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Revelation 15

What did John see in heaven?
1
Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.

Observation:

  1. What Sign did John see in heaven?
    1a
    Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues,
  2. Why they are called last plagues?
    1b
    for in them the wrath of God is complete.

Interpretation: Read Revelation 15:5-8 notes/interpretation for details.

What did John see next?
2
And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."

Observation:

  1. What two main things did John see here?
    2a
    And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name,
  2. Where are they standing?
    2b
    standing on the sea of glass,
  3. What did they have?
    2c
    having harps of God.
  4. What did they do?
    3
    They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."

Interpretation:

  1. Where did John see these? or Where is this Sea of glass?
    In Heaven before the thrown.
    • Rev 4:6 - Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back.
  2. What is this Sea of glass?
  3. What it means that the Sea of glass mingles with fire? or Why this Sea of glass mingles with fire?
    • (Walvoord) “The sea is designed to reflect the glory of God. In chapter 4 its description ‘like unto crystal’ speaks of the holiness of God. Here the sea mingled with fire speaks of divine judgment proceeding from God’s holiness.”
    • May be the fierceness of God's wrath reflecting in this sea of glass.
    • (David Guzik) The sea of glass is mingled with fire. This may be a reminder of the “fires” of judgment.
  4. Who are these?
    • They are believers in Christ who accepted Jesus as their Savior and lived for Christ during this Great Tribulation period.
    • They are Martyrs who gave their life for Christ without receiving the mark of the beast.
      • Rev 13:14-15 - 14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. 15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
    • Since they sang both the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb, these may be only Israelite or both Israelite and Gentile believers in Christ.
      • Rev 15:3-4 - 3 They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
  5. What instrument has given to them to accompany their song?
    2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.
  6. What other places in the Book of Revelation the songs are accompanied by harps?
    • Rev 5:8 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
    • Rev 14:2 - And I heard a voice from heaven, like the voice of many waters, and like the voice of loud thunder. And I heard the sound of harpists playing their harps.
  7. What is the one main point they are conveying through this song of the Lamb that is applicable during the Great Tribulation period?
    3
    They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
    • Lord's Judgment has been come into action from this point on....
    • Rev 15:1 -Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
    • Read topic Is there any more significance in this reaping passage? in Rev 14:14-20 notes.
    • (Warren Wiersbe) Revelation 15:4- is another anticipation of the kingdom, foretelling the time when all nations shall worship the Lamb and obey Him. This verse also announces that God's judgments are about to be manifested.
  8. When "All nations shall come and worship before God"?
    • Phil 2:9-11 - 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
    • (Jon Courson) “All nations shall come and worship before thee,” sing the overcomers in Revelation 15, fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy.…
      • And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16
      • When the Lord comes back, the Feast of Tabernacles—the week-long celebration, wherein throughout history the Jews commemorated how God brought them through the wilderness—will be reinstated. Instead of commemorating how the Lord brought His people through the wilderness, however, it will celebrate how He brought His people through the world.
      • Everyone will be invited, but not everyone will come . .
      • And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Zechariah 14:17
      • Those who don’t come will experience drought, limited fruit, restricted harvest.
      • The Lord says the same thing to you and me today, “Come and dine. Worship Me.”
  9. What is the song of Moses? Who did sing this song? and Where?
    • The song of Moses, recorded in Exodus 15, is the first song in the Bible.
      • Exodus 15:1-6 - 1 Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: "I will sing to the Lord, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! 2 The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father's God, and I will exalt Him. 3 The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name. 4 Pharaoh's chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. 5 The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. 6 "Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
  10. When and Why did they sing this Song of Moses?
    • (Warren Wiersbe) This entire scene is reminiscent (memories) of Israel following the Exodus. The nation had been delivered from Egypt by the blood of the lamb, and the Egyptian army had been destroyed at the Red Sea. In thankfulness to God, the Israelites stood by the sea and sang "the song of Moses."
      • The Tribulation saints whom John saw and heard were standing by the "sea of glass" in heaven (Rev. 4:6), just as the Israelites stood by the Red Sea. They were singing "the song of Moses" and also "the song of the Lamb." "The song of Moses" is recorded in Exodus 15, and its refrain is: "The Lord is my strength and song, and He is become my salvation" (Ex. 15:2). The 144,000 sang a song that nobody else could sing; but this is a song all saints can sing.
      • When Israel returned from Babylonian Captivity and reestablished their government and restored temple worship, they used this same refrain at the dedication services (Ps. 118; see especially v. 14).
      • In the future, when God shall call His people back to their land, Isaiah prophesied that they will sing this song again (Isa. 11:15-12:6). "The song of Moses" is indeed an important song in the hymnal of the Jewish nation.
    • (David Guzik) Because images from the Exodus abound in this chapter, some simply see an indication of the color red, with it an allusion to the Red Sea and the deliverance from bondage. Also in this chapter we see plagues, Moses, the tabernacle, and the cloud of God’s glory. This chapter shows the ultimate Exodus, the freedom of God’s people from a sinful and persecuting world.
  11. Think for a moment: Do we consider as a Victory
    1. if God didn't deliver them in the Red sea or
    2. if Pharaoh might have killed all the Israelites? NO
