I. Introduction. In the opening video, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung provides a brief overview of the remaining Tribulation Judgments; in Chapter 16, greater detail of the bowl judgments will be provided. Dr. DeYoung also explains the purpose of God for the Tribulation. 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. 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 increase, 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 do not advance the narrative chronologically. Chapter 19 of Revelation follows immediately after chapter 16 in the chronological development.
A. Series Title. Israel In Revelation.
B. Video Title: What happens to the earth as a result of the vial judgments?
C. Article Title: End Times 28, Revelation 15:1-8, Prelude To The Bowl Judgments.
D. Article Focus: As we consider all of the actions of God that will occur during the, “yet future,” bowl judgments, we must also consider the holiness and Glory of God. In this article, we will go back to the times when God’s Glory and Holiness were made to be so very visible, and powerful, to His chosen people, the Jews (Deu 14:2); we will cite examples of 1491 B.C. and 1012 B.C. In 626 B.C., we will see all of those on earth who were to be in awestruck reverence before God, Who is in Heaven. In the future millennial reign of Christ, this prophecy will be fulfilled in Messiah’s Presence, on earth. Consider how it will be to kneel before Christ.
1. 1491 B.C.
34 Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud had settled on it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. 36 Throughout their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the sons of Israel would set out; 37 but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day when it was taken up. 38 For throughout their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel.
2. 1012 B.C.
2 Chronicles 5:11-14
11 When the priests came out from the holy place (for all the priests who were present had sanctified themselves, without regard to divisions), 12 and all the Levitical singers, Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and their sons and kinsmen, clothed in fine linen, with cymbals, harps, and lyres, standing east of the altar, and with them 120 priests blowing trumpets 13 in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they raised their voices accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other musical instruments, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His kindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, 14 so that the priests could not rise to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God.
3. 626 B.C.
But the Lord is in His holy temple.
Let all the earth be silent before Him.”
4. 64 A.D.
9 For this reason also God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
E. Key Thought. The Holiness Of God.
II. Text. Revelation 15:1-8.
A. The Vision Of The Seven Last Plagues.
1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.
2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who were victorious over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. 3 And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
4 Who will not fear You, Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”
B. A Scene Of Heaven.
5 After these things I looked, and the temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven was opened, 6 and the seven angels who had the seven plagues came out of the temple, clothed in linen, clean and bright, and their chests wrapped with golden sashes. 7 And one of the four living creatures gave the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who lives forever and ever. 8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.
III. Translation Considerations. “The New American Standard Bible (NASB) translation was chosen for this, and other studies, because of two main reasons. First, the NASB capitalizes the first letter of pronouns that relate to God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit); not all Bible translations show that same respect for God. Second, the NASB has a history of correctness in translation.”
IV. Sources of Information can be found in my Page, “About Sources.”
V. Comments. Revelation 15:1-8.
A. 15:1. Another sign looks back to 12:1,3, where the symbolism of the woman and the dragon also appeared in heaven. This sign is great and marvelous, apparently because it deals with the seven last plagues sent by the Lord. The plagues, “the bowls of the wrath of God” (16:1), are much stronger and more widespread than the trumpet judgments in 8:2-11:19. The wrath of God is complete with the seven last plagues (see 15:1-19:5). They are immediately followed by the Second Coming and the marriage supper of the Lamb (19:6–21).
B. 15:2-3. The martyrs sing “the song of Moses,” praising God for His faithfulness and deliverance (Ex 15; Deu 32) and magnifying God’s Righteousness and His Holiness.
C. 15:4. God’s holy and perfect character inevitably demands that He judge. 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.
D. 15:5. The temple of the tabernacle links the powerful imagery of the heavenly temple in 11:19 with the strong parallels in chap 15 to the Exodus period, when the majestic presence of God was clearly seen in the tabernacle. The tabernacle of the testimony calls attention to the Law or the tablets of testimony given to Moses (see Ex. 31:18; 32:15). In the new heaven and new earth the tabernacle of God will be with believers because He will dwell eternally with them (21:3).
E. 15:6. “seven plagues.” The final, most severe judgments from God, described in chap 16. linen . . . golden bands. The fabric represents holiness and purity (19:14). These are belts or girdles, running from the shoulder to the waist, that each of the 7 angels wear over his garments. The bands demonstrate riches, royalty, and untarnished glory.
F. 15:7. The seven angels described as already having the seven plagues in verse 6 are given seven golden vials or bowls described as full of the wrath of God in verse 7. The reference to plagues in verse 6 may be prophetic, or the bestowal of the vials may be the authorization to use them. The extent of the divine judgment is indicated by the word “full,” indicating the devastating character of this divine judgment. The word for “wrath” here is “thymos,” which relates to anger. The solemn reminder that God lives forever and ever gives a solemn cast to the wrath that is to be poured out to be inflicted forever and ever upon those who perish.
1. Consider thymos. 2372 thymós (from thyō, “rush along, getting heated up, breathing violently,” cf. J. Thayer) properly, passion-driven behavior, i.e. actions emerging out of strong impulses (intense emotion).
2. When 2372 /thymós (“expressed passion”) is used of people it indicates rage (personal venting of anger, worth). This flaw is completely absent of the Lord expressing (inspiring) intense anger. Accordingly, 2372 (thymós) is used of God’s perfect, holy wrath in Revelation (Rev 14:10,19,15:1, etc.). This anger is directed against sin with intense opposition and without sin.
G. 15:8. As the angels emerge from the sanctuary, it is filled with smoke proceeding from the glory of God and His power, a pointed reminder of the ineffable holiness of God. The scene can be compared to that when the cloud filled the Tabernacle in Exodus 40:34-35. Access into the sanctuary is made impossible by the smoke until the judgments contained in the seven plagues are fulfilled. It is an ominous sign of impending doom for those who persist in their blasphemous disregard of the sovereignty and holiness of God.
VI. Summary. The seal, trumpet and bowl judgments are poured out on earth by Christ and angels (Rev 6:1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 8:1, 5, 6, etc.). Their targets are not born again believers in Christ, but have a purpose for drawing unsaved Jews (Jer 30:7) to saving faith in Christ; unsaved Gentiles will also be able to come to saving faith in Christ. Born again believers in Christ will be caught up to heaven prior to the Tribulation (John 14:2-6, 1 Cor 15:50-54; 1 Thes 4:13-18). The Tribulation will not begin until after Israel makes a peace treaty with the antichrist (Dan 9:27).
VII. Video details. What happens to the earth as a result of the vial judgments? This clip is from our series entitled, “Step by Step through the Book of Revelation.” John Ankerberg Show. Dec 29, 2011. Credentials for the speaker, Dr. Jimmy DeYoung, can be found in my Page, “About My Sources.”
VIII. God’s love for Israel can not be denied. Deuteronomy 14:2. “For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.”
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