Revelation 15 16
1 Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion.
We have the seven angels carrying the last of God’s wrath onto the rebellious world….you need to remember this is not Satan, or mankind this is God pouring out on a world that had hurt, rejected, wounded his children…Jesus on the cross died for all of mankind showing his love, grace and mercy and now those who not only rejected that but hurt his children are about to feel the wrath of an angry Father.
2 I saw before me what seemed to be a glass sea mixed with fire. And on it stood all the people who had been victorious over the beast and his statue and the number representing his name. They were all holding harps that God had given them
Once again we see this seas of glass that we saw earlier reflecting the lever from the temple where the priest would reflect and wash reflective of Ephesians 5:26 where the bride, the church is washed with the water of the word, standing on the word idiomatically speaking, but this time it is also mixed with fire which is generally symbolic of the judgment of God. They overcame the beast by standing on God’s word and now they have harps to play and prepare to sing. (they are all going to jam on guitars)
3,4 And they were singing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your works, O Lord God, the Almighty. Just and true are your ways,
O King of the nations. 4 Who will not fear you, Lord, and glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous deeds have been revealed.”
The song of Moses Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32…notice here there are never any mention about the accomplishments of the tribulations saints….we talk about the hall of faith, all the way through recent men and women who accomplished great things in the Kingdom…they are rewarded obviously but the real achievement here is the achievements of Jesus Christ….that is what we need to remember is being celebrated from cover to cover in the book of Revelation as we are reminded that this book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ. All the glory here is of the lamb…all the glory is going to God.
Think about this for a moment….how far have we gone from the fear and honoring of God. Much of this nation’s history is about the faith of the founders or at least those who were not deep in faith held to a stand of faith because of a culture of faith rooted in the awe and honoring of God. How far have we fallen from that to see some of the things we even have to help people understand are wrong, because our culture has strayed so far from it. We need to remember we learn about God in our studies but more often than not we grow in our respect and reverence for God in our devotional life.
5,6 Then I looked and saw that the Temple in heaven, God’s Tabernacle, was thrown wide open. 6 The seven angels who were holding the seven plagues came out of the Temple. They were clothed in spotless white linen with gold sashes across their chests.
These angels came from the temple of God, the tabernacle of God, remember it has always been in heaven but we have had a copy of it here on earth. The temple is mentioned 15 times in the book of revelation it is not mentioned until chapter 4. You see as long as the temple is on the earth, we are his temple, He indwells us, it is not talked about but once we arrive then it is.
7 Then one of the four living beings handed each of the seven angels a gold bowl filled with the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever.
Once again we are talking about God’s wrath, I can’t imagine the wrath of God at all.
8 The Temple was filled with smoke from God’s glory and power. No one could enter the Temple until the seven angels had completed pouring out the seven plagues.
This is reminiscent of the day the temple was dedicated when the cloud filled the temple so thick, Aaron on the day of atonement was supposed to carry and censor/bowl full of incense, coals from the altar so he wouldn’t die…Here we see neither the church, the angels, nor tribulation saints were allowed in the temple until God’s wrath is completely poured out…God suffers alone as His wrath is released on the earth because of man’s sin.
Remember 7 is the number of completeness
16 – the judgments on the Kingdom of the beast
1,2 Then I heard a mighty voice from the Temple say to the seven angels, “Go your ways and pour out on the earth the seven bowls containing God’s wrath.” So the first angel left the Temple and poured out his bowl on the earth, and horrible, malignant sores broke out on everyone who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his statue.
This is very much like the 6th plague in Egypt…these sores from a medical standpoint are normally and outward sign of an inward problem. Could be a sore from talking the mark kind of like an infection of sorts…throughout scripture we are warned to not worship any images
3 Then the second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse. And everything in the sea died.
Remember we saw this earlier as a foreshadowing of this devastation here. Before it was only a portion and now it is all the water in the sea….nothing lives, is it red tide or actual blood it doesn’t matter but everything in the sea is going to die….this is not a result of poor ecological planning nor is it the result of the devil, or any of man’s mishandling of things this is the wrath of God
4 Then the third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs, and they became blood.
Can you imagine all the water on the earth is now undrinkable and the stench from all the dead fish and animals. Can you see the irony in that those that worship the beast have nothing to drink but blood, they have taken the blood of the martyrs and refused the blood of the lamb and now all they have to drink is blood….the martyrs blood cries out as Able’s did.
5,6,7 And I heard the angel who had authority over all water saying,
“You are just, O Holy One, who is and who always was,
because you have sent these judgments.
6 Since they shed the blood
of your holy people and your prophets,
you have given them blood to drink.
It is their just reward.”