  12. How then Bible says here that these have victory over the beast, even though they have been killed by the beast? or Is this really a victory?
    • One reason is God has His own timings and priorities. This is the reaping time not the time to subdue/establish the world. Read God's Timeline and Priorities topic in Rev 14:1-5 notes.
    • In world's or the beast/Antichrist's point of view they didn't receive the mark of the beast so they are considered to be losers and killed.
    • In God's point of view they stand firm for Christ even it cost them their life and they didn't receive the mark of beast. So, they are considered to be victors/winners.
      • Rev 14:13 - 12 Here is the patience of the saints; here are those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.13 Then I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, "Write: 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.' " "Yes," says the Spirit, "that they may rest from their labors, and their works follow them."
      • Luke 9:24-25 - 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?
      • John 12:25 - He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
    • (David Guzik) Therefore, even though the Antichrist kills them, they have victory over the beast - they are not losers. The early church consistently described the day of martyrdom as “a day of victory.”
  13. How did they win from the beast/Antichrist?
    • Rev 12:11 - And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.
    • (Jon Courson) It is intriguing to me that those who lose their lives in the Tribulation because they choose to listen to the message of the 144,000 and believe God rather than take the mark of the Beast or bow before the image are seen not around, but on the sea of glass.
    • We can see this in their song... (David Guzik) Your . . . Your . . . You . . . Your . . . You . . . Your . . . You . . . You . . . Your: These martyrs are only focused on God. They don’t even focus on their own costly and glorious victory. They have the heart of true worship: It’s all about God, not about us.
    • (Warren Wiersbe) This scene would give great assurance and endurance to suffering saints in any age of the church. It is possible to be victorious over the world system! One does not have to yield to the "mark of the beast." Through the blood of the Lamb, we have deliverance. Our Lord's work on the cross is a "spiritual exodus" accomplished by His blood. (Note Luke 9:31, where the word "decease" is exodus in the Greek.)
  14. What it means that "You alone are holy"?
    • 1 Peter 1:16 - because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
    • Matt 5:48 - Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
  15. What one important think our Lord has done to prove that "He is Just and True"?
    • Romans 6:23 - For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    • NLT: James 2:10-11 - 10 And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God's laws. 11 For the same God who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." So if you murder someone, you have broken the entire law, even if you do not commit adultery.
    • And as per this verse it is impossible to keep his commandment as per His expectation. All are deserved for the eternal punishment.
      • Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • Jesus died on the Cross on our behalf or in our place by boring all our sins and reconciled with Our Almighty God.
      • Romans 5:10 - 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.
    • Why He died on our behalf to reconcile with God? or Why don't He made way to heaven without His death on the cross?
      • If He didn't die in our place for our sins then we need to die and receive everlasting punishment.
    • Why don't He just forgive our sins by just revoke/revert/ignore all the requirements of the Laws?
      • Our God only gave all these things Why don't He put aside all the requirements of the Laws and come up with new way?
      • By His nature it is impossible....
        1. He is the Righteous God so He cannot change/ignore/revoke the law as He likes.
          • Either He needs to apply/implement those requirements of the Law and punish us eternally
          • Or He needs to fulfill the law by perfectly obeying it.
        2. He is the Holy God. Yes He alone is Holy.
          • No one can become Holy to have a relationship.
      • Jesus bore all our sins and died on the Cross in our place.
        • Is 53:4-6,10-124 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. 8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. 9 And they made His grave with the wicked-- But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand. 11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities. 12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.
        • 1 John 2:2 - And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.
        • Romans 10:4 - 1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. 2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
        • NLT: Romans 10:4 - For Christ has accomplished the whole purpose of the law. All who believe in him are made right with God.
      • To those acknowledge this accept Him as Lord and Savior He provides/shares/imputes God's Righteousness to become Holy and have a relationship/reconcile with our Almighty God.
        • 2 Cor 5:21 - 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
        • John 17:22-23 - 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
    • Romans 10:9-11 - 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, "Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame."
  16. What it means "King of the saints"?
    (Warren Wiersbe)
    The phrase "king of saints" can also be read "king of ages." God is the eternal King, but He is also in charge of history. Nothing happens by accident. The singers seek to glorify God and honor Him, the very praise the first angel proclaimed in Revelation 14:7.
  17. How they are praising "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!" even though they gone through the severe persecution and killed by the Antichrist?
    • (Warren Wiersbe) In their song, the Tribulation saints praise God's works as well as His ways. The earth-dwellers certainly would not praise God for His works, and they would never understand His ways. God's works are great and marvelous, and His ways are just and true. There is no complaint here about the way God permitted these people to suffer! It would save us a great deal of sorrow if we would acknowledge God's sovereignty in this same way today! "The Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Ps. 145:17).
  18. (Warren Wiersbe) Antecedents of this song may be found in Psalms 86:9; 90:1-2; 92:5; 98:2; 111:9; and 145:17.

