The Wrath Is Come

The fifteenth chapter of revelation is rather short, but we see the brief rest of the seventh trumpet before the handing out of the vials of wrath by one of the four beasts. (In fact as we shall see later the sevenfold wrath comes from the temple in heaven, and is put into the vials.)

-- Click To Expand/Collapse Bible Verses -- Rev ch15:v1-8
Rev 15:1 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.
Rev 15:2 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.
Rev 15:3 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.
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.
Rev 15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
Rev 15:6 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 golden girdles.
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.
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. (KJV)

This sign in the heaven seen by John is a strange one, for the seven angels have the seven plagues and exit the temple (the tabernacle) within which the ark of the Lord's covenant is referred to as being seen in chapter 11. That in this passage the sight of the ark inside the temple is obscured by smoke from the glory of God is odd - it is the main difference in the scene here and earlier.

The sea of glass is interesting. We know the sea in the text refers to the 30 different octal groups in seven symbols - a sea wholly transparent then obviously points to the nature of God's uniqueness and that of His throne. All fields forming GF(8) are isomorphic, there is in every respect only one such trinitarian "God". The fully "transparent" nature of this principle in declaring the one true God as just that - one and true - is in view as the "glass". The fire with which the sea is mingled refers again to the seven lamps of fire before the throne, or the Holy Spirit. The eight C7 groups over each octal, as well as their complement octals in the "sea" show the "mingling" of the fire amongst the sea of glass. This is a scene of God's majesty and sovereignty over all His creation.

The multitude seen as having had the victory over the beast, image and mark and the number and name of the beast are seen standing on the sea of glass. They are the sons of God and are clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and stand on the sea of glass because God is their God, and they His people. They are elect - chosen and saved - the same firstfruits as earlier but shown assembled across the whole of time, as well as those of the only saved body left alive on earth - (the sealed) of the last days. Although the end has not occurred yet, this sign is true - That being elected in the "sun octal" as one of the 144,000 is to be dwelling with God in heavenly places, even if a believer is still alive on earth they in fact dwell in Christ and are stood on the sea of glass before God. This sign is the most wonderful encouragement.

The song of Moses sung by those in heavenly places is in praise of God for His kept promises and His justice and mercy. The praise given to the one true God here (as v4) "for only thou art Holy" shows the scene nicely dovetails with God as the only one in existence who has the sovereignty over all creation, to justify as righteousness the pouring out His wrath in order to satisfy Himself. The song also merges the scene here of the elect as with the song of the 144,000 with the lamb on mount Zion earlier.

The temple or the Lord's "tabernacle of His testimony" is the heavenly equivalent of the tent of meeting - where God met Moses to give Him laws for His people Israel whilst they wandered the wilderness. The song of Moses is used in this chapter - there is the scene here that once the wrath of God begins no one may enter the tent of meeting, not anyone in earth or heaven. This is a connection as to the separation of those to the Lord's right hand - (the elect) and to His left those in the winepress of God's wrath - the ungodly.

The elect dwell in heavenly places whereas the ungodly are in violation of the covenant and testimony of God - they have not believed the record God gave of His Son Jesus Christ. In this sign here, to all but the elect that still have "oil in their lamps" the true testimony of God is obscured completely; toward the ungodly found outside the temple of God, (the body of Christ.) They just do not or can not repent and come to God, they do not see any salvation after the book of life is open. (Even though there is this encouragement that there is one true God over all - there is no confusion of other faiths in this sign.)

The smoke obscures the tabernacle until the wrath is complete. This is a sure sign of the election to salvation in the body of Christ - the obscured testimony of the kingdom of God in His own words is the division between saved and not saved. The elect are within the body of Christ, stood on the sea of glass, the ungodly without. The smoke comes from God to cover the tabernacle, because in truth God chose us, and not that we chose Him. Likewise those outside the body of Christ can not enter into the elect through believing on God's now covered testimony - they are distinctly "not chosen" and are "appointed to wrath".

The temple - the innermost dwelling of God is opened and seven angels with the last plagues exit in clean (pure) white robes with golden girdles on their chests. These seven are given the vials of wrath by one of the four beasts (possibly the "fourth part of the earth" over which the rider of the first four seals has power. I.e. the one corresponding to the pale horse.)

The seven angels show that with the outpouring of His wrath God will fully be satisfied. The seven angels show that the wrath is universal, perfect and righteous, consuming all in its completeness (It is completely the will of the whole trinity.) We have the white linen worn by the angels - (the righteousness of Christ), the golden girdles on their chests (over their hearts - the refining of the Holy Spirit as of gold in the furnace) and the angels do in fact exit the temple - having met with the presence of the Father who gives them the seven last plagues.

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