As was seen in chapter 11:18, the sounding of
the 7th trumpet brings to a close the 1260 days of the second half of Daniel's
70th week. A this time the 24 elders announce that the wrath of God ("Your
wrath") has now come. That is, it is now TIME for God's wrath, or rather, His
FINAL wrath to be expressed against the kingdom of the beast.
"And the nations have become enraged."
The elders are acknowledging what is happening BECAUSE of the inception of
Messiah’s reign. The nations HAVE BECOME enraged. This is an aorist passive
indicative of orgidzomai, and indicates a CONDITION that occurs in view of
Messiah’s reign. At the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky, the earth
dwellers will express great fear and worry (Mat. 24:30; Luke 21:26; Rev.
6:15-16). But once the initial shock of His arrival has worn off, they will
return to their characteristic thoughts and actions of rebellion as is
indicated at Revelation 9:20-21. This statement by the elders is making an
observation about the nations in view of Messiah’s actions over the last
several months via the trumpet judgments. They would not say, You have begun
to reign and the nations WERE angry. They are talking about a condition that
has been developing and has reached a climax. Thus, not “were angry” but “have
become angry is the way the elders would express it.
This also shows us that AFTER the 70th week has ended, there are still nations
on the earth who are rebellious against God. Remember, when the Messiah begins
his reign, it is “in the midst of Your enemies,” (Ps. 110:2). They are present
on the earth, in fact, physically POSSESSING the earth, and Jesus must first
WREST that possession from them before He can establish His 1000 year reign of
"And your wrath has come."
The aorist active indicative of erchomai indicates, AGAIN, what occurs in view
of the end of the week and the elders are making an observation. Thus, once
again, not “wrath came,” but “wrath HAS COME.”
That is, this wrath has NOW arrived; it is TIME for this wrath to be
expressed. This WRATH is different from the judgment of the 6 trumpets because
that administration of justice occurred BEFORE the end of the week. The elders
here are recognizing that NOW, as of the end of the week, God’s wrath has
come. The focus is not on what has occurred IN or DURING the 70th week, but AS
OF the end of the week. The idea is the same that is seen at Revelation 6:17,
where the same construction is to be translated as, “wrath has come.” That is,
it is NOW time for this wrath to be expressed. There, the initial wrath of God
via the first 6 trumpets is in view. Here, the FINAL wrath of God is in view
via the 7 bowls.
This wrath is explained more specifically at Revelation 15:1 as the 7 last
plagues through which “the wrath of God is completed,” and at Rev. 16:1, “Go
and pour out the 7 bowls of the wrath of God into the earth.”
So immediately after the sounding of the 7th
trumpet and the "announcement" to bring God's final wrath upon
the kingdom of the beast, the temple of God
which is in heaven is opened. Revelation 11:19,
"And the temple of God which is in heaven was opened;
and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple, and there were flashes
of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great
1. "And the temple of God which is in heaven was
This is the first mention of the temple of God in HEAVEN.
The temple speaks of God's presence with man with the point of contact
being the character of God as He reaches out to man through the Messianic
2. "Opened," indicates a view inside. This of
course is symbolic. Once the "top" of the temple is removed,
the ark of the covenant is visible.
3. "and the ark of His covenant appeared in His temple:"
the appearance of the ark speaks directly of divine righteousness and justice
as the key factors for God's interaction with man.
A. Righteousness: speaks of the fact that man is at enmity
with God and comes short of God's righteousness.
B. Justice: speaks of the penalty for coming short and
at the same time, speaks of the Divine payment of that penalty through
the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
C. The consequences for rejecting the divine provision
for salvation as represented by the ark of the covenant is judgment from
D. Thus, we have the "storm" to portend the
administration of God's final judgment upon the physical earth and those
unbelievers who reside there.
4. "and there were flashes of lightning and sounds
and peals of thunder and an earthquake and a great hailstorm."
This speaks of the administration of justice on the earth
upon those who have rejected the grace provision from God for adjustment
to God, ie, salvation through faith in Christ.
The specifics of this administration will be given through
the 7 bowls of the "final wrath" of God which are discussed in
chapters 15 and 16
Chapter 15:1-8, picks up from this point in the narrative,
making chapters 12-14 parenthetical. The chronology is interrupted in this
parenthesis and actually "backtracks" to the mid-point of the
week and moves forward to the end of the week and to the 30 days of judgment
which follows it.
11:1-13 - begins at the mid-point and ends at the end,
1260 days later.
11:14-19 - continues from the end of the 2nd half and
introduces the final wrath of God via the 3rd woe.