Summary:

  • (Warren Wiersbe) Before the angels pour out their judgments, there is an "interlude" of blessing. Before sending the "third woe" (Rev. 11:14) God once again reassures His faithful people. John saw the believers from the Tribulation who had overcome "the beast" and his system. These are the people who "loved not their lives unto the death" (Rev. 12:11). Since they did not cooperate with the satanic system and receive the mark of "the beast," they were unable to buy or sell (Rev. 13:17). They were totally dependent on the Lord for their daily bread. Some of them were put into prison and some were slain (Rev. 13:10); but all of them practiced faith and patience (Rev 14:12).

Application: What practical application you learn from this passage?

  1. Like these Martyrs we need to commit our live for Christ and do whatever unique plans He has for us.
  2. List all praise/message in this song of the Lamb and think of one practical application or think of one testimony in your life:
    3
    They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying: "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints! 4 Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."
    1. "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty!
      • Do you personally experience this from our Lord?
      • Is 55:8-9 - 8 "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. 9 "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
    2.  Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
      • Do you have the fear of God?
      • Proverbs 1:7 - The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
      • Proverbs 9:10 - "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
    3. Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!
      • Is Jesus is King of your life? Is He ruling and reigning you?
    4. For You alone are holy.
      • Is it necessary to be holy?
      • What way we can become holy?
    5. For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested.""
      • Are we ready to face Our Lord?

