The breakdown of the 15th Chapter is as follows:
1. The Seven Vial Angels Prepare to Pour Out Their Seven Vial Judgments – Revelation 15:1
2. The Sea of Glass – Revelation 15:2-4
3. The Heavenly Temple Again Opened – Revelation 15:5-8
The Seven Vial Angels Prepare to Pour Out Their Seven Vial Judgments – Revelation 15:1
We have seen the seven sealed judgments, the seven trumpet judgments, and now we have come to the concluding seven judgments, the seven vials. The sign that John saw in Heaven was explained by him as being “…great and marvellous,...” He speaks of seven angels, and they have the seven last plagues (the seven vials). When he used the term “filled up,” he meant that this would complete the great wrath of God poured out on the planet.
The word “seven” is used 18 times in the book of Revelation. It speaks of:
The seven churches – Revelation 1:4
The seven Spirits – Revelation 1:4
The seven golden candlesticks – Revelation 1:12
The seven stars – Revelation 1:16
The seven lamps – Revelation 4:5
The seven seals – Revelation 5:1
The seven horns – Revelation 5:6
The seven eyes - Revelation 5:6
The seven angels – Revelation 15:1
The seven trumpets – Revelation 8:2
The seven crowns – Revelation 12:3
The last seven plagues – Revelation 15:1
Seven golden vials – Revelation 15:7
Seven mountains – Revelation 17:9
Seven kings or kingdoms – Revelation 17:10-11
Throughout The Word of God, “seven” is known as “God’s number” it means fulfillment or completion. When Jesus gave His message to the seven churches of Asia, there were other churches in Asia. However, seven were chosen to represent the church world. So, He was giving the same message for all churches for all time.
The Sea of Glass – Revelation 15:2-4
This passage explains the destiny of the martyrs of Christ during the Great Tribulation period. It refers to all individuals, whomever they may be, who have refused to take the mark of the beast or to worship the image of the beast. They were, therefore, assassinated.
The sea of glass that sits before the throne of God, seems to be the floor of the Great Throne Room in The Heavenly Temple. It is transparent glass with the appearance of fire or prismatic colors produced by the Glory of God. Out of the throne proceed lightnings, causing prismatic colors to flash upon the sea of glass like the Aurora Borealis and northern lights. The glory of God, emanating from the light in which He dwells, will illuminate the whole city and cause the glittering.
The Bible says that all of these individuals will have harps of God. Actually, it seems that all the redeemed will have harps and sing according to Revelation 5:8; 14:2. In other words, there’s going to be a lot of music in Heaven.
The Song of Moses was one of triumph over Pharaoh and his armies (Exodus 15:1-19.) The Song of the Lamb will also be one of triumph, victory over satan and all enemies of God and man (Colossians 2:14-17). When the term, “King of saints” is used, it means both King of saints and King of nations. The nations coming before the Lord to worship Him indicates the Millennium (Isaiah 2:2-4; Zechariah 14:16-21).
The Heavenly Temple Again Opened – Revelation 15:5-8
The Temple being opened in the 5th verse has been opened once before Revelation 11:19. The seven angels referred to here are not really angels as we know them but are men. In Revelation 17:1, one of the angels (men) showed John the mystery of the great whore and the beast that carried her. In Revelation 21:9, one showed John the Holy City.
After seeing these things, John fell down at the feet of the angel and was told that he was an ordinary man, one of the prophets (Revelation 19:9-10; 22:8-9). This angel is called a man in Revelation 21:17.
Another indication that these seven angels are men is the statement “…clothed in pure and white linen,…” We are told that this is the righteousness of the saints in Revelation 19:8.
As John observes this scene unfolding before him, he sees one of the living creatures (Revelation 4:6-8), giving to the seven angels (men) seven golden vials full of the wrath of God. These vials contain the rest of the wrath of God which began in the sixth seal (Revelation 6:12-17), the first five seals being the wrath of men. It continued on in the seven trumpets of the first 3 ½ years of Daniel’s 70th week (The Great Tribulation period).
The vial judgments happen here in the last 3 ½ years of the seven-year period and are completed at the time of the Second Coming of the Lord. The very language describing them proves that they are literal plagues fulfilled in the order in which they are given. How long any one of them lasts is not revealed. They are for the purpose of punishing those who worship the beast and his image and those who take the mark of the beast. When this was done, the Bible said the temple was filled with smoke from the Glory of God and from His power. Then, the temple is closed to all men until these seven vials have been poured out upon the earth, which will conclude the Great Tribulation period up unto the coming of The Lord.
The Seven Vials
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues;
-proclaims the concluding judgments upon the territory of the antichrist, which will be the worst
for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
-should have been translated “the anger of God.”
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire:
-is that which is immediately before the throne of God and mentioned in Revelation 4:6
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,
-This group was murdered by the antichrist.
stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
-presents a picture of peace and tranquility
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
-is the song given to us in Deuteronomy 32:1-3. It is recorded that Moses wrote this song and taught it to the people (Deuteronomy 31:22).
and the song of the Lamb,
-This is the second Psalm and begins with the crucifixion which was absolutely necessary if man was to be redeemed and closes with Jesus Christ as “King of kings and Lord of lords.”
saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty;
-refers to Christ. While all his works are “great and marvelous,” what He did at The Cross presents itself as the greatest work of all.
just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
-Christ is our King by virtue of what He did at The Cross and our faith in that finished work.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name?
-This leaps ahead to the millennial reign. At that time, every human being on the face of the earth will fear The Lord and will glorify His Name as well.
for thou only art holy:
-speaks of the origination of holiness and that this holiness can be given to believers by virtue of what Christ did at The Cross.
for all nations shall come and worship before thee;
-refers to the millennial reign
for thy judgments are made manifest.
-refers to the fact that the judgment of God will be poured out upon the antichrist during the battle of Armageddon where he will be defeated along with the entirety of his army.
5 And after that I looked,
-refers to the vials about to be poured out
and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
-has reference to the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was kept. This is a witness both to the holiness of God’s character and the justice of His government.
6 And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues,
-constitutes the vial judgments
clothed in pure and white linen,
-indicates the perfect righteousness of the acts that are to be performed on earth
and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
-presents the same attire as that of Our Lord in Revelation 1:13 signifying that what they are about to do pertains solely to the work of Christ. In other words, Christ is in charge of all the judgments.
7 And one of the four beasts
“living ones” described in chapter 4 verses 7-8
gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God,
-proclaims the fact, as stated, that these judgments on earth will be the worst of all
who liveth for ever and ever.
-proclaims the fact that God is eternal
8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power;
-presents itself as very similar to the dedication of Solomon’s temple in which the latter temple was a replica of the one in Heaven
and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
-constitutes the last few months of the Great Tribulation. The idea of no man being able to enter the temple during this period of time seems to be that no one would be permitted to enter to make intercession to turn away God’s wrath to divert Him from His purpose.
Scripture is in BLACK FONT
Words of Jesus in RED FONT
Notes in BLUE FONT
The Book of Revelation