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Bible Commentaries
Revelation 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1

THE SEVEN VIALS APPEAR TO ch. 16-21 Seven Angels with Seven Last Plagues v. 1-8

Note: see also Introduction Revelation

1) "And I saw another sign in heaven," (kai eidon allo semion en to ouranou) "And I recognized another sign in heaven," a wonder in addition to the two he had seen before, of the woman and the dragon, Revelation 12:1; Revelation 12:3.

2) "Great and marvelous," (mega kai thaumaston) "it was great and abounding in marvel;” This third sign, marvel, or wonder (in addition to the woman, Israel and the dragon) was of seven angels with Judgment plagues, Leviticus 26:27-28.

3) "Seven angels having the seven last plagues," (angelous hepta echontas plegas hepta tas eschatos) "There were seven angels having or holding seven last (or final) plagues," administering Divine Judgment services for God, Hebrews 1:4; Revelation 16:1; Revelation 21:9.

4) "For in them is fill up," (hoti en autais etelesthe) "Because in them was completed, finished, or terminated;" In the seven last plagues are contained God’s final Judgment upon Israel, Satan, the antichrist and all living unbelievers prior to the beginning of the Millennial reign of Christ, Israel, and his church over the earth. Revelation 6:14-17.

5) "The wrath of God," (ho thumos tou theou) "The passion of God’s anger;” that was to be poured out without mixture or without being diluted upon his enemies and the enemies of righteousness, Psalms 75:7-8. This verse introduces a vision of what is yet to come on earth, terminating the final era of Jacob’s trouble, Revelation 14:10; Revelation 16:1 to Revelation 18:24.

Verse 2

1) "And I saw as it were a sea of glass," (kai eidon hos thalassan hualinen) "And I saw a view similar to a glassy sea;” like a woman’s looking glasses, which were in ancient times made of polished brass, Exodus 38:8; Revelation 21:18.

2) "Mingled with fire," (memigmene puri) "That had been mixed with fire," glowing brightly in the light of heaven, before the throne of God.

3) "And them that had gotten the victory over the beast," (kai tous nikontas ek tou theriou) "And those I beheld who had been victorious, having come forth out of the beast’s jurisdiction," described previously Revelation 14:1-5.

4) “And over his image, and over his mark," (kai ek tes eikonos autou) "And victorious out of the beast’s mark and image jurisdiction," Revelation 13:14-18.

5) "And over the number of his name," (kai ek tou arithmou tou onomatos autou) "And those who had overcome, even out from his number;” There is victory in the name above every name, even the number and name of the beast, number them all, none as above Jesus, Acts 4:12; Romans 14:11-12; Philippians 2:9-11.

6) "Stand on the sea of glass," (hestotas epi ten thalassan ten hualinen) "They were standing upright, (like) conquerors on the glassy sea;- above the masses of earth’s beast worshippers.

7) "Having the harps of God," (echontas kitharas tou theou) "Having or. holding the harps of God," Revelation 5:8; Revelation 14:2, also indicate that these instrumental music harps of God are sacred harps used to give praise to God for their victory, 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.

Verse 3

1) "And they sing the song of Moses," (kai adousin ten hoden Moseos) "And (with the harps) they sing the song of Moses;” the song of deliverance the song of Emancipation, the song of liberation from the restraints of Satan, the antichrist, and sin’s bondage, Exodus 15:1-21.

2) "The servant of God," (tou doulou tou theou) "The servant of God," Deuteronomy 31:22-30. This song was accompanied by Miriam’s leading a musical band in praise to God, Exodus 15:20.

3) "And the song of the Lamb, saying," (kai ten oden tou arniou) "And those with the harps of God sing the song of the Lamb," (legontes) "repeatedly saying in refrain; Revelation 5:8-10.

4) "Great and marvelous are thy works," (megala kai thaumasta ta erga sou) "Great and wonderful are thy works," in a song or chant of gratitude for their triumph as Moses did when he had led Israel out of Egypt across the Red Sea to full victory, Exodus 14:1 to Exodus 15:27; Deuteronomy 32:3-4; Psalms 92:5; Romans 11:33.

5) "Lord God Almighty," (kurie ho theos ho pantokrator) "0 Lord, the God, The Almighty One;” No doubt this will be an highly honorable orchestra of praise, exceeding those of Moses and Israel and the church, Psalms 68:25-26; 1 Chronicles 13:8; 1 Chronicles 15:15-16; Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16.

6) "Just and true are thy ways," (dikaiai kai alethinai hai hodoi sou) "Righteous and true are (exist) or be thy ways," the ways of thy going, leading, and doing, in Judgment, Isaiah 45:21; Hosea 14:9; John 5:30; Revelation 16:7.

7) "Thou king of saints," (ho basileus ton ethnon) "The king (o king) of the nations, races, or all;” This song of victory and triumph over earth’s last great bondage of sin was or is to be sung by those redeemed by the blood, through faith in the blood of the lamb, with (accompanied by) musical instruments of God, Revelation 5:8-13; Revelation 14:1-5; Romans 3:25.

Verse 4

1) "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord," (tis ou me phobethe kurie) "who will not (dare) fear (thee) Lord; Deuteronomy 6:2; Deuteronomy 10:12; Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 10:28; 2 Corinthians 5:11.

2) "And glorify thy name?" (kai doksasei to onoma sou) "And who will not glorify thy name?" Angels, the Elders, and the redeemed in glory do, Isaiah 6:3-4; Revelation 4:9-11; Revelation 5:10-13.

