Revelation Lesson 38: The Holy Wrath of God :: By Sean Gooding

Chapter 15:1-8

“Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete. And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God. They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

‘Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.’

“After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was 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.”

We ended last time with the battle of Armageddon. So, these verses are going to be a bit of a repeat but in further detail. This is somewhat common in prophecy writings; the events are not always chronological. There is a degree of emphasis that is shown when the events are repeated, and we see the destruction described over and over. The idea of repeating is common in Hebrew literature; take a look at Genesis 1:1-2:7, and then read Genesis 2:8-25. In the second set of verses, God ‘fleshes out’ some of the details that are left out in the first overview. The Revelation uses some of the same patterns to help us understand what is happening, both from the idea of an overview, and then into more details.

Seven Last Plagues, verse 1

John sees these seven angels, and they have the seven last plagues of the Tribulation. We are told that with these last seven plagues the ‘wrath of God’ is complete. Then John sees something like a ‘sea of glass,’ and these people were standing ‘on’ the glass. We first see the sea of glass in chapter 4, and it is described as looking like crystal. Here it is mingled with fire, and this could simply be that the wrath that is to come is reflected in it. We are told that they, the ones who have the victory over the beast, are standing ‘on’ the sea of glass. The Greek word for ‘on’ that is used would mean on, over or beside.

Some of the information I looked at indicated that the sea of glass could be a representation of the Tabernacle’s laver that was used to wash one’s hands before offering a sacrifice. This washing reminds us of Ephesians 5:26 where we are told that Jesus ‘washes us with the word.’ Of course, we all know that one must be washed in the blood of Jesus, and it cleanses us from all sin and makes us white as snow. Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Notice in verse 2 that there were those present who had victory over the beast, his image and his mark. We know that the majority of those who rejected the mark were killed. Yet, they were counted as victorious. Not only were they victorious but they were singing the Song of Moses; and like the 24 elders, they are given harps (see Revelation 5:8). These martyrs are given harps to worship God with and to sing the Song of Moses. This may be an indication that the vast majority of these martyrs are Jews and they sing the song of Moses.

We first encounter the Song of Moses in Exodus 15. In Exodus chapter 14 we see the Red Sea crossing that culminated 400+ years of living in Egypt, first as guests under the Pharaohs that knew Joseph, and then as slaves under the ones that did not know him. Egypt has always been a picture of the world system, and the exodus from there a picture of leaving the world system behind. In Revelation 15, the people also sing the Song of Moses. The end of the world system is near; the beast, the anti-Christ and the image will be destroyed. Satan will be bound for 1,000 years and then eventually sent off to his eternal banishment and punishment.

The God of the Song of Moses, verses 3-4

This song is called the Song of Moses, but it is about God. Notice that the word ‘Your’ is mentioned three (3) times and ‘You’ is mentioned three (3) times in the description of God’s great works. His works are marvelous; the Lord is Almighty. His ways are true; He is our King. We are called to glorify His name; He is Holy. All nations will come to worship for His judgments are revealed. God is the focus of the song; He and His works are the theme of the song.

Good godly music is about God! This seems weird to say, but we need to be discerning in this modern age, and even some of the older hymns are not all good. But we should be careful to focus our worship and praise on the Lord for all that He has done and continues to do for us every day. We should proclaim the Lord’s goodness to all who will hear.

Psalm 73:1 “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart!”

Psalm 145:9 “The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.”

Psalm 86:5 “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in lovingkindness to all who call upon You.”

Psalm 106:1 “Praise the LORD! Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.”

Psalm 100:5 “For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.”

Psalm 34:8 “O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

I can go on, but you see the point. God is good, and we should be ready to sing or talk about His goodness to all who will listen. Talk about His goodness in your life; and tell the truth about God’s grace, His patience, His forgiveness and His provisions. God needs to be the God of your songs as He is the God of the Song of Moses.

The Wrath of God, verse 1 and 7

There are two words used in the New Testament that are translated wrath. The word orge means anger from a settled position. The word orge is the word that is most often used in the New Testament. The word we have here is thymos. It is only used 11 times in the New Testament; and of those 11 times, ten (10) are in the book of the Revelation. The word thymos means a volatile or passionate anger. God’s anger towards the Jesus-rejecting world is a volatile and passionate anger. God loves those that accept the gracious sacrifice of His Son, but He is equally as wrathful to those that reject His gracious gift.

The wrath of God is rarely talked about in churches today. Hebrews 10:31 says this: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.”

The famous preacher, Jonathan Edwards, in July 1781 preached a sermon entitled “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God.” We don’t hear much about the angry God anymore; but if the Revelation is to be taken seriously and it is, God is passionately angry with those that reject His Son. Never forget that. There will be no mercy, no grace, no kindness, not one iota of ‘sparing’ on the day of judgment of the lost. No one will negotiate a lighter sentence; no Advocate will speak for you. The god of the lost, Satan, will be lined up in the same line and suffer the same fate as they will, forever.

Today there is grace, love, kindness, mercy, salvation and the offer of peace between us and God. But soon the offer will be over, and only the fierce and passionate anger of God will remain.

Share the Gospel; tell others what Jesus has done for them. Don’t argue and fight; don’t get into debates, but state the truth in love and allow the Holy Spirit to do His job. You cannot argue and debate a person into Heaven; only the Holy Spirit can open a person’s eyes and heart when the truth of the Bible is spoken. So, determine to speak the truth; it means that you have to know the truth. Memorize the Romans Road: Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 6:23, 10:9-10. Memorize John 3:3, 16-17, 14:6; also Ephesians 2:8-9 and as many others as you can.

Be ready; the apostle Peter tells us to give a defense of the hope that is in us. The very people you are speaking to will either face God at the judgment of the saved and be accepted graciously, or they will fall under His wrath. We are to call as many as possible to repentance. Just keep trying. Some accept it right away, some further on down the line, and others on their death bed; just keep speaking the truth in love.