What did John see next?
5
After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

Observation:

  1. What did John see in heaven?
    5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
  2. Who did come out of the temple?
    6a
    And out of the temple came the seven angels
  3. What did the seven angels have?
    6b
    having the seven plagues,
  4. How these angels are described?
    6c clothed in pure bright linen
    , and having their chests girded with golden bands.
  5. Who gave the golden bowls to the seven angels?
    7a
    Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls
  6. What did those bowls contains?
    7b full of the wrath of God
    who lives forever and ever.
  7. What did the temple fills with? Why?
    8a
    The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power,
  8. How long no one was able to enter the temple? Why?
    8b
    and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

Interpretation:

  1. What did John see in heaven?
    5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.
    1. Is there physical temple in heaven?
      • Yes, Moses made tabernacle, altars are all  copies of the heavenly pattern. Read more details in Rev 11:19 notes under topic Is there physical temple in heaven?
      • Rev 11:19 - Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. And there were lightnings, noises, thunderings, an earthquake, and great hail.
      • Rev 14:15 - And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, "Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
      • Rev 14:17 - Then another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
      • Rev 15:5,6,8 - 5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6 And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7 Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8 The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
      • Rev 16:1 - Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, "Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth."
      • Rev 16:17 - 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!"
    2. Why it is called "the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven"?
      • NIV: Rev 15:5 - After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened.
      • NLT: Rev 15:5 - Then I looked and saw that the Temple in heaven, God's Tabernacle, was thrown wide open!
      • Tabernacle means Temple. So, it means Temple in heaven contains testimonies/witnesses/martyrs for Jesus Christ. We can keep listening to each ones testimonies.
      • Ark of the Covenant is also called Ark of the Testimonies. That means the Ark contains Testimonies.
      • For more details read Heaven Vs Tabernacle/Temple of God in Earth topic.
  2. Who did come out of the temple? and What did the seven angels have?
    6ab
    And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues,
    1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
    • (David Guzik) It is significant that they come directly from heavenly temple, from the presence and throne of God. They do not act on their own authority, but God’s.
    • (Warren Wiersbe) The seven angels emerge from the heavenly temple (see Rev. 11:19), because their work is holy as are the judgments they bring.
    • (David Guzik) This idea is also in Leviticus 26:21 - Then, if you walk contrary to Me, and are not willing to obey Me, I will bring on you seven times more plagues, according to your sins.
      These seven last plagues are God’s judgment on a disobedient and contrary world.
  3. How these angels are described?
    6c clothed in pure bright linen
    , and having their chests girded with golden bands.
    • (David Guzik) Their clothing is a reminder that God’s judgment is always completely pure and righteous. They are not like the modern anti-hero or vigilante, who sink to the level of the criminals they fight.
    • (Warren Wiersbe) The angels' clothing reminds us of the priestly garments, for their service is a divine ministry.
    • (Jon Courson) As the period of the Tribulation begins here in chapter 15, we see the angels dressed in spotless white linen—like a surgical team, if you would. The girdles of gold across their breasts symbolize the heart of gold within. That is, the judgment they are about to administer to the earth stems not from cruelty but from love.
  4. Who gave the golden bowls to the seven angels?
    7a
    Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls
    • Who is this? Where they are described?
      • Rev 4:6-8 - 6 Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second living creature like a calf, the third living creature had a face like a man, and the fourth living creature was like a flying eagle. 8 The four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come!"
    • How these Bowls look like?
      • (David Guzik) These bowls are broad, flat bowls or saucers used ritually for drinking or for pouring libations in sacrifice. The contents of such a shallow bowl were quickly, easily, and completely poured out.
      • (Seiss) The King James Version says that the angels had seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. The word vials is really a poor translation. They are really “Shallow, pan-like, golden bowls, or censers, such as were used in the temple to hold the fire when incense was burned.”
  5. What did those bowls contains?
    7b full of the wrath of God
    who lives forever and ever.
    • (David Guzik) The ancient Greek word for wrath is thymos. As was the case in Revelation 14:10, there are two words for wrath or anger in Biblical Greek: thymos (a volatile, passionate anger) and orge (anger from a settled disposition). This is a place where God’s anger “flashes” hot.
      • Orge is the more common word for God’s anger in the New Testament. Thymos is used only 11 times, and 10 of the 11 are in Revelation. It is the book that reveals the judgment of God against a Jesus-rejecting world.
