"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."
Once again we have a section
of the book of Revelation presented to us beginning with the mention of seven
angels. I find nothing to indicate that the seven angels mentioned in this
section is different from the seven angels to which the Lord revealed to us in
Rev. 1:20 "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand,
and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven
churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."
The angels or messengers of the seven churches are the pastors of the seven
churches who deliver the Lord's messages to the churches. Additionally we read
about seven angels in Rev. 8:2 "And I saw the seven angels which stood before
God; and to them were given seven trumpets."
As we have previously shown
the trumpets in the scripture are a sign of the gospel. Thus, the seven angels
who deliver the messages to the churches are the same ones who preach the
gospel. Furthermore, the gospel ministers to which these seven angels are a
type are to preach the whole counsel of God. Paul stated in Acts 20:26 "Wherefore
I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. 27
For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God." The
gospel ministers are to declare the whole counsel of God and in so doing they
will declare both the eternal and timely judgments of God. Additionally, in
preaching the judgments of God they will be preaching about the wrath of God
manifest in those judgments.
The above verse speaks of
the seven last plagues. The use of the term, last, indicates there must have
been previous plagues. There were three previous plagues mentioned in Rev.
9:20: "And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet
repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils,
and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither
can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders,
nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts." The
plagues mentioned in Rev. 9:20 are the same as the woes mentioned in Rev. 9:12,
"One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter." These
woes are also mentioned in Rev. 8:12, "One woe is past; and, behold, there
come two woes more hereafter."
Adding the seven last
plagues with the three previous plagues gives us a total of ten plagues. This
is the same number of plagues that God poured out upon
Egypt when the children of Israel were
being delivered from Egyptian captivity. Furthermore, the ten plagues in Egypt
were divided unto three plagues that were poured out upon both Israel and Egypt
and seven plagues that were poured out upon Egypt only. Ex. 8:22 "And I will
sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms
of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the LORD in the
midst of the earth. 23 And I will put a division between my people and
thy people: to morrow shall this sign be."
Some have speculated that
the children of Israel represented the elect and the Egyptians represented the
non-elect. However, there were some of the Egyptians that feared God: Ex. 9:20
"He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his
servants and his cattle flee into the houses: 21 And he that regarded not the
word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field." Thus there
were children of God among the Egyptians.
God gave to the children of
Israel several signs on several different occasions. The signs usually set
forth some great truth. An example of this principle is set forth when God gave
to Moses and the children of Israel three signs when he sent Moses to the
children of Israel to deliver them out of Egyptian bondage. The first sign was
when Moses cast the rod unto the ground and it became a serpent, then he put
forth his hand and caught it by the tail and it became a rod again. The rod is
a figure of the authority and commandment of God. The serpent is a figure of
sin. When man cast God's law to the ground it became sin. When Jesus took it
up and it became the authority of God again.
The second sign was when
Moses put his hand into his bosom and it became leprous as snow. When he put
forth his hand into his bosom again and took it out it because like flesh
again. Again this shows forth the work of man in disobeying the law of God and
bringing sin upon himself, followed by the work of Jesus in delivering us from
The third sign was when
Moses took water out of the river and it became blood upon the dry ground. This
also pointed us to the work of Jesus in redeeming us from our sins through his
The sign of the seven angels
with the seven last plagues is a sign identifying the true gospel ministers, who
declare the whole counsel of God and show the Lord's people both the timely and
eternal judgments of God. This sign is seen in heaven (the kingdom of
heaven=church or gospel kingdom). This sign is great and marvelous in that it
shows forth the power, wisdom, and mercy of God in calling men to preach the
gospel, in giving them spiritual gifts to preach, and enabling them to preach,
and in giving them messages to preach.
Rev 15:2, 3
"And I saw as it
were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over
the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his
name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. 3 And they sing
the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great
and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways,
thou King of saints."
Referencing back to Rev. 4:6
we note that the sea of glass represents the pure word of God. The true
disciples of the Lord stand upon the word of God and let "It is written" be
their guide both in their worship and service of God.
We also note that we have
before shown that fire is the executed judgment of God. Through the word of God
and our knowledge of the executed judgment of God wherein Jesus redeemed us from
our sins we stand on the sea of glass having the harps of God.
These who were standing on
the sea of glass are said to have gotten the victory over the beast, and over
his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name. The beast is
that multinational secular governmental power that bears the image of the dragon
(Satan) and stands in opposition to the true worshippers of God. The image is
that false image of a false Christ painted by the false prophet (hierarchal
religious organization). It is designed as a substitute for people to worship
rather than the true Christ of the scriptures. The mark is a symbol both of the
teachings and work of the false religious system designed to convince people to
worship the image (false Christ). The number of the beasts name is 666, which
is a scriptural number associated with man made and man forced religion designed
to enforce a false worship of the false Christ. The disciples are said to have
gotten the victory over such.
