Introduction to Chapter 15
Chapter 15 unveils the events taking place in heaven prior to the
final judgment on earth inhabitants. Satan working through the Antichrist
and False Prophet establishes a world government requiring all to worship
the Beast (The Antichrist) and his image. All who refuse to worship the
Beast, by submitting to the economic system established by the False
Prophet, receiving the mark of his name, 666, are executed if found.
supernaturally warns those dwelling on the earth by sending three angles to
proclaim in a loud voice; the gospel, the destruction of
and the judgment on those who worship the Beast. (Revelation 14:6-11) Those
who survive the first half of the tribulation are forced to choose between
Satan’s kingdom and ruler called the Beast in Revelation 13 or God’s
kingdom. Those who choose God’s kingdom must be willing to die by rejecting
the kingdom of Satan. (Revelation 13:10, 14:12-13) Those who choose Satan’s
kingdom, choose to receive the mark of the Beast, and worship the image of
the beast, insuring their doom in the Lake of Fire. (Revelation
Chapter 15 reveals two events; one, the results of the choices made by the
earth’s inhabitants between Satan and Christ, second, the introduction of
the bowl judgments, on those who dwell on the earth. The bowl judgments take
place in the second half of Daniel’s 70th week and conclude with
the return of the Messiah (Christ), who was rejected by Israel at His first
coming. The hills of Megiddo (Armageddon) in Israel are the armies of earth
called for their final battle; there surviving Israel calls out to the
rejected Messiah. (Revelation 16:16, Zechariah 12;9-10, Matthew 23;39,
I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the
seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. 2And
I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who
have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and
over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of
saw another sign in heaven…(Gr. ..seômeion.....
especially ceremonially or supernaturally:—miracle, sign, token, wonder.)
Following the events
of Chapter 14 where John witnessed the Son of man sitting on a cloud with a
sharp sickle, and angels emerging from the Temple in heaven one with a
sharp sickle and the other with fire.
This is the third sign John sees in Heaven. The first was the
woman who gave birth to the man child caught up into Heaven. (Revelation
12:1) The woman represented
Israel giving birth to the
Messiah. The second was a great red seven-headed dragon with ten horns who
pursued the woman. (Revelation 12:3) The dragon is Satan, who through
various kingdoms has pursued the woman, Israel, trying to prevent the birth
of Messiah, the man-child caught up into heaven. (Revelation 12;5)
This third sign is the final victory over the beast, as the
seven angels are prepared to pour out God’s wrath on the Beast and his
kingdom; those killed by the beast are seen as victors in heaven, standing
before the throne of God.
Great and marvelous….John is incredulous at this sight describing it with emphatic
terms great (Mega) and marvelous (thaumastos). The sight in John’s view was
awe inspiring this is in contrast to everything John has seen up to this
Seven angels having the seven last plagues….
The third set of seven
seven angels of the churches,
seven angels with trumpets
Seven angels with bowls.
wrath of God is complete…The
seven angels with the last plagues is part of the 7th trumpet.
Following the 7th bowl judgment Christ will return with the
armies of heaven. (Revelation 19)
5The angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the
land raised up his hand to heaven 6and swore by Him
who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and the things that are in
it, the earth and the things that are in it, and the sea and the things that
are in it, that there should be delay no longer, 7but in the
days of the sounding of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound,
the mystery of God would be finished, as He declared to His servants the
prophets. Rev 10:5-7
15Then the seventh angel sounded:
And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of
this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ,
and He shall reign forever and ever!” Revelation 11:15
this point most saints are dead, captured or in hiding, and the seven angels
will pour out God’s wrath on the perpetrators of this persecution.
I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire….This
is the same crystal seen in the 4th chapter. The sea of glass is
before the throne of God. This sea had its scriptural foreshadowing in
both the Tabernacle and Temple. The bronze sea was for the washing of the
priests who were to approach the altar. (Exodus 30:17-21, I Kings 7:23-26)
6Before the throne there was a sea of glass, like
crystal. And in the midst of the throne, and around the throne, were
four living creatures full of eyes in front and in back. Revelation 4:6
The difference, the sea of glass now mingled with fire
pictures the wrath and anger of God. Fire represents both judgment and
purification. The bronze sea’s purpose was to cleanse the priest before
they went before the altar. Here the fire represents the wrath of God,
poured on the Earth.
