Chapter 14 Power Point
Chapter 15 is the dove-tail of chapter 14. Chapter 15 is the moment we are waiting for in the end of the Tribulation. It took 9 more chapters after Revelation 6 to get to the judgment; i.e. the 7 bowls. It is important to realize that the Book of Revelation is not Chronological. Here is an example referencing back to chapter 6:
It begins with the apocalyptic four horsemen (white, red, black and pale green horses actually). We read of the rapid opening of the Seals. We see prophetic events unroll very quickly. Seal one is the white horse; seal two is the bright red horse; seal three is the black horse, seal four is the pale green horse; seal five is the souls under the alter, those killed [most likely] during the Tribulation; seal six is the darkening of the sun and moon, a great moment of reality for those remaining on earth. The souls under the throne are pleading for vengeance. God says, here are white robes to wear, but it will be just a little bit longer until the right number has been *slain. The mountains disappear, islands are no longer, the sky rolls up like a scroll (this author believes this will reveal heaven or witness the return of Jesus Christ). It will be the record setting Guinness Book of Records earthquake.
*Slain – This could very well be the 144,000 discussed in chapter 14.
JIV NOTE: Has anyone noticed that in the apocalypse scripture and first four seals in Revelation 6 say as much about the horse as it does the rider. Also, many of the main Islamic States have the white, red, black and pale or yellow-green colors in their national flag. The black horse is the horse of DEATH. ISIS or ISIL has a black flag with white figures. Could they be the ones who wish to bring peace to the world through death of all infidel therefore ushering in the [their] 12th and final Imam? This is something to give serious thought and watchful consideration. As a subtle reminder, the pale grizzled green horse, the 4th and final horse and rider of the apocalyptic horsemen, is given ¼ of the earth’s land mass “to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.” [Revelation 6:8]. If one considers the land mass of the Middle East and Africa, it is almost exactly ¼ of this planet’s land mass.
Now chapter 15 gets very specific: [ESV]
6:15 “…and everyone, slave and free, hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains…”
6:16 “…calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb…”
6:17 “…for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
It is all quite obvious at this point in global events that God’s time and patience has ended; cataclysmic events encompass the world and for those who reject the Holy Spirit, there is no hiding place. But,this will not be so for the redeemed or those who accept Christ and remain on earth.
7:1 does begin with the words “after this,” however that does not mean the events are sequential but it is what John sees or witnesses… kahee meta tauta eido, “and after these things I saw,” The Greek here does not lend itself to a sequence of events but the order in which John records what he saw and recorded.
David Guzic puts it well when he points out, “Remember, we already saw what seemed to be the end (of the world) in Revelation 6:12-17. Then John took us over the same material in greater detail again (in the following chapters). This reminds us that Revelation is not strictly chronological in its arrangement.” [emphasis mine]
Revelation 15:1 takes us forward from chapter 8; seven angels, seven trumpets, seven catastrophic events on earth. It seems that after chapter 6, John then goes into greater details of what he has already recorded. After chapter 6 he becomes more detailed in describing what he saw and heard.
There is a word in verse 1 worthy of our understanding. It is never the goal of this blog to teach Greek or Hebrew, but when a word stands out, it needs to be pointed out.
“…seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last,…” The word “last” is eschatos. To quote Thayer:
1a) last in time or in place
1b) last in a series of places
1c) last in a temporal succession
2) the last
2a) last, referring to time
2b) of space, the uttermost part, the end, of the earth
2c) of rank, grade of worth, last, i.e. lowest
The conclusion is that it is all over. What has been foretold for centuries is now history. It is more than the last of something or things. It is THE LAST of the need for this word “last.” Eternity is just around the corner and there is no more time and no more last; lasting as in everlasting, yes, but last, no. God saying “It is done” is not recorded by John until Revelation 21:6.
Verses 2 and 3 of chapter 15 explain those who are victorious over the beast and its image. Note that the false prophet is not mentioned and neither is Satan. Satan’s defeat is in the hands of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. His judgment is yet to be concluded but rest assured it is now upon him. His defeat is not ours to be victorious over. But as James 4:7 puts it, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” [NIV]. Ours is to resist THE DEVIL. God has already overcome and is his judge, jury and prosecuting attorney. He has no defense. However, not to submit to the “beast or its image” is our task and victory over them. [NIV; Revelation 15:2a] “those who had conquered (ERV says ‘had victory over…’) the beast and its image…” [emphasis mine].
The word “worship and all” in verse 4 means there will be no exception but the word ‘worship’ proskuneō, means to (pros) to wither before; (kuneō) means like a dog. A dog can be cowardly and lick one’s hand which is not out of love but total fear. or it can be dedicated like a man’s best friend as illustrated by licking its master’s hand. The reader should know which is the Matthew 25:31-45 sheep and which is the goat in this worship/ pros-kuneo.
Verse 3 states “they sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb.” Here is evidence that the New Testament in no way replaces or substitutes the Old Testament. This brings the New Testament revelation (small ‘r’) and the Old Testament together into 0ne context. The word all (pas) means ‘without exception.’ Now the 7 angels are given 7 bowls or vials full of God’s wrath and judgment. Nothing is held back anymore.
Once again I must quote David Guzik: “The (Revelation) temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power: When the cloud of glory fills the temple in heaven, no one can enter.”
We will see in the next few chapters (16-18) the details of God’s wrath. When scripture says that there has never been anything like nor will there ever be again, it is past the time to believe what God’s Word says. People, that is, all people will at this time believe that there is one God. This will not put them into the lineup at the doorway to heaven. Even the devil and his fallen angels believe there is ONE GOD. By this time misery is no longer the byline but the context and content of life on earth. There is no longer any doubt that God means what He says and His patience is exhausting. No, we should get from the end of chapter 15 that His patience is now exhausted. Might one wonder where Armageddon comes into play? This is in the very next chapter and our next blog.
PS: In verse 8 chapter 15 states… “smoke filled the sanctuary of God. No one could enter the Temple until the seven plagues is complete.” This reminds one of Moses in Exodus 40:34, 35. While still in the Wilderness, the “Meeting tent” or temporary sanctuary of the wandering Israelites was filled with smoke. When this happened in the Wilderness and again in heaven in Revelation, it is off limits to anyone and everyone, including Moses.
Rev. Dr. James W. Stark