequential application of the plagues with which they are entrusted to deliver.

"...no man was able to enter into the temple..."

With the seven on their way to administer the plagues, the fury of God's wrath (represented by intense smoke) becomes so great that no one is able to enter the temple and approach Him until these plagues have been applied. When the wrath of God has been satisfied in this matter, then will be heard a voice from the temple stating, "...It is done!" (Rev. 16:17)

 
 
 


CHAPTER SUMMARY

We basically see two things happening in this chapter.

First, there is a brief description of those who gain victory over the Beast by refusing to take his mark, or the number of his name; even on pain of death.

Second, we see the format through which the judgments of God will be carried out concerning those who do give their allegiance to the Beast.

These judgments are dispensed through seven angels who have the seven last plagues, which are to be administered to the rebellious of the earth.

The severity of the judgments are attested to, by the fact that the temple in heaven is filled with smoke (the wrath of God) to the extent that no one could enter it until these things were finished.

 

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