12-13 - begins at the mid-point and ends at the end, 42
months; 1260 days later.
Chapter 14, begins during the 2nd half of the week (after
the rapture) and ends with the 30 days which follow the 1260 days of the
Chapters 15-16 then picks up at the end of the 2nd half
(at the last trumpet) and the administration of the final wrath of God
for 30 days.
Revelation 15 begins with the 3rd sign of the book of
The first sign is at Revelation 12:1 and pictures the
nation of Israel as the chosen, Messianic people of God. That is, those
whom God chose to be the source and herald of Messiah's arrival on the
This sign is called, "great" (megas) and speaks
of the character of the sign in the context of human perceptions.
The 2nd sign occurs at Revelation 12:3 and is simply called,
This sign pictures the great adversary of God, Satan,
who has always been active in seeking the destruction of the Messianic
people. If Satan can succeed in destroying those upon whom God has set
His seal, then he would actually accomplish a spiritual victory over God
and prove Him to be imperfect. If God is imperfect, then He has no business
placing an eternal judgment upon an imperfect creature. Satan would thus
acquire a reprieve from his appointment to the lake of fire.
The 3rd sign is called, "great and marvelous,"
(thaumastos). This word speaks of the effect the sign has on John as a
humble recipient of divine revelation. It causes wonderment and awe. The
sign pictures the angelic administrators of the final stage of God's wrath
upon the kingdom of the beast. "Because in them the wrath (thumos) of God is
This idea of "the wrath of God is finished,"
refers only to the context of judgment on the earth prior to Messiah's
1000 year earthly reign. After that 1000 years, there will be another expression
of God's wrath at Revelation 20:7-10. Then after that, at the great white
throne judgment of Revelation 20:11-15, God's wrath will be expressed toward
all spiritual rebels by assigning them to the lake of fire for all eternity.
It is only then that God's wrath will once and for all be complete for
the entire universe, although the "effects" of that wrath (existence
in the lake of fire) will continue for all eternity (Revelation14:11).
Verse one simply gives the "title" for this
3rd sign. The details are given in verses 2-8. (In verse 1 they are said
to have the 7 plagues but they are not "given" the bowls that
contain the plagues until verse 7.)
Before the 7 angels begin to pour out the bowls, we are
shown a group of saints in heaven who praise God for the expression of
His power, righteousness and truth.
Here we see a sea of glass and upon it, the
same group of saints who were seen at Revelation 7:9-17 who were delivered
from the great tribulation through the rapture.
1. These have come off victorious from the beast.
2. At Revelation 7:14, they came out of the great tribulation.
3. At Matthew 24:15-21, Jesus tells us that the great
tribulation begins when the abomination of desolation is set up in the
holy place of the temple.
4. It is the beast who sets himself up as God and places
his image in the temple (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4). This correlates with the
activity of the beast described at Revelation 13:11-15 and Daniel 7:25;
5. Thus the ones who are victorious over the beast are
delivered at the end of the great tribulation and taken to heaven where
they are seen at both Revelation 7:9-17 and 15:2-4.
6. This group is different from the group
that we see later at Revelation 20:4. Although
BOTH groups face the persecution from the beast, the ones HERE, come out of
the tribulation, which will end at the 6th seal. The ones at Revelation 20:4
are those who became believers AFTER the rapture, that is, after the 6th
seal. They were converted during the time between the 6th seal and
Armageddon; during the time of the trumpet and bowl judgments.
Even though the tribulation will end when Jesus returns at the 6th seal, the
ability of the beast to persecute will not end. It will be greatly impeded
because of the trumpet and bowl judgments, but will not be completely
Revelation 15:2 does not tell us "when" they
got there, but their presence in resurrection body is indicated by two
1. When first we saw the sea of glass at Revelation 4:8,
it was empty.
2. Now it is occupied and the ones there are "standing,"
which would suggest resurrection body as it does at Revelation 7:9.
3. The sea of glass is "before" the throne and
at Revelation 7:9, the saints are standing "before" the throne.
Revelation 15:3-4 tells us that these saints sing two
songs. The song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb. And yet it appears to
be one song which embraces both titles.
The significance of the song of Moses might simply be
that they sing "about" what Moses song about as recorded at Deuteronomy
32. Ie, the character and deeds of God, The Rock (Deuteronomy 32:4) who
was actually the Christ (1 Corinthians 10:4).
And the significance of the song of the Lamb is to make
the correlation between the Rock, The God of Israel and the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29) and will reign as king
over the nations (Revelation 1:5; 19:16).
