Sunday, July 8, 2012

Understanding the Book of Revelation: The Seven Plagues and the Temple

                Chapter 15 is a short chapter but it’s important in informing us about the seven bowls of God’s wrath. 

The Seven Plagues

                The seven plagues mentioned are the fury of God in the seven bowls. They are not separate from the bowls but they are what make them up. They are the third woe, which comes at the sounding of the seventh trumpet. The victors in verse 2 are the late overcomers who went through the Great Tribulation and did not follow the Antichrist. “Standing by the glassy sea” signifies that they’ve been resurrected and raptured to Heaven so they’re above the lake of fire with God. The song of Moses that these overcomers sing is in Exodus 15:1-18. It praises God for the victory over the forces of the Pharaoh by allowing him to part the Red Sea. In singing this song, the overcomers are praising God for their victory over the powers of the Antichrist. The song of the Lamb that is sung praises Christ’s redemption. 

The Song of Moses and of the Lamb

                In the song that they sing, God’s ways are His governing principles and His works are His judgments. Moses knew His ways but the children of Israel only knew His works (Psalm 103:7). The Greek word for holy in this case refers to the sum of qualities that are His divine character. Holy is His nature and righteous are His principles. 

The Temple and the Seven Angels with the Seven Bowls

                In verse 5 we see mentioned the temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The testimony is the law of God, and was put into the Ark (Exodus 25:16). The Ark was put into the tabernacle so therefore the temple in heaven is the Tabernacle of the Testimony. The seven angels that carry the seven bowls of God’s wrath are dressed like priests (Ezekiel 44:17). “Clean bright linen” indicates they are white garments. These angels are girded at the breasts with golden girdles. To be girded at the breasts is to indicate love and golden girdles indicate divine strength. No one can enter the temple until the angels release the seven bowls. This is so that no one can appease God’s fury with their prayers at this point until the seven bowls are poured out on the rebellious people influenced by the Antichrist. 

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