    • For more details read The Wrath of God article.
  6. What was in those Golden Bowls before it contains this wrath of God?
    7
    Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever.
    • Prayer of the saints.
    • Rev 5:8 - Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
  7. What did the temple fills with? Why?
    8a
    The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power,
    • (Warren Wiersbe) When the Old Testament tabernacle and temple were dedicated, these earthly buildings were filled with God's glory (Ex. 40:34-35; 2 Chron. 7:1-4); but now the heavenly temple is filled with smoke (see Isa. 6:4; Ezek. 10:4). This smoke likewise is evidence of God's glory and power.
    • (David Guzik) When the cloud of glory fills the temple in heaven, no one can enter. It was the same when Moses could not enter the Tabernacle when the smoke of the cloud of God’s glory, sometimes called the Shekinah filled the tent (Exodus 40:34-35).
  8. What it means that "The temple was filled with smoke"? Does this mean anything special?
    8a
    The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power,
    • Prayer of the saints ascended before God as the smoke of the incense.
      • Rev 8:3-4 - 1 When He opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. 2 And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets. 3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne. 4 And the smoke of the incense, with the prayers of the saints, ascended before God from the angel's hand. 5 Then the angel took the censer, filled it with fire from the altar, and threw it to the earth. And there were noises, thunderings, lightnings, and an earthquake. 6 So the seven angels who had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.
    • What type of remnant prayers are these?
      • Rev 6:10-11 - 9 When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" 11 Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.
      • Read topic Is there any more significance in this reaping passage? in Rev 14:14-20 notes.
    • Once all of these prayers are reached our God or Once our God listen to all of these long waiting prayers the Golden bowls are emptied and God's wrath is poured in those as the response or answers to those prayers.
      • Romans 12:19 - 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
      • 2 Thes 1:6-9 - 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
      • NLT: 2 Thes 1:6-9 - 6 and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you. 7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power 10 when he comes to receive glory and praise from his holy people. And you will be among those praising him on that day, for you believed what we testified about him.
    • Read Rev 8:3-4 notes under topic What is the effect of the incense offering by the angel with the prayers of all saints?
  9. Why there is only Seven Golden Bowls of Wrath of God?
    • Seven always represent complete/all. So, here God answers all the remnant unanswered prayer requests.
    • Same way Seven churches in Chapter 2 & 3 represents/covers all the churches in the world starting from Jesus Christ 1st coming and till all the churches or all the believers are taken up or raptured to heaven.
    How long no one was able to enter the temple? Why?
    8b
    and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
    1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
    • (David Guzik) This declares that judgment is now irreversible. Nothing can hinder it any more, because access to this temple in heaven will not long be denied.
  10. What it means the wrath of God is complete?
    • complete: Greek word teleō  Strongs: 5055.
      • to bring to a close, to finish, to end
      • passed, finished
      • to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)
    • KJV: Rev 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.
    • KJV: Rev 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.
    • In John 19:30 the word means, "It is finished." Christ satisfied God's justice by dying for all to pay for the sins of the elect. These sins can never be punished again since that would violate God's justice. Sins can only be punished once, either by a substitute or by yourself.
    • 2 Tim 4:7 - 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
    • Rev 10:7 - 5 The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised up his hand to heaven 6 and swore by Him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 7 but in the days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound, the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the prophets
    • Rev 15:1 - Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
    • Rev 15:8 - The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.
    • Rev 16:17 - 17 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. 19 Now the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And great Babylon was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of His wrath. 20 Then every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And great hail from heaven fell upon men, each hailstone about the weight of a talent. Men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, since that plague was exceedingly great.
  11. When these seven plagues will be completed?
    • Rev 8:13 And I looked, and I heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, "Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!"
    • Read Rev 8:13 topic In which portion of Revelation these three woes are explained/covered?
    • Read Rev 11:19 topic Is the 3rd woe completed here?
    • Read How & When does God and Angel reaps this earth? topic in Rev 14:14-20 notes.
    • (Warren Wiersbe) Each of the angels has a specific "target" for the contents of his vial. The earth-dwellers have already suffered from the seal and trumpet judgments, but this final series of judgments will climax God's plan, leading to Babylon's fall and Jesus Christ's return to earth.

