Summary: Week 35 in a Wednesday evening study through the book of Revelation

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“Prelude to the Bowl Judgments”

Date: April 9, 2003

Place: Allendale Baptist

Text: Revelation 15:1-8


This is the 35th lesson in our study.

Chapter 15 is the shortest chapter in the Book of Revelation with only 8 verses.

Chapter 15 introduces the 7 bowls of wrath, God’s final judgments at the close of the 7 year Tribulation period.

 In this chapter we will see another sign in heaven.

 Chapters 15 & 16 belong together because in them we will see the pouring out of the 7 bowls of wrath

 We will see that these judgments will come quickly and each one stronger in fury and with greater intensity.

 Many commentators you read may tell you that the purpose of the tribulation is for the purifying of the church.

 It is not. The purpose of the great tribulation is judgment on a Christ rejecting world.

In the first four verses we will see that the tribulation saints in heaven worship God because He is holy and just.

This is another interlude

Verse 1

 “Another sign”

 This statement connects this chapter with chapter 12:1 the first sign.

 These seven angels of wrath are connected with the judgments to follow until Christ comes.

 “The wrath of God” marks the final judgment of the great tribulation. God has been patient, long-suffering and slow to anger but now it comes to an end.

Verse 2

 “sea of glass” refers to the image we were given in chapter 4:6 of the transparent crystal platform or pavement God’s heavenly throne sits upon.

 “Those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name.”

 In his vision John saw the believers from the tribulation who had overcome the beast and his system.

 These are the ones se saw in Rev. 12:11 who; ”loved not their lives unto the death”

 In Rev. 13:17 we noticed these faithful did not cooperate with the satanic system and receive the mark of the beast and were unable to buy or sell.

Now they are in heaven, in the presence of God.

 Having “harps”. Again a symbol of music, of great joy and celebration.

Verse 3 & 4

 “They sang the song of Moses” is recorded in Exodus 15, and its refrain or reoccurring message is “The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is become my salvation.”

 They praise God for his “works” and His “ways”.

 Name some of His works. Name some of His ways.

 These words testify of God’s righteousness of God’s judgments in anticipation of what He is about to do.

 When the nation of Israel returned from Babylonian Captivity and reestablished their government and restored temple worship, they used similar words.

Psalm 118 verse 14 says; “The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation.”

 The song of Moses celebrated God’s redemptionof His people from slavery.

 “The song of the Lamb” celebrates the final deliverance from Satan and all the evils of spiritual life.

 They sang that God’s works as well as His ways are “Great and marvelous”.

 There is no complaint here about the way God permitted them to suffer.

Psalm 145:17 tells us; “The Lord is righteous in all His ways, gracious in all His works.”

 This should remind us it would save us a great deal of of sorrow and anguish if we would just acknowledge God’s sovereignty in this same way today.

 We need to understand that God’s holy and perfect character demands that He judge

Verse 5

 “The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened”

 This is apparently the heavenly reality of which the earthly temple was a pattern or copy.

 It refers to especially to the Most Hoy Place.

 They step out of the presence of God.

Verse 6

 “Seven plagues”

 These are the final judgments from God which will be described in chapter 16.

Notice how they are dressed

 “Clothed in pure bright linen”

 White always represents holiness and purity.

 “Having their chests girded with golden bands”

 These some say are belts or girdles, running from the shoulder to the waist that these 7 angels wear over their garments.

 The bands represent riches, royalty an untarnished glory.

Verse 7

 “One of the four living creatures” hands a bowl to each angel.

 These bowls contain the final judgment or the “wrath of God”.

 Many scholars say that the bowl that is spoken of here are shallow saucers, familiar items often associated with various functions of the temple worship, such as wine and blood sacrifice.

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