So this is a song of praise in anticipation of the righteous
reign of Messiah after the final wrath of God is poured out on the earth.
The Song of Moses focuses on God the
The Song of the Lamb focuses on God the Son.
Thus, BOTH are given equal honor and praise as equal members of the Godhead.
Both share the same honor and glory. John 5:23.
See Topics on the deity of Christ
The Godhead - trinity
VERSE 3 makes absolute statements praising
the character and status of God the Father.
"Great and Marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations."
1. The Power of God
2. The Righteousness of God
3. The Truth of God
4. The Sovereignty of God
"Who will not reverence, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For your righteous deeds have been revealed."
Verse 4a makes the statement that ALL can
do nothing less than to reverence (fear) and to assign glory to the
character and reputation of God ("Your name").
The word, "name" does not refer to the appellation (God, Yahweh, Jesus,
etc.). It refers to His character; His deeds and His reputation.
Verse 4b: God is Holy
God is UNIQUE above all other beings and PERFECT in all His ways.
See Topic: The Holiness of God
Verse 4c: All the nations will worship Him.
This is referring to what will take place during the millennial reign of
Jesus the Messiah. Jesus shares all honor and glory with the Father. John
Isaiah 66:23; 27:13; Psalm 86:9;
See Topic: The Millennium
Verse 4d: Because God's righteousness has
been fully established and vindicated by all that He has done.
See Topic: The Righteousness of God
Revelation 15:5-8 is preparation for the final outpouring
of God's wrath.
"The temple of the tabernacle of testimony in heaven
1. actually, this is the temple (which has) the tabernacle,
2. Thus, in actuality, we have the same visual as at verse
11:19, when "the temple of God which is in heaven was opened."
3. Here, it is the same "heavenly" temple, still
opened, but now with emphasis on the tabernacle of testimony.
4. There, John saw the ark of the covenant in the temple.
5. The tabernacle of testimony refers to the heavenly
pattern God used for the physical sanctuary given to Israel as is described
at Exodus 37 and 38.
The purpose of the symbols was to portray the divine plan
of redemption for the human race.
The ark of the covenant was the most important item in
the tabernacle and symbolized specifically the sacrifice of the Messiah
in dying for the sins of all the world.
The divine character that is emphasized in this structure
is righteousness and justice. Justice is not only the basis for "blessing"
through salvation relationship with God, but justice is also the basis
for judgment upon those who reject Jesus as savior.
That is the significance of this vision where John sees
the tabernacle of testimony and the ark of the covenant "before"
the final expression of God's wrath upon the unbelievers alive on the earth.
The same Jesus who died for the sins of the world is the
one who judges, for "He gave him authority to execute judgment, because
He is the Son of Man" (John 5:22-27).
The point of contact between Revelation 11:18-19 and 15:1-8
1. The issue of the final expression of God's wrath:
11:18, "Your wrath (orge) came"
15:1, "seven angels who had the seven plagues which
are the last, because in them the wrath (thumos) of God is finished."
2. And the temple in heaven as the location from which
this final wrath is administrated.
Revelation 16:1, "And I heard a loud voice from the
temple, saying to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out the seven bowls of
the wrath of God into the earth.'"
11:19, "the temple of God which is in heaven was
opened and the ark of His covenant appeared"
15:5, "And the temple of the tabernacle of testimony
in heaven was opened."
15:6, "and the 7 angels who had the 7 plagues came
out of the temple"
Notice that at verse 6, we see the angels clothed in linen
clean and bright.
This is proof that the "armies" who come with
the Lord Jesus to "mop up" at Armageddon (Revelation 19:14),
do not need to refer to believers, but can easily and in fact, more reasonably,
refer to angels.
15: 7, "And one of the four living creatures gave
to the seven angels, seven golden bowls full of the wrath (thumos) of God, who lives
forever and ever."
Revelation 15:8 tells us that the administration of this
wrath of God, as an expression of His power, causes smoke to fill the temple.
This EVIDENCE of God's GLORY is so great that none of the creatures in heaven
are able to enter into the temple until the final judgments are completed.
"And the temple was filled with smoke from
the glory of God and from His power; and no one was able to enter the temple
until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished."
This is because of the MAGNITUDE of God's
glory. It is similar to the idea that no person on the earth can behold the
glory of God and remain alive. Exodus 33:18-23.
In this case, even though these creatures (angels, the 24 elders, the 4
creatures, and all believers) are indeed, "holy," they are still finite in
comparison to God and are unable to bear this magnificent display.
The details of the final wrath of God will be
presented in Revelation chapter 16.