Application:

  1. Why the believers in Christ must not take revenge against any one?
    • Vengeance belongs to our God. Pray for those who offend you, persecute you and spitefully use you.
      • Prov 20:22 - Do not say, "I will recompense evil"; Wait for the Lord, and He will save you.
      • NIV: Prov 20:22 - Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you.
      • Romans 12:19-21 - 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
      • Heb 10:29-30 - 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people." 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
      • NLT: Heb 10:29-30 - 29 Think how much more terrible the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God and have treated the blood of the covenant as if it were common and unholy. Such people have insulted and enraged the Holy Spirit who brings God's mercy to his people. 30 For we know the one who said, "I will take vengeance. I will repay those who deserve it." He also said, "The Lord will judge his own people." 31 It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
      • Mat 5:10-12 - 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
  2. Are the believers in Christ only give/leave the vengeance to God or they have to give/leave everything to God?
    Everything hear means Healing, Job Search, Promotion, Marriage, Buying/Selling Home/Car/..,
    • Matt 11:28 - 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
    • Phil 4:6-7 - 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
    • Because no single sincere prayer request unanswered by our God.
    • God will answer all our prayers either immediately or later in His own timings.
      • Luke 18:7 - 1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: "There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, 'Get justice for me from my adversary.' 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, 'Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.' " 6 Then the Lord said, "Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?"
      • NLT: Luke 17:7 - Even he rendered a just decision in the end, so don't you think God will surely give justice to his chosen people who plead with him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?
  3. Do the believers in Christ share His Glory here in this earth?
    • By birth everyone has sinned and fall short of glory of God:
      • Romans 3:23 - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
    • We will share Jesus Glory when believers come back with Him
      • Col 3:4 - 1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
      • NLT: Col 3:4 - And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
      • Romans 8:18 - 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
      • NLT: Romans 8:18 - Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later.
      • 1 Peter 5:1,4 - 1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
    • Same way believers in Christ here in this earth once they accept Jesus as their personal Savior will share Jesus glory here in this earth:
      • 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6 - 4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 5 For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your bondservants for Jesus' sake. 6 For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
      • 2 Thes 2:14 - 13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      • NIV: 2 Thes 2:14 - 13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
      • Heb 2:10 - 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone. 10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
      • NLT: Heb 2:10 - 9 What we do see is Jesus, who "for a little while was made lower than the angels" and now is "crowned with glory and honor" because he suffered death for us. Yes, by God's grace, Jesus tasted death for everyone in all the world. 10 And it was only right that God -- who made everything and for whom everything was made -- should bring his many children into glory. Through the suffering of Jesus, God made him a perfect leader, one fit to bring them into their salvation.
      • Col 1:27 - To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
      • GNT: Col 1:27 - Good News Translation God's plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God.
      • NLT: Col 1:27 - For it has pleased God to tell his people that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. For this is the secret: Christ lives in you, and this is your assurance that you will share in his glory.2 Cor 3:18 - 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
      • NLT: 2 Cor 3:18 - And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.
      • John 17:22,24 - "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; 21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: 23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me. 24 Father, I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. 26 And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it, that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
      • (Jon Courson) “This is the mystery,” writes Paul. “This is what I’m coming to share with you. It’s not you being like Christ. It’s Christ in you, showing you how to pray, what to do, and how to spend your time as He writes His will on your heart” (see Jeremiah 31:33). It’s not imitation. It’s impartation. It’s Christ in us—the hope of glory!
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