Revelation 15

Revelation 15

The Seven Angels with Seven Plagues

15 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire—and also those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands. And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

  “Great and amazing are your deeds,
    O Lord God the Almighty!
  Just and true are your ways,
    O King of the nations!
  Who will not fear, O Lord,
    and glorify your name?
  For you alone are holy.
    All nations will come
    and worship you,
  for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

After this I looked, and the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven was opened, and out of the sanctuary came the seven angels with the seven plagues, clothed in pure, bright linen, with golden sashes around their chests. And one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever, and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.


Revelation 15 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The divine judgment which was revealed by the seals and proclaimed by the trumpets will now be poured out by the seven bowls. From a literary standpoint, the seventh seal was unleashed by the trumpets and now the seventh trumpet will be expanded by the bowls. The representation of each provides different imagery for the same event which leads to the end.

In Revelation 15, we find the detailed work of John as he consistently ties together many themes from Revelation. We read various snippets going back to chapters 4, 8, 12 and 14. In Revelation 4, we read about the sea of glass. It is described again here with fire mixed in. In Revelation 8, John saw seven angels just as he sees again here in Revelation 15.

In Revelation 12, we saw a great and miraculous sign with the women and the dragon. Here, we read about another great and marvelous sign with the seven angels. In chapter 14, we read about how the 144,000 were singing a new song. Here we read that they are now in Heaven with harps and we get to hear the words from that new song.

Amazingly, the lyrics to that song here in Revelation 15 have tremendous overlap to many OT passages. “Glorious and majestic are his deeds” is found in Psalms 111. “The Lord God Almighty is his name” is found in Amos 4. “All his ways are just” is found in Deuteronomy 32. “O King of the nations” comes from Jeremiah 10.

From this context, it is clear that this is not just a Christian song. We see overlapping praise and worship from Jewish and Hebrew language as well as the reference to Moses. However, it also encompasses Greek and New Testament messianic language. The text distinctively states it is a song of Moses and a song of the Lamb which marries the two under one theme. It is a collision of truth and grace. The expectation is that God is worthy to be praised and His righteous acts will be revealed.

And this is where we can rest as we read Revelation. As believers who are hidden in Christ, there is no fear as we read Revelation 15. In fact, we can rejoice with this song as we join in God’s victory over sin, death, and evil forever. There is nothing scary about Revelation if you know Jesus. The words written here testify to the reality and severity of those who oppose God. The atrocious judgment strikes fear into those who do not trust in slain Lamb of God and those who procrastinated in their faith while only serving themselves.

The Return of the Creatures

For the first time in several chapters, we hear from the 4 living creatures once again here in Revelation 15. They are granted the authority to hand over the 7 bowls of wrath to these 7 angels. It’s important to note the participation and authority given by God to these spiritual beings around Him.

Our Father in Heaven is a personal God. His nature is to include His children in His affairs. He wants to give authority and responsibility to those who will bear His image and pattern their lives around His Son. So does this describe you and me? What is our track record with authority and responsibility that has been handed down by God?

The angels, the elders, the 4 living creatures, the 144,000, John and all the apostles, the early church, and everyone who bears the title child of God; we are all given opportunities as part of God’s family to participate and cooperate with His master plan. God doesn’t need us, but He chooses to include us. It’s a privilege.

I don’t know about you, but I want to be like the angelic beings who are singing a new song to the Lamb. I want to be like one of the 4 living creatures, who, when God needs something done and calls my name, I can step up and follow through with what He’s asked of me. I know it’s not easy. I’m in the same boat you are.

We can do better. I can do better. Revelation shows us that the time to take responsibility for our own spiritual condition is here and now, not sometime in the future. But only by His grace. Because He did what He did, we are empowered to do what He asks. Without that perspective, nothing will ever change.

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