First, the disciples are
given an eternal victory over all enemies through the death, burial, and
resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (mingled with fire). His atoning
sacrifice made them victorious and there is no charge that can be laid against
them: "Who can lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that
justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that
is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh
intercession for us."
Second, the disciples have
obtained timely deliverances over their enemies in that they "keep the
commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Rev. 12:17)
it is through this testimony of Jesus Christ (the sea of glass) that they learn
about the true worship of God and are admonished to come out of the false
worship and the false worships systems.
We have before shown that
the harps of God are the heartstrings of our heart in which God has written his
laws that we have through the new birth and by which we sing praises to our God
for his redemptive work. This song of redemption is the song of the Lamb. It
is through the shed blood of the Lamb of God (Jesus Christ) that we are redeemed
from our sins. We praise his Holy name for his atoning sacrifice.
The song of Moses is a song
of timely deliverances. When the children of Israel had crossed the Red Sea and
then saw their enemies, Pharaoh and his army drowned in the midst of the sea,
they sang a song of deliverance: Ex. 15:1 "Then sang Moses and the children
of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD,
for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into
the sea. 2 The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my
salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; 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 host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen
captains also are drowned in the
Red sea. 5 The depths have covered
them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
6 Thy right hand, O LORD,
is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the
enemy. 7 And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown
them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed
them as stubble. 8 And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were
gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were
congealed in the heart of the sea. 9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I
will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I
will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. 10 Thou didst blow with
thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
11 Who is like unto thee,
O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in
praises, doing wonders? 12 Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth
swallowed them. 13 Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou
hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
14 The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the
inhabitants of Palestina. 15 Then the dukes of
Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab,
trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt
away. 16 Fear and dread shall fall
upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till
thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast
17 Thou shalt bring them
in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD,
which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy
hands have established. 18 The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
19 For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen
into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but
the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea."
This song of Moses tells of
timely victories already given, as well as, future anticipated victories through
the working of God in the lives of his people.
This is where the Lord's
disciples stand to praise God today in that they praise him for their eternal
victory through the finished work of Jesus Christ. Also, they praise him
through the timely deliverances they have experienced in this life and they
praise him for the expectation of future deliverances through the working of his
mighty power in their lives. They say, " Great and marvellous are thy works,
Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints."
Rev 15:4 "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou
only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy
judgments are made manifest."
The question is asked,
"Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?" Certainly, it can
be said that those who haven't been born of the Spirit of God do not fear God
nor glorify his name. Rom. 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
However, this question is only about the elect of God. The non-elect will never
fear the name of God, nor glorify his name in either time or eternity. The
elect will one day all fear the name of the Lord and glorify his name. In the
morning of the resurrection it is safe to say that all nations of the elect will
come and worship before God. They will do this because God only is holy. There
is a sense in which God is holy and no one else is holy. Jesus Christ is holy,
harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners. He was conceived without sin.
He was born without sin. He lived without sin. He kept the law perfectly as
none other had kept it. He became the perfect Lamb of God, who taketh away the
sin of the world.
God's judgments are made
manifest here in time to the disciples. They learn about them in the word of
God and come to understand that Jesus justified them thru his shed blood and
that they one day will be glorified in body, soul, and spirit because of the
judgments of God. God's judgments are made manifest in the new birth as those
so born of the Spirit having received the spirit of adoption cry Abba Father.
God's judgments are made manifest thru the preaching of the gospel as the gospel
declares the wondrous works of God and what he has done for his children. Above
all else, God's judgments are made manifest in the resurrection of the dead as
the final consummation of those judgments are brought to fruition. In that day,
all the nations of the elect will be made joyously aware of the great judgments
of God and shall glorify his name. They shall say, "Salvation to our God which
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."
15:5 "And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle
of the testimony in heaven was opened."
The temple in the Old
Testament was a place of worship of God. The temple in the New Testament is
also a place of worship of God. However, we don't have a natural temple in the
New Testament, but the temple in the New Testament is the church: Eph. 2:19
"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with
the saints, and of the household of God; 20 And are built upon the
foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief
corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth
unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together
for an habitation of God through the Spirit." Thus God's disciples are
builded together and framed together as an holy temple in the Lord and as an
habitation of God through the Spirit.
The tabernacle in the Old
Testament was a place wherein God met with the children of Israel and dwelled
with them throughout their wilderness journeys. The tabernacle is said to be
the tabernacle of witness Acts 7:44 "Our fathers had the tabernacle of
witness in the wilderness, as he had appointed, speaking unto Moses, that he
should make it according to the fashion that he had seen." Within the most
holy place there were cherubims that overshadowed the ark of the covenant and
the mercy seat. These two cherubims had their faces inward. Both were witness
of the ark of the covenant and the mercy seat. One was on one side of the ark
and the other was on the other side. The ark is a figure of Christ. The two
cherubims of witness are typical of the Old and the New Testament who bear
witness of the covenant and work of Jesus Christ in redeeming his people from
That the temple of the
tabernacle of testimony was opened indicates the work of the Holy Spirit in
bringing the disciples to understand what is the purpose and work of the Lord
Jesus Christ and to bring to knowledge the things concerning the kingdom of
God here in time.
