Summary: We have already seen the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven personalities. Now the upcoming seven bowls of wrath are the worst of all.
By: Tom Lowe Date: 1/15/17
Title: Prelude to Pouring Out the Seven Bowls of Wrath (15:1-8)
Series: Verse By Verse Through Revelation
Revelation 15:1-8 (KJV)
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.
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.
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.
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.
5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
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.
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.
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.
We have already seen the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven personalities. Now the upcoming seven bowls of wrath are the worst of all. Chapter 15, besides being the shortest chapter in Revelation, is the preface to the final series of judgments which come on the earth during the Great Tribulation. These judgments are the most intense and devastating of any that have preceded them.
This is the third time in Revelation that John introduces a sign. The first was the image of a woman that represented Israel (12:1). The second immediately followed; Satan in the form of a red dragon (12:3). This third sign is the angels of destruction with seven final plagues (15:1). Seven angels were given seven bowls from which they would pour out the seven “bowl judgments,” the wrath of God, the last plagues to be visited upon the earth. They will be used to destroy Satan, bring the final and complete punishment upon wickedness, and bring about the end of the Antichrist’s reign—it will settle the issue of sin once and for all.
Some believe that all of this will occur at the end of the seven-year period of tribulation, with the seven bowls following in rapid succession after the seal and trumpet judgments. Others who see the book of Revelation as presenting a series of cyclical events say that this is the most severe of the seven judgments, also heralding the end.
The purpose of the Great Tribulation is judgment. It is not for the purifying of the church! God is going to remove the church before this time of tribulation because of His marvelous, infinite grace. If you are willing to accept His grace, then you can escape the Great Tribulation. Believe me, the bowls of wrath are not the “blessed hope” for which believers are looking. No, we are “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13). My friend, if you are trusting Christ, you won’t be going through this terrible time. But you need to know what the unsaved will have to go through, and that might make you a zealous witness for Christ in these difficult days.