In our last message on the Book of Revelation, "The
Woeful Seventh Trumpet" we left off at verse 1 of Chapter
15. With only eight verses, Ch. 15 is the shortest of all the
chapters contained in this book which is sometimes referred to
as the Apocalypse. Although the Chapter is diminutive, its message
Verse 1 begins the revelation of this chapter by showing seven
angels having the last seven plagues of the Great Tribulation
and that by these plagues the wrath of God will be completed.
The ministry of these seven angels culminates and brings to a
conclusion the events we have been granted to preview since the
sounding of the woeful seventh trumpet in Revelation 11:14-15.
Verses 2-4 of Rev. Ch. 15 show the glorious victory of the
tribulation saints after they will have refused to submit to
the demands of the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. They are
shown to us joining the Church and all the host of heaven upon
the crystal sea before the Throne of God revealed in Rev. 4:6,
but now this crystal sea is mingled with fire from the fiery
steam of our God (Dan. 7:9-10).
They are given harps and will sing before God in blessed union
with the twenty-four golden crowned elders of Rev. Chapters 4:4,6
& 10 & 5:8-11.
It is noteworthy to do a comparative study between Chapters
4 & 5 of Revelation and Revelation 15. We ascertain that
the twenty-four elders of Rev. Chaps. 4 & 5 are the esteemed
representatives of the unique priesthood of the Church Raptured
from all nations before the final 7 years of Daniel 9:27 began
in Rev. Ch. 6. (See I Chron. 24, Heb. 7:11-14, I Pet. 2:4,5
& 9 & Rev. 5:8-11).
During the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period
the Old Testament priesthood will be reestablished by the Jews
to officiate in the rebuilt Temple prophesied of in Rev. 11.
Before this priesthood's temple duties are put to a stop by
the Anti-Christ (Dan. 9:27), they will be witnessed to by born
again Jews who will challenge their authority and attempt to
enlighten them to how the true priesthood of believers can only
be established in Jesus Christ.
These tribulation saints of Rev. 15:2 are identified as those
who sing the song of Moses found in Exodus 15 and the song of
the Sacrificial Lamb, Jesus Christ.
It should be noted that even in heaven the newly arriving
believers from out of the Tribulation are not seen as being corporate
with the body of the glorified Church of the Lord. A special
identification of these children of Israel is made by the poignant
reference to their song of victory, which had been sung of old
by their forefathers when they were delivered from out of the
hands of the Egyptians.
In similar fashion that the golden crowned elders of Rev.
Chaps. 4 & 5 sang a song of united victory in the Lamb of
God, so also does the chorus of the redeemed saints of Rev. Ch.
15 sing of victory, but what is notable is that they are comprised
of a distinctly separate representation of Jewish believers in
Jesus Christ. Gentiles can and will continue to be saved along
with Israel during the Tribulation Period, but the specific promise
of Dan. 9:24 is to the Jews of that time.
Verses 5-8 of Ch. 15 of the Book of Revelation then conclude
the chapter with a description of what will be seen in heaven
the day God authorizes His seven angels to receive the seven
golden bowls filled with His terrible wrath. These are to be
poured out as tremendous judgments upon the earth until the end
of the Great Tribulation. So solemn is the event, none except
God is permitted access to His heavenly temple during this time.
Verse 1 of Chapter 16 of the Book of Revelation read in tandem
with Rev. 15:8 makes it known to us that God Himself orders from
within His temple the pouring out of His wrath from these seven
In II Thessalonians 2:3-4 we are told that during the Tribulation,
the man of sin called Anti-Christ, will exalt himself above all
that is called God and that he will seat himself, along with
an image that can speak, in the rebuilt earthily temple of God.
There he will present himself to the world to be worshiped as
By the prophetic time line shown in the Scriptures we know that
he will commit this blasphemous abomination after he has put
an end to the worship of God in the Temple.
It is of a personal opinion that it will be during the time
when the image of the beast is given breath to speak and demand
that the world worship the Anti-Christ, that the temple of heaven
will be "filled with smoke from the glory of God and from
His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven
plagues of the seven angels were completed" (Rev. 15:8).
From the time the Anti-Christ stops the worship in the Temple
at the mid-point of the Tribulation, until this final provocation
of God's wrath when some kind of satanically engineered facsimile
stands in the Holy of Holies, the Anti-Christ will have exalted
himself within its walls and survived an apparent assassination
attempt. The placement and empowerment of the image of the Beast
within the Temple of God on earth will be countered by the presence
of God in the Temple of Heaven as the cup of His wrath overflows.
There are those who teach that the Rapture of the Church
takes place at this particular point during the final 7 years.
Those devoted to this teaching believe that the Rapture immediately
precedes this day of wrath.
This teaching is essentially based on and built around the
promise to the Church found in I Thessalonians 5:9 which reads,
"For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation
through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Although it is true that this Scripture read in conjunction
with Rev. Ch. 16 can unequivocally be used to prove that the
Rapture of the Church will have to have taken place prior to
the outpouring of God's wrath in Rev. 16:1, it is not just as
true that it can be used as a proof text that the Rapture will
take place shortly after the middle point of the final 7 years.
