Revelation 15 - Outline of Revelation (Book Notes menu page)
15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous,
sign- GK= semeion, sign, miracle, wonder. The word occurs 7x in Rev.--
Four times, in reference to false signs & wonders (13:13,14; 16:14; 19:20).
Three "signs in heaven" are given:
  • The woman (ie., Israel), 12:1,
  • the Dragon (ie., Satan), 12:3,
  • the angels with the last plagues (here).
In the NT, 'signs' were given to Israel, to confront them with the truth (eg., Luk 2:34; Acts 2:22; 1Cor 1:22). Yet, no 'signs' are applied to the church. This fact underscores the centrality of Israel to the conflict between God & Satan during the Tribulation.
seven angels having the seven last plagues;
for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
seven plagues- cp. God's warning to Israel in Lev 26:14-45
(note the repeated phrase: 'seven times' in Lev 26:18,21,23-24,27-28, and yet: v.44-45)
is filled up- GK= teleo, "is finished," or "is completed."
This is stated prophetically, as accomplished fact, before the first bowl is poured out,
and again. with a different word, at the pouring of the seventh bowl, in 16:17 "It is done." (GK= ginomai, "is come to pass," or "is fulfilled")
wrath of God- (GK= thumos, hot anger).
Ch. 12 & 13 focused on the wrath of the Dragon against God, the Lamb, Israel & the saints.
God is about to pour out His wrath (cp. Psa 79:6,7).
15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire:
sea of glass- cp. the sea of glass "clear as crystal," which spoke of
God's holiness applied to His people by the washing of the Word. See note at 4:6.
mingled with fire- Here, God's holiness is about to be applied to His enemies.
cp. Deu 9:3; Heb 12:29
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.
them that had gotten the victory...-
  • Where are they? In heaven, the location of the sea of glass (4:6).
  • Who are they? The martyred tribulation saints (cp. 6:9-11; 7:9-17).
  • What is the source of their victory? Faith in Christ (1Joh 5:4,5; Rev 2:10,11; 12:11).
stand on the sea- ('on' - Gk= epi, in, upon, by, before)
These martyred saints, having endured trial by fire in the Tribulation (cp. 1Pet 1:7-9), stand alive in Christ before God's throne, and rejoice as God pours out His wrath upon the enemies of righteousness (Rev 6:9-11).
15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God,
they sing- The martyred saints, who have come out of the Tribulation,
are not overcome with bitterness. cp. Psa 30:4,5; Heb 12:11-15
the song of Moses- There are 2 'songs of Moses' recorded:
1. Praise for deliverance from Pharoah at the Red Sea. Ex 15:1-21
2. Israel's story foretold prophetically in song (Deu 31:21,29-30).
    (This song, recorded in Deuteronomy ch. 32, is outlined below.)
The latter song is no doubt the one for the end of the Tribulation (cp. Deu 31:21).
Outline: (references below are from Deuteronomy 32)
  1. Jehovah, Israel's Rock (32:1-6)
  2. Jehovah's gracious care for Israel (32:7-14)
  3. Israel's ingratitude (32:15-18)
    The name Jeshurun (v.15, "righteous one") is descriptive of Israel's privileged position before the Lord. A position which she squandered.
  4. Israel would be provoked to jealousy with a foolish people (32:19-21). [cp. Rom 10:19; 11:11]
  5. Israel's affliction, Jacob's Trouble (32:22-35)
    'their rock' versus 'our Rock' (v.31) -
    ie., the false confidences of the ungodly nations versus the faithful God of unfaithful Israel.
  6. Israel, in their extremity, will see no rock but Jehovah (32:36-40).
  7. Jehovah will take vengeance on the nations,
    and then, bring healing to Israel and the nations (32:41-43).
This song summarizes the Lord's purpose for Israel. Though they rebelled against Him, He has worked through the centuries to bring them back to Himself. His purpose will be realized at the end of the Time of Jacob's Trouble. When they eventually recognize and turn to their Rock, the whole world will rejoice with the restored nation of Israel, which will truly be 'Jeshurun,' because of what He has done.