"And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven
plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with
If nothing else this verse
of scripture teaches us that the angels spoken of are not literal angels but
they are among God's redeemed children as they are clothed in the righteousness
of Jesus Christ who has given them the victory over sin, death, hell, and the
Linen is described in Rev.
19:8 "And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean
and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." We have no
righteousness of our own, but Jesus Christ is our righteousness: 1 Cor. 1:30
"But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and
righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption."
As we have noted previously,
to have ones breast girded, indicates a return from battle victorious. Jesus
Christ has given us the victory: 1 Cor. 15:54 "So when this corruptible shall
have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then
shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in
victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But
thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Gold is the metal associated with kings and kingdoms in the scriptures. The
fact that they were girded with golden girdles indicates that this was a king's
victory. Our King, Jesus Christ, has made us victorious through his shed
Since they had come out of
the temple having seven plagues, we are to understand that the gospel ministers
(seven angels) were come to declare the whole counsel of God and to show forth
the judgments of God as they preached his word.
Rev 15:7 "And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden
vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever."
As we have previously shown,
the four beasts are signs of the four gospels of Jesus Christ. These gospels
are therefore the source of the seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. In
both the gospels of Matthew and Luke the word, "woe," occurs several times
showing God's wrathful judgment against the sins of the nation of Israel. Some
examples are as follows:
1. Matt. 11:21,
"Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee,
Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were
done in you, had been done in Tyre and
Sidon, they would have repented long
ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But
I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for
Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for
you. 23 And thou,
Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt
be brought down to hell: for if the mighty works, which have been done in thee,
had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the
land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for
2. Matt. 18:7,
"Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences
come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!"
3. Matt. 23:13, "But
woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of
heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that
are entering to go in. 14 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer:
therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. 15 Woe unto
you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one
proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than
yourselves.16 Woe unto you, ye blind
guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but
whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! 17 Ye
fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that
sanctifieth the gold? 18 And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is
nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.
19 Ye fools and blind:
for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? 20
Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things
thereon. 21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by
him that dwelleth therein. 22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth
by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. 23 Woe unto you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and
have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these
ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. 24 Ye blind
guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. 25 Woe unto you,
scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and
of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the
outside of them may be clean also. 27 Woe unto you, scribes
and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed
appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all
28 Even so ye also
outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and
iniquity. 29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye
build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been
partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. 31 Wherefore ye be
witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the
32 Fill ye up then the
measure of your fathers. 33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can
ye escape the damnation of hell? 34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you
prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify;
and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from
city to city: 35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon
the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of
Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
36 Verily I say unto you,
All these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto
thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! 38 Behold, your
house is left unto you desolate."
While God's judgments are
both timely and eternal, yet God is eternal and he will fulfill all of his
plagues as he has promised.
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."
There are several times when
the glory of God filled a building in which no one could enter until the glory
was taken up:
1. Ex. 40:34 "Then
a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled
the tabernacle. 35 And Moses was not able to enter into the tent of the
congregation, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled
2. 1 Kings 8:10
"And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that
the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11 So that the priests could not
stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the LORD had filled the
house of the LORD."
3. 2 Chr. 5:13
"It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one
sound to be heard in praising and thanking the LORD; and when they lifted up
their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and praised
the LORD, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the
house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the LORD; 14 So that the
priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the
LORD had filled the house of God."
4. 2 Chr. 7:1
"Now when Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven,
and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices; and the glory of the LORD
filled the house. 2 And the priests could not enter into the house of the
LORD, because the glory of the LORD had filled the LORD'S house."
5. Ezek. 43:4
"And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose
prospect is toward the east. 5 So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the
inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house."
The scriptures say that God
will not give his glory to another: Is. 48:11 "For mine own sake, even for
mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not
give my glory unto another." When it comes to the work of the Lord, the
Lord will not allow anyone else to have his glory.
Only the Lord can do some
things. When it comes to salvation from sin, only the Lord could accomplish
that. When it comes to the new birth, only the Lord can do that. When it comes
to the resurrection, this is the Lord's work only. Similarly, when it comes to
executing God's judgments, both timely and eternal, only the Lord can accomplish
Similarly, we cannot enter
into the Kingdom of heaven until God has done his work. God must first have
caused us to be born of the Spirit of God and convicted us of sin before we can
enter into the kingdom of heaven. In addition, he must have revealed to our
understanding that Jesus died for our sins. Furthermore, Acts 14:22 "…and
that we must through much tribulation enter into the
kingdom of God."
These are things that only God can do and he
deserves all the glory for having done them.