Those who have the victory over the beast….Victory
is defined here as choosing death and Christ rather then life and the
Beast. Those who were able to choose eternal life over temporal life are
victorious. The beast, the number of his name (666) and the image are
events taking place in the 2nd half of the tribulation. The
saints (Martyrs) of the first half of the tribulation are pictured under the
altar in the 5th seal. (Revelation
6:9-12) The second
harvest of saints takes during the second half, called the “Great
tribulation”, (Matthew 24:21, Revelation
7:10). Here the ministry
of the 144,000, the two witnesses and the three angels reap a harvest of
souls without number, gathered from all the earth.
these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could
number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues,
standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white
robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a
loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the
throne, and to the Lamb!” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out
of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white
in the blood of the Lamb. 15Therefore they are before the throne
of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the
throne will dwell among them. 16They shall neither hunger anymore
nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat; 17for
the Lamb who is in the midst of the throne will shepherd them and lead them
to living fountains of waters. And God will wipe away every tear
from their eyes.” Revelation 7:9-10,15-17
anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10He who leads into captivity
shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the
sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints. Revelation 13:9
this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to
all the nations, and then the end will come. Matthew 24:14
The system set up by Satan is separating the wheat from tares
(Matthew 13:36-43).With many of the believers massacred, God is free to
allow his wrath fall on those who choose Satan and his kingdom.
Standing on the sea of glass….
The saints of the “Great
tribulation” are standing on or the sea of glass, before the throne of God.
These martyrs died for their faith rather then worship Satan in the person
of the Beast (Antichrist). Those who choose Satan, and submitted to the
Beast and his kingdom are able to live for a short time, only to face God’s
The Song of Victory over the Beast
3They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and
the song of the Lamb, saying:
“Great and marvelous
are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You,
For Your judgments have been manifested.”
sing the song….The
song of Moses is a song of God’s saving
from the armies of Egypt after crossing the Red Sea. (Exodus 15:1-18)
Pharaoh, who is a foreshadowing of Antichrist, pursues Israel and her
offspring. In the Red Sea Israel is saved from Pharaoh’s armies who are not
able to follow Israel’s escape. The waters of the Red Sea pour on the armies
of Egypt as they pursue Israel.
1Then Moses and the children of
Israel sang this song to the
LORD, and spoke, saying:
“I will sing to the LORD, For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its
rider He has thrown into the sea!
2 The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my
He is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will
The LORD is a man of war; The LORD is His name.
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
In Revelation 15:2 the martyrs, who were pursued by
Antichrist, who Pharaoh foreshadows, have escaped beyond his reach to the
other side. They like Moses and
Israel celebrate the song
of victory of the armies of the Beast. Now as the walls of the Red Sea came
pouring down on Pharaoh’s pursuing army, God is about pour his judgment on
Antichrist and his kingdom.
The song of the Lamb is in Revelation 5:9-10, which
celebrates the salvation of the church before the throne of God and the
Lamb. Following the rapture the church, the believers celebrate their
salvation in Heaven with the Lamb. In the same way
Israel celebrates their
salvation from the armies of Pharaoh, the church celebrates their salvation
In this scene the saints of the “Great tribulation”
are executed for their refusal to worship the Beast. In death they pass
through the Sea of tribulation are taken before the Throne of God.
The Seven Bowls
these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle
of the testimony in heaven was opened. 6And out of the temple
came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright
linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. 7Then
one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angel’s seven golden
bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. 8The
temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and
no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven
angels were completed.
After these things….
This followed the celebration of the saints of the great tribulation who
were on the Crystal Sea mingled with Fire. The saints killed for their
refusal to worship the Beast and his Image. Now the wrath of God will be
poured on those who killed the saints. This point is the fourth quarter of
the 7-year tribulation period.
The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony…
The temple in Heaven, which
has the tabernacle of the testimony, the arc of the covenant. The arc of
the covenant was placed on Mt. Moriah during the First Temple.
of the temple came the seven angels….
The seven angels are part of the great and marvelous sight seen by John
at the start of the 15th chapter.
of the four living creatures….
One of the Cherubim before the throne of God handed the bowls to the seven
Seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God…
broad shallow bowl, deep saucer).
temple was filled with smoke….
This smoke represents the fire of the wrath of God’s holiness. The “Glory
of the Lord” filled the earthly temple when Solomon completed its
construction and the Temple was dedicated to the service of God.
9Nothing was in the ark except the two tablets of
stone which Moses put there at Horeb, when the LORD made a covenant
with the children of
Israel, when they came out of the land of Egypt.
it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that
the cloud filled the house of the LORD, 11so that the priests
could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the
LORD filled the house of the LORD.12Then Solomon spoke: “The LORD
said He would dwell in the dark cloud.13I have surely built You
an exalted house, And a place for You to dwell in forever.”
The glory of God…..
The “Glory of the God” is the presence of God
above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in
appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a
likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27Also from
the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber
with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of
His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with
brightness all around. 28Like the appearance of a rainbow in a
cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all
around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of
the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a
voice of One speaking.
No one was able to
enter the Temple….During
this time of during the 7 year tribulation period the Temple is closed till
the wrath of God is complete on the earth. At the completion of the seventh
bowl Christ returns with the Church.