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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Revelation

(Return to Framework Contents)

 

(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)

FRAMEWORKS: Revelation 15 & 16

   

GO TO Ch.16

      

FRAMEWORKS: Revelation 15: Preparation in Heaven

 

v.1-4 The Saints in Heaven Sing Again
v.5-8 Seven angels emerge

 

 

v.1-4 The Saints in Heaven Sing Again

 

v.1 (note the indication of the impending end of judgments) I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues —last, because with them God's wrath is completed .

v.2,3 (the surviving redeemed sing)  And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God's servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways,   King of the nations.

v.4 (they esteem the Lord) Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

 

 

v.5-8 Seven angels emerge

 

v.5 (in heaven John sees an open temple) After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened.

v.6 (from the inner presence of God emerge seven priestly bringers of judgment) Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues . They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests.

v.7 (they are given bowls of judgment) Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever.

v.8 (God's glory fills the temple) And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.

 

 

[Comment: We have referred to some chapters as ‘Interlude Chapters' as they clearly step aside from the main narrative and grant us a further revelation of what is going on in the background. We might feel that about Chapter 15 because it doesn't actually roll out the seven plagues, it just shows us, first of all, some of the saints in heaven (v.2,3), extolling the Lord (v.3,4) and then we see, emerging from the temple in heaven, seven priestly-looking angels who are given bowls of judgment. However it is a chapter that sets the scene for what is to follow and it reminds us that these things come out of the holy presence of God; chapter 17 flows directly out of this chapter and so in that sense it is not so much an ‘interlude'.]

 

 

 

 

FRAMEWORKS: Revelation 16: The Seven Bowls of God's Wrath

 

v.1-11 First Five Destructive Judgments
v.12-16 The Sixth Judgment lines up the Final Battle
v.17-21 Conclusion: Utter Destruction

 

 

v.1-11 First Five Destructive Judgments

 

v.1 (Instruction given to begin) Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out the seven bowls of God's wrath on the earth.”

v.2 (plague on the followers of the beast) The first angel went and poured out his bowl on the land, and ugly, festering sores broke out on the people who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

 

v.3 (death in the sea) The second angel poured out his bowl on the sea, and it turned into blood like that of a dead person, and every living thing in the sea died.

 

v.4 (death in rivers) The third angel poured out his bowl on the rivers and springs of water, and they became blood.

v.5-7 (acknowledgment that this is justice) Then I heard the angel in charge of the waters say: “You are just in these judgments, O Holy One, you who are and who were; for they have shed the blood of your holy people and your prophets,   and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.” And I heard the altar respond: “Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments.”

 

v.8 (the sun's heat scorches) The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and the sun was allowed to scorch people with fire.

v.9 (a first observation of the world's refusal to repent) They were seared by the intense heat and they cursed the name of God, who had control over these plagues, but they refused to repent and glorify him.

 

v.10,11 (the beast's kingdom affected; a second observation of the world's refusal to repent) The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in agony and cursed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, but they refused to repent of what they had done.

 

 

v.12-16 The Sixth Judgment lines up the Final Battle

 

v.12 (rivers dried up for a purpose) The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

v.13 (demonic spirits come forth) Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, [12:3,9] out of the mouth of the beast [13:1-10] and out of the mouth of the false prophet. [13:11-18]

v.14 (they gather kings in rebellion against God) They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

v.15 (stay awake and be aware of the Lord coming) “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

v.16 (the final battle is at Armageddon – see Rev 19:19-21) Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

 

 

v.17-21 Conclusion: Utter Destruction

 

v.17 (Conclusion!) The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!”

v.18-21 (massive upheavals on earth) Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath. Every island fled away and the mountains could not be found. From the sky huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds,[ a ] fell on people. And they cursed God on account of the plague of hail, because the plague was so terrible.

 

 

[Comment: At the end of the previous chapter we noted that these judgments originated from the holy presence of God; they are not accidents but one way or another they are the will of God bringing judgment on foolish mankind. We say one way or another because sometimes God brings a direct judgment and sometimes he allows the affairs of foolish mankind to pile up in such a way that the catastrophe that is identified as a judgment ensues. Thus the first four bowls could be that latter form of judgment but what follows is very much the hand of God.]

 

 

Recap/Overview: Again we provide an overview of these chapters:

 

PART FIVE: The Judgments of God: Second viewpoint:

(‘Wave 2' – the enemy revealed before the harvesting of the earth)

 

Revelation 13 : Activities of the Enemy on the Earth

- continuing activities on earth: Satan and two beasts run amok

Revelation 14 : A Heavenly Overview

- another ‘interlude/concluding chapter' predominantly about warnings and then the twofold harvesting of the earth, i.e. the End

 

PART SIX: The Judgments of God: Third viewpoint:

(‘Wave 3' – the judgments of God seen as plagues)

 

Revelation 15 : A Heavenly Overview

- here we are shown seven angels coming with seven plagues

Revelation 16 : The Seven Bowls of God's Wrath

- now we see what these ‘plagues' are, the last one appearing to wind up everything, i.e. the End

 

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