Revelation 15 – Prelude To The Bowl Judgments

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I. Video Data. Chosen People Ministries. Dr. Mitch Glaser on how you can help us serve God through serving His Chosen People, the Jews (Deu 14:2).

II. Course. At this time, we will continue with our study of the book of Revelation. Because we have been away from the subject of Israel in the end times, it will be good to consider again why Jews and Gentiles will find themselves in the tribulation. Also, it will be good to consider the things that lie ahead for Israel at the end of the tribulation, as well as the conditions that Jews will encounter as they wake each day to the wrath of God that is present in each Bowl Judgment.

1. We have studied the seal judgments (Rev 6:1-8:6), and the trumpet judgments (Rev 8:7-9:21). We will now study in Rev 15, the prelude to the wrath of the bowl judgments of Rev 16. Once we have completed Revelation, we will go back to the Old Testament. Regardless of the book, or testament, we will study things that relate to Jews and Israel. We may study the travels of Israel, the prophets of Israel, Israel in the end times, or any other subject that relates to Israel. Through the tribulation judgments (seal, trumpet, bowl), God will be working to draw Jews in Israel, and “left behind” Jews all around the world, to saving faith in Christ, the Messiah. God’s purpose for Christians will have been completed when the born again believers in Christ (the church of Christ) are caught up to heaven in the rapture of the church (John 14:2,3,6) to be “forever in the Presence of Christ.” Jews, whom are born again at the time of the rapture, will also be caught up to Heaven in the same rapture. There is no particular plan for Gentiles that will be left behind from the rapture; however, these people will still have the opportunity of coming to saving faith in Christ during the tribulation. All “left-behind” Jews and Gentiles will come under the judgments of God. Those whom die during the tribulation will face an eternity that is based on whether they have come to saving faith in Christ, or have remained in their spiritual state of “unbelief.” The left-behind Jews and Gentiles that survive the tribulation will be judged as to their belief in Christ. Those in “unbelief” will be sent “in death” to the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:10-15), which occurs at the end of the Kingdom Age. Those in “belief” will be sent in life to enter the Kingdom age where they will be in the Presence of Christ, forever and ever, and will enter in life into the eternal state of the “new heavens, new earth and new Jerusalem,” (Rev 21:1-3) at the end of the Kingdom Age.

2. God’s plan for “Israel and the tribulation” are stated in Jeremiah 30:7 and Daniel 9:20, 24-27. Christ told His “Jewish” disciples the details of the tribulation in His “Olivet Discourse” of “Matthew 24:3 through 25:46,” during which time He told of the horrors of the tribulation as they relate to the Jews (the elect) Mt 24:22/Deu 14:2.” Our Lord tells in Mt 25:31-46 of the judgment that awaits the nations/Gentiles that were indifferent to Jews during the tribulation, and the reward that He will give to the Gentiles that will have shown compassion to the Jews, “the least of these, My brethren,” (Mt 25:40/Deu 14:2).

3. It will be God whom will be the author and deliverer of the Judgments that will be poured out on the earth during the tribulation. Jews and Gentiles whom will be left behind on earth, when the rapture occurs, will be subject to the tribulation judgments, which will include the persecution by the Antichrist. Rev 6:1 shows the first seal being opened and its judgment being released on the earth by “the Lamb, Christ,” as He will repeat with the remaining seals. Rev 8:6 shows the judgment of the first trumpet being thrown down to earth at the hands of an angel, as will be the case of the remaining trumpets. The severity of the trumpet judgments are greater in severity than are those of the seal judgments. The severity of the tribulation bowl judgments will be greater than any of the preceding judgments.

4. The termination of the tribulation is based on the Words of Christ in Mt 24:14, “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come” (NAS95). “This gospel of the kingdom” relates to the Kingdom Age, for which Jews have waited ever since 2 Samuel 12:7, and of which the disciples desired in Acts 1:6, immediately prior to their seeing Christ ascending to heaven in Acts 1:9. The gospel of “the Kingdom” is different from the gospel of “the death, burial and resurrection of Christ” (1 Cor 15:3-5), and is important to drawing left behind Jews to saving faith in Christ, whom will rule and reign over the Kingdom after His second coming to earth at the end of the tribulation. The gospel of the Kingdom will definitely include the message of Christ, per Isaiah 53:5, which relates to the spiritual healing of Israel:

Isaiah 53:5 (NAS95) “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.”
5. Messiah, Christ, will teach from Jerusalem during the Kingdom Age, to all whom will have been born again during the tribulation, and will have survived the tribulation, as well as to their children, and childrens’ children (Isa 2:1-3); the truth of John 3:3 will still be truth. Jews and Gentiles, those of whom will have entered the Kingdom in mortal bodies (Matt 24-25) will receive instruction from our Lord. Old Testament born again saints will be resurrected and will Judge the 12 tribes of Israel during the Kingdom Age (Dan 12:1-2, Mt 19:28); such Jews will have translated, immortal, eternal bodies and souls to accompany their born again spirits. Born again believers in Christ whom will have been translated at the time of “the rapture and resurrection” (Jn 14:2,3,6; 1 Cor 15:50-54, 1 Thes 4:-18), will be present during the Kingdom Age, and will enter this millennium in eternal, immortal, translated bodies, souls and spirits; they will rule and reign with Christ throughout the Kingdom Age (2 Tim 2:12). Martyred tribulation saints (Rev 20:4) will be resurrected and will rule and reign with Christ during the Kingdom Age, having been given translated, eternal, immortal bodies and souls to accompany their born again spirits. All whom will have been translated will enter the eternal state in their translated bodies. Jews and Gentiles whom will enter the Kingdom at the end of the tribulation will have born again spirits; prior to their entry into the eternal state, God will give them immortal bodies and souls to match their eternal born again spirits. The children, and children’s children, of those whom will enter the millennium having only “born again spirits,” will come under the instruction of Christ (Isa 2:1-3) and must come to saving faith in Christ in order to be born again, and receive eternal, immortal, translated bodies and souls; otherwise, they will face the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev 20:10-15), and receive the same fate of anyone else whom has not been born again (John 3:3). Because the promised land of Israel extends from the Nile River in Egypt to the Euphrates River in Iraq (Gen 15:18-20), it appears that the OT saints of Dan 12:1-2 and Matt 19:28, will rule and reign over Jews that enter the Kingdom age not having translated bodies and souls. Because Jews have been promised the land of the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 15:8-20), Gentiles not having translated bodies and souls will reside outside of the land of the Jews (Gen 15:18-20); they will be able to come and go, to and from, the Jews’ covenant land (Zech 14:16), and will be governed by NT and Tribulation translated saints (2 Tim 2:12, Rev 20:4) whom will rule and reign with Christ. Scripture shows that during the Kingdom age, those whom have been translated will rule and reign over those whom have not been translated. Raptured and resurrected born again believers in Christ will enter the Kingdom age after their descent from heaven with Christ (Rev 19:11-21) at the end of the tribulation; they will go to and from the earth, at will. Old Testament and martyred born again saints will be resurrected at the end to the tribulation and will enter the Kingdom age. Born again survivors of the tribulation will just enter a day of life, experiencing the greatness of the Kingdom age, as described in Isaiah 11:6:

Isaiah 11:6 (NAS95). And the wolf will dwell with the lamb, And the leopard will lie down with the young goat, And the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; And a little boy will lead them.

III. The key to understanding God’s Word is to develop a good understanding of God’s chosen people. The purpose of the articles that are written in this Equipping Site is to develop and strengthen the knowledge of its readers of God’s Holy Word. Of key concern, as it relates to the “Revelation of Christ to the Apostle John” (Rev 1:1), are the Words of our Lord in Revelation 22:18-19:

“18 I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God shall add to him the plagues which are written in this book; 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the tree of life and from the holy city, which are written in this book.” (NAS95).

A. The prophecy of the Book of Revelation has been stated by our Lord and Savior, Christ; it can not be changed. Anyone whom is guilty of “adding to, or taking away” from the prophecy that our Lord spoke to John the Apostle will be someone whom has not been born again (John 3:3). Anyone whom has been “born again,” through the work of God’s Holy Spirit (John 3:8), can not be “unborn.” Anyone whom has been born again will not “add to, or take away,” from any Word of Scripture. Consider the comment that is provided in the Revelation commentary of Dr. John F. Walvoord, as follows:

B. “To use the verses Rev 22:18-19 as a proof that a child of God once saved and born into the family of God can lose his salvation is, of course, applying this passage out of context. This passage assumes that a child of God will not tamper with these scriptures. It is the contrast of unbelief with faith, the blinded, fallen intellect of man in contrast to the enlightened Spirit-taught believer. Although the true child of God may not comprehend the meaning of the entire book of Revelation, he will recognize in it a declaration of his hope and that which has been assured to him in grace by his salvation in Christ.”

IV. The Vision Of The Seven Last Plagues
Article contributed by Dr. John F. Walvoord (Deceased)

A. The Bowl Judgments.

Consider the introduction to the Bowl Judgments of the tribulation, as provided by Dr. John F. Walvoord. Those whom will be present on earth will be Jews and Gentiles that were left behind from the rapture of the born again believers in Christ (John 14:2,3,6). God will use every event of the tribulation to call Jews to saving faith in Christ. Gentiles will also be able to accept Christ as Savior.

