CHAPTER FIFTEEN

REVELATION CHAPTER FIFTEEN

 

CHAPTER FIFTEEN PREFACE

 

In the study of the Book of Revelation, we have seen already three pictures of the Second Coming of Christ:

  1. Revelation 6:12-17.
  2. Revelation 11:13-16.
  3. Revelation 14:18-20.

 

We have seen, also, three pictures of the Tribulation:

  1. Seals, Revelation 5,6, and 7.
  2. Trumpets, Revelation 8,9,10, and 11.
  3. Antichrist, Revelation 11,12,13, and 14.

 

We are now ready to study the Tribulation for the fourth and final time, under the figure of "vials." (A "vial" is like a small perfume bottle, a bottle with a large rounded base and a slim neck.)

 

 

Reference Scriptures:

Revelation 15:1 - And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

 

 

 

This verse strongly indicates that the Tribulation saints have gone when these events take place. Certainly, the Church has disappeared, because "God hath not appointed us to wrath" according to 1 Thessalonians 5:8-10. We are told that the Christian is not reserved for this wrath, but the people on earth at the time of Revelation 15 are.

 

It would seem that the vials match the trumpets, but the only trouble is that the vials do not begin until the middle of Daniel's Seventieth Week, or later.

 

Revelation 16:2 - "And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image."

 

When these vials of wrath begin to be poured out, men have already received the "mark of the beast." Since the beast does not begin to give his mark until the middle of the Tribulation (Revelation 13), then the vials are not poured out until the last 3 years. (If they are simultaneous with the trumpets, then the trumpets are not until the last 3 years.)

 

Revelation 15:2 - And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: 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.

 

 

We have discussed this "sea of glass" before. (See comments on Revelation 4:6.)

 

Our present text shows us very plainly that there is a post-Tribulation Rapture. These saints (whom John sees) match those in Revelation 14:2,3; 4:6; 7:13-15, and this shows, in a fairly conclusive way, that these people (who "get the victory" over the beast in the Tribulation), are "caught up" to the third heaven, and stand on the sea of glass before the Advent takes place.

 

Revelation 15:3 - And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, 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.

 

"The song of Moses" is the song found in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy 32. This is very important because it means that Deuteronomy 32 awaits future fulfillment, and that it was not fulfilled at the first coming of Jesus Christ. (As we have said before, and we will keep repeating that the sane and solid system of interpretation is the Pre-Millennial system. A man who does not believe in a literal, physical, visible coming of Jesus Christ to set up a one thousand-year kingdom upon this earth cannot be a good Bible student. Anybody, even a Post-Millennialist or an A-Millennialist, will admit that Revelation 15 is written after the resurrection and ascension of Christ. Yet, the people who "get the victory" in this book cannot be "Church Age" Christians, for they sing the "song of Moses," who was a Jew, who lived and died under the law and the Ten Commandments.

 

Notice again in Revelation 15:3 the combination of faith and works. Not only do they sing the "song of Moses," but the "song of the Lamb." (Compare this to Revelation 14:12.) Salvation in the Tribulation is "by grace through faith," but a man is apparently kept (in the Tribulation) by keeping the commandments of God given to Moses in the Old Testament.

 

"Thou King of saints." Jesus Christ, in this dispensation, the Church Age, is never called a "King" and He is never referred to as a "King." We can't allow a Campbellite to fool us with his talk about "translated us into the kingdom," (Colossians 1:13.) They say that a kingdom has to have a king, so Christ is king over the Christian. Christ is the Head of a spiritual body of born-again believers; but He is King over the Kingdom of Heaven, a body of Jews. He is called "the King of the Jews," and He does not become "King of Kings and Lord of Lords" (Revelation 19) until the Second Advent. To teach that He is King now, over the Christians, is to "bend" the word of God. We can be born-again into the kingdom of God; but we do not come into subjection under a Jewish King, who is King over the Kingdom of Heaven. We become part of a body in the Kingdom of God that is subject to Jesus Christ, as Head of the Body (Ephesians 5). The Christian in this age is part of a living body. We're not the subjects of a king in a kingdom - we belong to a body of which Jesus Christ is our Head, our Lord, and our Saviour. Our "kingdom" doesn't come until He comes, and when He comes as "King of kings and Lord of lords" to set up His kingdom, then we shall reign.

 

Those of us who have been "baptized into one body" (1 Corinthians 12:13) by the Holy Spirit, should know a King when we see one. But those who are trying to reign now "as kings," need to get their theology straightened out. The Bible says that the Christian is a "king" and a "priest" when Christ comes (Revelation 1); he is a "joint-heir" with Christ (Galatians 3). When Christ comes back, the Christian will reign over this earth with Him (Luke 19, 2 Timothy 2, Romans 8). If we think we're reigning now, we're mistaken. We don't even look like a king, much less act like one or talk like one! We have no authority. If we're reigning now, we're reigning in the wrong dispensation. This dispensation is not for "kings": it's for servants carrying crosses!

 

Revelation 15:4 - Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

 

Notice the reference to the Second Coming, "all nations shall come and worship before thee." This is the theme of Zechariah 14; this is the theme of Isaiah 2:1-4; this is the theme of Micah 4:1,2; - this is the theme of the Old Testament, where the nations have to come to Jerusalem to worship, and the Jew is established as head over the whole earth. This is the entire burden of Psalm 72; this is also the meaning of Psalm 110. About three-fourths of the Old Testament deals with this subject, when all the nations are gathered to Israel and to Jerusalem to worship the God of Jacob - at the Second Coming! Revelation 15:4 is not a reference to the first coming of Jesus to die on Calvary! Never! This is the burden of Psalm 96; this is the entire teaching of Psalm 97.

 

This is the time when Jesus Christ comes as "King of the Jews" to reign over the earth on the "throne of David," not the right hand of the heavenly throne. He will be in Jerusalem, when He comes, not in the third heaven. He will sit on the throne, and not at the right hand of the throne. He reigns over the House of Jacob, not the church. As "King of kings and Lord of lords," Russia, Germany, the United States, South America, etc. are ALL subject to Him, which they never have been.

 

Revelation 15:5-8 - And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

 

 

 

 

This is the "temple," in heaven, which was referred to in Revelation 14:17; 11:19, and 8:3-5.

 

These are the seven last plagues, which fall in judgment upon the inhabitants of this earth for rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ. They will take place some time near the end of the Tribulation.

 

 

 

 

STUDY QUESTIONS

 

Please generate a list of questions that you will share with the rest of the home group to deepen our understanding as we discuss them. The most foolish question is the one not asked!

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GROUP PRAYER

 

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