Sunday – February 14, 2015 – Read the Word on Worship
Word On Worship – Sunday – February 14, 2015 Download / Print
“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.”
Chapter 15 prepares us for the execution of the judgments described in Chapter 16. They are first described as the seven last plagues and then as seven bowls full of the wrath of God (Vs. 7; 16:1). These seven plagues will chronologically bring to an end the ordered events of the Tribulation judgments in a dramatic crescendo. The plagues described here are extremely severe and occur in rapid succession, which adds greatly to their severity. The plagues are culminated by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ and the final phase of Armageddon. The purpose of Chapter 15 is a vindication of God’s holiness through judgment. These judgments stem from the holiness of God and the perfection of His plan. Under the three figures of God’s final judgment – the cup of wine (14:10), the harvesting of the earth (14:14-16), and the vintage (14:17-20), Chapter 14 has anticipated what is now more thoroughly developed under the symbolism of the seven bowls.
Chronologically speaking, remember that we are first given a graphic description of six seals (6:1-17), but the seventh (8:1) is never described. We are only told that when it is broken, there is silence in heaven (8:1). The implication is that the seven trumpets come out of the seventh seal and actually express the content of the seventh seal (8:1-9:21; 11:15-19). This seventh trumpet takes us up to the return of Christ and includes within its judgments the events of the seven last plagues or bowls of Chapters 15 and 16, which occur rapidly at the end. The final great event is the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in glory (19:11-21).
Remember, the seven plagues and seven bowls used in this chapter refer to the same judgments as they come out of the seventh trumpet. The use of different terms is designed to display the different aspects and character of these last judgments. They are plague-like calamities, and each is poured out suddenly, all at once as the contents of a bowl when it is turned over.
Revelation is an ongoing reminder that God’s glory is always manifested during the time of His judgment. The end is in sight. Fortunately, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The Light is the Lord Jesus Christ. In John 12:35-36, Jesus spoke these words to a crowd: “‘For a little while longer the Light is among you. Walk while you have the Light, so that darkness will not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light.’ These things Jesus spoke and He went away and hid Himself from them.”