Thursday, January 19, 2012

Preparation For The Final Judgment

Revelation Chapter 15

This chapter is one that is not understood by many. The few verses of this chapter serve as preparation for the upcoming events of the seven vial or bowl judgments.

This chapter begins with John witnessing as seven angels come forth preparing to pour out the last of God’s judgment upon the earth. The final three and one half years of tribulation are beginning, and God is preparing to pour out the remainder of His judgment. We will talk more about what this judgment is in future blogs. The point of chapter 15 is that God is making preparation for the last half of the tribulation judgments.

John then sees a second image in heaven. He sees a “Sea of glass”. This is the same sea of glass that we witnessed in chapter four. We notice however a difference in the sea in chapter four and the one before us in chapter fifteen. In chapter 4 it was unoccupied, now it is. In chapter 4 the surface was described as being “clear as crystal”, but now it is mingled with fire, symbolizing the fiery trials of those who stand on it.

Those that stand on the sea of glass are those who have been taken out of great tribulation and have gotten victory over the Beast. These occupants are seen standing upon the sea of glass. This sea of glass speaks of tranquility and peace. These are finally at rest with the Lord, and having been delivered from their sorrows.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”   I Peter 1:7

The Bible says that they hold harps in their hands. This means that they are the harpers mentioned in chapter 14. In that chapter they sang the song only that only 144,000 sealed ones could understand. In chapter 14 John only heard these people, but now he sees them.

Finally John sees the heavenly temple. Seven angels come out of the temple wearing priestly garments. John says that they are carrying golden vials in their hands which were given to them by one of the four beasts.

Notice the description of the clothing of these angels. Their garments are “pure and white”. In this description we see the stark contrast between the holiness of God, and His judgments, and the wickedness of those being judged.

The fact that there are seven angels tells us that no stone will be left unturned. Seven in the Bible speaks of perfection. It also speaks of completion. God will complete His judgment perfectly with these seven last judgments.

The last verse of this chapter is one of the most awful in all of the scriptures. It tells us that during the last 42 months of the tribulation period God will close the temple to both men and angels. Inside the temple rests the mercy seat of God. Up to this point men have had access into the temple of God, but during this last portion of the tribulation there will be no mercy. All will be darkness as the smoke of God’s wrath comes up into the temple.

This will be the worst period of history the world has ever known.

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