7 And I heard a voice from the altar, saying,
“Yes, O Lord God, the Almighty,
your judgments are true and just.”
It is interesting to see that hammered over and over again is that God is justified in what he is doing there is no hint that this is unjustified in any way
8,9 Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, causing it to scorch everyone with its fire. 9 Everyone was burned by this blast of heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had control over all these plagues. They did not repent of their sins and turn to God and give him glory.
We saw earlier that part of the sun had been darkened and that was temporary and now the heat from the sun is burning so brightly that there is no protection….yet even in this suffering the only get angrier and angrier rather than coming to repentance that is no conjecture that is written here.
Sun worship was one of the first forms of paganism it began in the plain of Shinar and the leader of the world at that point was found in Genesis 10 Nimrod which comes from a Hebrew word which means “we will rebel.” The first world dictator was an Assyrian that founded the city of Babylon as well as some other things. In Genesis 10:9
“He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.”
This is a slight mistranslation it is misleading the word “before” really should mean, “in defiance of” he put himself before the Lord in defiance of the Lord. Josephus clears this up by telling us Nimrod encouraged people not to find their happiness and blessing from the Lord but that they should ascribe their thanksgiving and blessing to him (Nimrod) there was no other way to wean men from the fear of God than to draw them to his (Nimrod’s) own power. Antiquities of the Jews
The first great world dictator was an Assyrian and the last one will be too according to Micah 5: 5,6 and Isaiah 10
10,11 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. 11 They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.
This bowl is directed directly at the kingdom of the beast. This is like the 9th plague in Egypt a darkness that could be felt. There is also a mental and spiritual darkness think about it today people who have graduate degrees in science embrace a theory that is mathematically and scientifically impossible it violates the laws of science, the 2nd law of thermo dynamics for example…the theory of evolution, you cant explain the origin of life because you can’t explain the origin of information…how did everything begin?
They refuse to recognize that this is from God and God is doing this because of their deeds. There is no acceptance of accountability. The whole concept of socialism is the plundering of the productive by the unaccountable.
12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
This is preparing to allow the armies of the east to cross into Israel…the boundary of the east of Israel according to the promises of God (Genesis 15) was the Euphrates river. Zachariah 10 Isaiah 11 deals with it, it seems this area was the cradle and will be the grave of all civilization.
What happens when the river dries up?
13,14 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
Plague of frogs, demon spirits working miracles each coming from the anti-christ, the false prophet, and Satan. The armies of the earth are being lured by the signs and wonders of the demonic spirits to go into battle against God
15,16 “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.” 16 And they gathered them together to the place called in Hebrew, Armageddon.
Change of subject to help us catch our breathe…this is not addresses to us this is addressed to the unrepentant in the world Paul told us in 1 Thessalonians 5:4 we are not in darkness that the day will not overtake you as a thief, we are children of the day not the night…Jesus comes as a thief to those who are in darkness.
They were all gathered at Har Mageddo (Armageddon) this is where Gideon defeated the Amalekites, Samson defeated the Philistines, Barak and Deborah won their battle against Sisera, Saul was slain by the philistines, Pharaoh Neco slew king Josiah,
17,18 Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18 And there were noises and thunderings and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such a mighty and great earthquake as had not occurred since men were on the earth.
Here the angel proclaims the bowls of God’s wrath are completed as this one is poured in the air. Why the air? Ephesians 2:1,2
“And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
19,20 The great city of Babylon split into three sections, and the cities of many nations fell into heaps of rubble. So God remembered all of Babylon’s sins, and he made her drink the cup that was filled with the wine of his fierce wrath. 20 And every island disappeared, and all the mountains were leveled.
We will get into Babylon in the next two chapters, but you see this last bowl hits directly at the center of power for Satan, the air and the city of Babylon where all paganism has its roots
21 There was a terrible hailstorm, and hailstones weighing as much as seventy-five pounds fell from the sky onto the people below. They cursed God because of the terrible plague of the hailstorm.
The weight of a talent is about 135lbs…remember the size of the hailstones in Joshua 10? Can you imagine this? What sin is punished by capital punishment? Stoning! What are the people guilty of here? Blasphemy.
We see here the judgment does not produce repentance. One of the reasons why most people do not respond to the Gospel when it is delivered in hellfire and brimstone preaching . It is somewhat of a paradox because they do need to understand they are lost to understand the remedy of their condition that Christ represents and we shouldn’t tiptoe around that but it is the Gospel of grace that brings people to Christ and sustains them. God changes hearts through his grace and mercy, understand grace and mercy are opposites grace pours out on us what we don’t deserve and mercy is not getting what we do deserve.
Remember this message was sent to the seven churches that they might understand and have a passion to reach a lost world now and so it is for us and we are studying this…next week Babylon