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
{some MSS, King of nations, cp. v.4}.
15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? {cf. 13:4; cp. 14:7}
Jer 10:7,10,11
for [thou] only [art] holy:
for all nations shall come and worship before thee;
Psa 86:7-10; Jer 23:5,6; Zeph 2:11; Php 2:9-11
for thy judgments are made manifest.
are made manifest- ie., have been shown openly.
judgments {GK= dikaioma}- "judicial acts characterized by righteousness" [Wuest]
     see Psa 7:9; 11:5-7; 107:1,40-42.
The nations will not submit until God exercises judgment. Isa 26:9
Yet, it has always been evident that God must judge man's sin.
Revelation ch.15 reminds us that:
  • Judgment fulfills the Promises of God (v.1-4).
  • Judgment flows from the Holiness of God (v.5-8).
15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold,
the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
the temple- GK= naos, holy place
the tabernacle of the testimony-
In Exodus, the Ark, containing the record of God's covenant with Israel, was housed in the Tabernacle. The earthly tabernacle was a "pattern" of the reality in Heaven. Ex 32:15; 38:21; 25:40; Heb 9:23
During the tribulation, the Dragon & the beasts have fought to destroy God's people (13:7). But the reality remains, that God's covenant with Israel is eternally secure. (See note at Rev 11:19.)
testimony- GK= marturion.
The same root is translated "testify, witness, record" in Joh 5:39,40; 3:31-33; 1Joh 5:9-11
The Testimony of God (God's Word) is:
  • to His people, the sure promise of eternal blessing.
  • to His enemies, the sure promise of inescapable condemnation.
15:6 And the seven angels came out of the temple,
Judgment proceeds out from the holy place, and from the holy presence of God and of the Lamb, whose heart delights in God's Law, and whose blood provides propitiation for sin. The world has despised and rejected the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat personified.
God's holiness requires punishment for the obstinate and impenitent. [JBS]
having the seven plagues,
clothed in pure and white linen,
clothed in pure and white linen-
Only untainted holy angels dwell in the Presence of the holy God. Their garments reflect the glory of His holiness (eg., Luk 24:4).
linen- Note that there is a distinction between the holiness of the angels
and the righteousness of the Lamb's Bride (19:8,14).
While both are clothed in "pure {ie., clean} and white linen," different words are applied.
  • Here, the angels are 'clothed in' {GK=enduo, lit., sunk into} 'linen' {GK=linon, flax (some MSS, GK= lithos, stone)}, which depicts their inherent holiness (as unfallen creatures).
  • In ch. 19, the saints are arrayed {GK=periballo, lit., cast around, invested} in 'fine linen' {GK=bussinos (root: HB=buts), material made from a special variety of flax, used for exquisite priestly and royal robes, and in the veil of the second Temple, eg. 2Chr 3:14} which has been 'granted' by the Lamb to His Bride, whom He has made ready for marriage to Him. Her garment depicts "the righteousnesses of the saints," who, as sinners saved by Grace, have been made ready, by both imputed righteousness (salvation) and imparted righteousness (sanctification) from Christ.
and having their breasts girded with golden girdles.
These angels are outfitted to act as Christ's representatives (cp. 1:13).
15:7 And one of the four beasts {ie., living creatures} gave unto the seven angels
seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
(cp. v.1)
The four living creatures (4:6-8) continually guard God's holiness.
This action shows again that the 7 plagues are necessitated by the holiness of God.
the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever- (in contrast to the false trinity)
The God, who first decreed death for sin, still lives to execute the sentence. [JBS]
These judgments are the direct action of God, in contrast with some of the previous plagues which were carried along by the wickedness of men & Satan. [McGee]
15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke
from the glory of God, and from his power;
and no man
{ie., no one} was able to enter into the temple,
till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.
The Day of Grace has ended. Access to the Throne of Grace is closed, both to the sinner who would repent, and to the saint who would plead for the sinner. Judgment Day has come. It is too late to pray. cp. Rev 22:11
If you are reading these words before that awful hour, call upon the Savior while you may (Rom 10:1-13).

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