We have, in this series of studies on the Book of Revelation,
shown that the Lord has abundantly made clear since Rev. Ch.
5 that His Church will not be residing upon the earth once the
7 year Tribulation Period of Daniel's 70th week begins.
The correctly extrapolated absence of the Church, which is
verified by the comparing of I Thess. 5:9 & Rev. 16:1, is
just a continuation of the same unhalting revelation which Jesus
has repeatedly made known throughout our study of Revelation...that
is, that the Church has not, and still is not found upon the
earth since before He opened the first seal at the start of the
It should also be noted that the exclusive use of I Thessalonians
5:9 in an attempt to prove the exact time for the Rapture of
the Church, as has been done in the Pre-Wrath teaching, cannot
be justified when properly examining the scriptures contextual
interpretation. When this Scripture is read carefully it is easily
discerned that it primarily pertains to "salvation."
The wrath spoken of in this Scripture is not a specific one
time event as recorded for the close of this age, but it is in
fact an ever present condition abiding on all the unsaved.
Quoting from John 3:36 we read, "He who believes in the
Son has everlasting life, and he who does not believe the Son
shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
Every born again believer in Jesus Christ, since Jesus was
crucified and rose from the grave almost 2000 years ago, has
already been delivered from the wrath of God. There is no scriptural
support to the teaching that believers must wait until the days
of the Great Tribulation to escape God's wrath.
Continuing on in Rev. Ch. 16:2-21 we read of the judgments
which will be experienced upon the earth as the seven bowls of
God's wrath are poured out. These bowls are still the results
of the sounding of the woeful seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:14-15.
The final seven bowl judgments from heaven should not be viewed
as entirely separate from the earlier trumpet judgments, but
are in fact cumulative. The horrors of the trumpet judgments
have not all ceased, but still linger upon the earth. The bowl
judgments are like gas upon a pre-existent fire.
At the pouring out of the first bowl a loathsome sore comes
upon those who have taken the mark of the beastly Anti-Christ
and have agreed to worship his image.
It seems that grievous reactions or a vile infection will
fester at the location where the unsaved have received the mark.
Perhaps new marks will need to be put on everyone because of
The second bowl turns the remaining two thirds of the seas
which were not affected by the second trumpet judgment of Rev.
8:8 to blood, and every living creature in the sea will die.
The stench from this judgment will be unbelievable as bloated
sea creatures rot in the blazing sun for as far as the eyes can
see in every direction.
At the pouring out of the third bowl the remaining fresh water
supplies not affected by the third trumpet of Rev. 8:10-11 are
also turned to blood.
Revelation 16:6 says of this righteous judgment of the Lord,
"For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets, And
You [Oh God] have given them blood to drink. For it is their
Revelation 11:3 & 6 tells us that for 3 ½ years
prior to this time no rain will fall upon the earth. Now the
remaining rivers and springs of fresh water will be found to
The fourth bowl unleashes the scorching power of the sun upon
men's flesh. At the sounding of the fourth trumpet in Rev. 8:12
the appearance of the sun has been reduced by a third, now when
it does shine during the time of God's wrath we are told in Rev.
16:9 that, "...men were scorched with great heat, and they
blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues;
and they did not repent and give Him glory.:"
This judgment, read in conjunction with the judgment of Rev.
8:12 and the judgment to come in Rev. 16:10, supports that the
earth will be further shifted off of its current axis.
Isaiah 24:20 says that in these last days, "the earth
shall be reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall totter like
The continual repositioning of the earth because of a precarious
wobble would explain much of the apparent celestial disarray
seen from the earth. The heavens would no longer appear familiar
and dependable. The changing distance between the earth and the
sun, along with incomparable solar flares, would explain the
incredible rise in the sun's heat.
When the fifth bowl is poured out in Rev. 16:10-11 the utter
torment being experienced from these plagues is enhanced as complete
darkness comes upon the kingdom of the Anti-Christ. At this time,
the remaining light of the moon and even the comforting twinkle
of a few familiar stars left within view since the fourth trumpet
of Rev. 8:12 will be extinguished.
Physicians have long noted without explanation how many pains
intensify for patients during the nighttime. Because of this
plague of darkness we re told in Rev. 16:10, "...they gnawed
their tongues because of the pain," while Rev. 16:11 makes
particular mention of their sores.
Initially, at the first bowl in Rev. 16:2, only a single sore
was mentioned. Now there is a mention of sores, plural. The passage
could be speaking of everyone's individual Revelation 16:17 concludes
our study for now with the pouring out of the seventh bowl and
the announcement, "It is done!" - thus fulfilling the
promise made for the things of the woeful seventh trumpet promised
in Rev. 10:7. That is, that in the days of the sounding of the
seventh angel the mystery of God would be finished.
We will save the remainder of this chapter so that we might
include it with our study of Chapters 17 & 18 of Revelation
which we have simply titled, "Babylon's Two & Three."