3) "For thou only art holy," (hoti monos hosios) "Because only thou art holy;” He is the only Holy God, Revelation 4:8; Isaiah 6:3; Psalms 115:1-18; Revelation 15:3-4 set forth four attitudes of the Lord as: Almighty, true, just, and holy.

4) "For all nations shall come and worship before thee," (hoti panta ta ethne heksousin kai proskun sousin enopion sou) "Because all the nations, races, or peoples will, come and worship before thee, in thy presence;” what a glorious pledge! Isaiah 66:23; Psalms 65:2.

5) "For thy Judgments are made manifest," (hoti ta dikaiomata sou ephanerothesan) "Because thy righteous ordinances were made manifest," without concealment, to render men inexcusable, Romans 2:1-2; 1 Corinthians 3:13-15; Acts 17:30-31; 2 Timothy 4:12.

Verse 5

1) "And after that I looked," (kai meta tauta eidon) "And after these (preceding) things, I looked” I observed.

2) "And behold was opened," (kai ennoige) "And there was (had been) opened," or disclosed to be seen.

3) "The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven," (ho naos tes skenes tou marturiou en to ouranou) "The shrine (temple-center) of the testimony in heaven," the Holy of Holies, the dwelling place of the most High God, Revelation 4:1-3; Revelation 4:9-11, near his throne over which he too is described as presiding, Numbers 1:50; Revelation 11:19.

Verse 6

1) "And the seven angels came out of the temple," (kai eksethon hoi hepta angeloi ek tou naou) "And the seven angels came forth out of the shrine, (worship center) of heaven," those having or holding in readiness the seven last plagues of the wrath of God, Revelation 15:1.

2) "Having the seven plagues," (hoi echontes tas hepta plegas), "Those (the ones) having, holding, or possessing the seven plagues."

3) "Clothed in pure and white linen," (endeumenoi linon katharon lampron) "Having been clothed in linen, bright or clean and white."

The clothing of the priesthood service denoted cleanliness, purity, and holiness of the cause for which the worship and sacrifices were made to God, on behalf of sins of the people, Ezekiel 44:17-18 : Revelation 19:8; Revelation 19:14.

4) "And having their breasts girded with golden girdles," (kai periezosmenoi peri ta stethe zonas chrusas) "And having golden girdles round and round their breasts," Exodus 28:6; Exodus 28:8; Exodus 39:1-7; Revelation 1:13.

The priestly dress denotes a priestly office in heaven where Jesus as High Priest now intercedes for his own, Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2.

Verse 7

1) "And one of the four beasts," (kai hen ek ton tessaron zoon) "And one out of the four living creatures," around the central throne of heaven, from the shrine area, Revelation 4:6; Revelation 4:9; Revelation 5:8-10. These four living creatures (beasts) represent the redeemed from the former Gentile one world governments.

2) "Gave unto the seven angels," (edoken tois hepta angelois) "Gave over to the seven angels," delivered to them for their service, Revelation 15:1. It is appropriate that these four living creatures should deliver to the seven angels the seven last plagues to be poured out on the last Gentile world leader.

3) "Seven golden vials," (hepta phialas chrusas) "Seven golden bowls," seven vials, small golden containers, symbols of purity and righteousness of the Judgment to come, Revelation 16:5; Revelation 16:7.

4) "Full of the wrath of God," (gemousas tou thumou tou theou) "brimful, having been filled, with the accumulated anger of God;” Romans 4:5, when wrath has been heaped upon wrath, long held back from execution, Revelation 14:10.

5) "Who liveth forever and ever," (tou zontos eis tous aionas ton aionon) "The anger of the God living with relationship to the ages of the ages, without end or cessation of duration," in administering eternal Judgment against the wicked, 2 Thessalonians 1:8-9.

It is not accidental nor incidental that the four living creatures representing the redeemed from among the former four one world Gentile Empires should deliver these final plagues ’ to the seven angels to pour out in righteous Judgment upon the final one world Gentile Beast government.

Let it be recalled that all the book of Revelation of Jesus Christ concerns, 1) the Jew (Israel); 2) the Gentile; and 3) the church, 1 Corinthians 10:32. These three are now represented in heaven by the 24 Elders and the four living creatures.

Verse 8

1) "And the temple was filled with smoke," (kai egimisthe ho naos kapnou) "And the shrine was filled with smoke," symbol of the glory presence, sanction and approval of God, Exodus 40:34-38. Whatever was pronounced from the holy place was righteous, even Judgment.

2) "From the glory of God," (ek tes dokses tou theou) "Out of, coming forth, or originating from the glory of God," Exodus 29:42-43; Exodus 19:18, as when the ten commandments were given.

3) "And from his power," (kai ek tes dunameos autou) "And out of his dynamic power," originating from, administered, supported by his power. The cloud of shechinah glory was a symbol of God’s presence, power, sanction, and token of Judgment, Exodus 16:10; Exodus 24:16-18; Exodus 19:18; Isaiah 14:31; Psalms 18:8.

4) "And no man was able to enter into the temple," (kai audeis edunato eisethein eis ton naon) "And no one could (was able to) enter into the temple," from which "God’s smoke-cloud of glory emanated, 2 Chronicles 5:14; Isaiah 6:4; 1 Kings 8:10-12.

5) "Till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled," (achri telethosin hai hepta plegai ton hepta angelon) "Until the time that the seven plagues of the seven angels should be completed, finished, fulfilled or terminated," or until these Judgments had passed, been poured out upon the earth.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Revelation 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/revelation-15.html. 1985.
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