B. Introduction To The Bowl Judgments

Chapters 15 and 16 of Revelation bring to consummation the chronologically ordered events leading up to the second coming of Christ described in chapter 19. These are introduced in this chapter as “the seven last plagues” which are the divine judgments preceding the second coming of Christ. As previously indicated, the chronological order of events in Revelation is presented basically in the seven seals (6:1-17; 8:1). The seventh seal includes all of the seven trumpets (8:1-9:21; 11:15-19). The seven vials or bowls of divine judgment are included in the seventh trumpet. From this it can be seen that the order of events is one of dramatic crescendo, the seventh seal being all-inclusive of the end-time events including the seven trumpets, and the seventh trumpet including the events described in the seven vials. The second coming of Christ follows this order of events immediately after the seventh vial. The intervening sections such as 10:1-11:14; 13-14; 17-19:10 do not advance the narrative chronologically. Chapter 19:11 of Revelation follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.

C. Prelude to the Bowl Judgments.

1. Overview: MacArthur Study Bible. 15:1–8. Chapter 15 introduces the 7 bowls of wrath, God’s final judgments at the end of the 7 year Tribulation period. The bowl judgments come in a rapid-fire, staccato fashion, each one stronger in fury and intensity. The bowls are the last plagues that issue from the blast of the seventh trumpet, and will conclude the seventh seal (see note on 6:1).

a. 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.

Comment. MacArthur Study Bible. 15:1. “wrath of God.” See 11:18; 14:10; 16:19; 19:15; cf. Rom. 1:18–21.

b. Rev 15:2 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.

Comment. MacArthur Study Bible. 15:2. “sea of glass.” God’s heavenly throne sits on a transparent crystal platform or pavement. “victory over the beast.” All the saints from every nation, including Israel, ultimately triumph over Satan’s Antichrist and his system because of their faith in Jesus Christ. number of his name. 13:17: “buy or sell.” Antichrist’s mark will allow people to engage in daily commerce, including the purchase of food and other necessities. Without the identifying mark, individuals will be cut off from the necessities of life. number of his name. The beast (Antichrist) will have a name inherent in a numbering system. It is not clear from the text exactly what this name and number system will be or what its significance will be.

c. Rev 15:3-4 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.”

Comment. MacArthur Study Bible. 14:5. God’s holy and perfect character inevitably demands that He judge (cf. Ps. 19:9; Nah. 1:3, 6). After God’s righteous judgment is complete, He will set up Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth and the elect from every nation will come and worship Him (cf. Ps. 66:4; Is. 66:23; Phil. 2:9–11).

d. Rev 15:5 After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened.

Comment. MacArthur Study Bible. “the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony.” This refers to the location of the ark of the covenant in the Holy of Holies where God dwells (see note on 11:19; cf. Num. 10:11).

e. Rev 15:6-7 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.

Comment. MacArthur Study Bible. 15:7. “four living creatures.” See notes on 4:6–8. seven golden bowls. These are shallow saucers, familiar items often associated with various functions of the temple worship (1 Kin. 7:50; 2 Kin. 12:13; 25:15), such as wine (Amos 6:6) and blood sacrifice (Ex. 27:3). Their flat shallowness pictures how the divine judgments will be emptied instantly rather than slowly poured, drowning those who refused to drink the cup of salvation.

Comment. The New American Commentary. 5:7. “wrath of God.” the fury of a righteous God against the contamination of His entire creation through sin.

g. 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.

Comment. The New American Commentary. 5:8. At this point the entire temple is filled with smoke from the Glory of God, rendering it impossible for anyone to enter the temple until the seven plagues are completed. Twice before a manifestation of the “shekinah glory” of God was seen – first, upon its completion in the tabernacle and then at the dedication of the Solomonic temple. Now, the stage is set for the last plagues of the tribulation period.

V. Closing Video. A Song

Cloverton’s Christmas version of Hallelujah. Dec 22, 2016. The High Definition Lifestyle. This is a really beautiful Christmas version of the song “Hallelujah” as the lyrics have been written to honor Jesus. Telling the story of His birth, what a beautiful song to explain the real meaning of Christmas!

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Author: Eternity

Things are discussed in this website that relate to God's creation, from "eternity to eternity," and all that is addressed within those parameters. Consider Isaiah 43:13, "Even from eternity I am He, And there is no one who can rescue from My hand; I act, and who can reverse it?” The Moody Study Bible adds a comment: "God is the ruler of all, and there is nothing that can stand against Him. His will is irresistible. The Bible Knowledge Commentary adds this thought: "No one can reverse what God puts into action or thwart His plans." The articles that are found in this site may relate to anything that is found in the Bible, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22.21, as well as anything that may relate to the Bible.

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