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Bible Commentaries

The Bible Study New Testament

Revelation 15

 

 

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Introduction

Christ's Final Wrath. Chapters 15-16 (Romans 2:5)

This is the fifth parallel section. The central idea is: "God will not tolerate sinful men forever. "It once again begins with Christ's First Coming. "But the wicked, with actions and words, have called death to themselves, and thinking it a friend, have made an agreement with it, because they choose to be part of it."


Verse 1

Then I saw another mysterious sight in the sky. Again and again we see a cycle of events in Revelation - the cycle of the church. The Holy Spirit produces faith in the hearts of people through the preaching of the Good News of God's act in Christ to set men free. Those who believe and are baptized (Acts 2:41) are added to the group [the church: the messianic community], The Devil fights against them through human agents, and we see that again and again, the church is persecuted [chapters 4-7]. We see God again and again send warning-judgments against the persecuting world [chapters 8-11], but these people do not repent. [Some few do.] This constant warfare between the world and the church points to the deeper conflict between the "child of the woman" [Christ] and the Dragon [chapters 12-14]. But, when the Trumpets of Warning fail to produce repentance, and wicked men fail to turn to God, what then? Will God close his eyes to it all until the Judgment??? Chapters 15-16 answer this. Whenever in our world, wicked men ignore the Trumpets of Warning, the Bowls of God's Wrath are poured out! These are the Last Plagues! Death plunges these rebels, who will not accept forgiveness, into the hands of an angry God! [Notice that the same event may be a Seal to the believer; a Trumpet of Warning to the wicked; and a Bowl of Wrath to the rebel.]


Verse 2

Then I saw what looked like a sea of glass. Before John tells us about the Bowls of Wrath, he shows us the Church Triumphant in eternity. The sea of glass, mixed with fire, symbolizes Cod's transparent righteousness. "Because your righteous deeds are seen by all." His wrath against the rebels is righteous (see Revelation 18:4-8). I also saw those who had won the victory. Notice God gave them the harps they hold, symbolic of God giving the victory to his faithful servants.


Verse 3-4

They were singing the song of Moses. A song of victory and triumph! Read it in Exodus 15:1-19. Did not God send Trumpets of Warning again and again, pleading with the wicked to turn away from their sin??? By refusing God's mercy, they have "brought on themselves" God's Bowls of Wrath! After the Judgment, the Church Triumphant will clearly see that this is true, and they will praise God for his just punishments on the rebels.


Verse 5

After this I saw the temple in heaven open. The temple is opened and the tent of God's presence shown. This tells us that the wrath which we are about to see is God's wrath.


Verse 6

The seven angels. These angels come out of the temple. The way they are dressed shows they are God's angels.


Verse 7

Then one of the four living creature. One of the cherubim (see note on Revelation 4:6). The bowls are gold (symbolic of God's service) and they are full (showing fierceness). The time for mercy is past. Those who have rejected Christ's sacrifice will feel the full weight of God's wrath.


Verse 8

The temple was filled with smoke. Symbolic of the complete and thorough action of God's wrath. [Compare Isaiah 6:4; Isaiah 14:31; Psalm 14:1; Psalm 18:8.] No one could go into the temple. God's wrath has closed the door of mercy. No one can "plead with God" for the rebels who are about to be punished. Compare 1 John 5:16. [This does not mean God has closed the doors to the church of Christ. Those doors were opened that Pentecost, and will not be closed until Christ's Second Coming. But those who rebel against God Almighty finally reach a place where they have used up all their opportunities. Then there is nothing left at all, but the certain vengeance of the Lord.]

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Bibliography Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 15:4". "The Bible Study New Testament". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-15.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

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