Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having seven plagues, which are the last, for in them is finished the wrath of God.
Rev 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire; and them that come off victorious from the beast, and from his image, and from the number of his name, standing by the sea of glass, having harps of God.
Go back to the first time you see this sea of glass. Rev 4:6 and before the throne, as it were a sea of glass like a crystal; and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, four living creatures full of eyes before and behind. This is the floor of the “Throne Room” so… this is Heaven. But now we have fire. We have these who “came off victorious” from the “beast” AND from “his image” and these have harps. But let’s look at this fire for a moment. The Greek indicates that it is literally or figuratively Fire or more specifically, LIGHTENING! This sounds like energy, power or perhaps a manifestation of the Holy Spirit in the midst of these “victorious” ones? This makes sense when we consider why they are Victorious. The Beast and His Image refers to the Beast from the Sea, who is bent on the destruction of the “righteous”. The image is what the second beast erected and did everything to get everyone to WORSHIP THE FIRST BEAST! I am reminded of Nebuchadnezzar and his massive golden image and the result of the three Hebrews who would not kneel. Given the result of the story would you say they “came off victorious” from that situation? This is the same for how did these get that victory? Rev 12:11 And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb, and because of the word of their testimony; and they loved not their life even unto death.
These are MARTYRS! Yet and even now there is no catching away as of yet and now the last Trump has sounded. But in 14 we did have the reaping of the Earth. I am reminded of the parable of the wheat and the tares. The owner of the farmed plot when asked by his servants if they should root up the tares told them to let it be, and that when all was ripe; instruction would be given the REAPERS as to the fact that there was tare in the field and to reap each separately, the tares to the fire and the wheat to the barn. But it is obvious from the text that these are martyrs.
Rev 15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty; righteous and true are thy ways, thou King of the ages.
Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy; for all the nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy righteous acts have been made manifest.
Here again is another New Song… With each group there is a different song. A study to look into which songs each group sings might be fruitful.
It is interesting to note that God does use word play to “clue” the knowledgable reader into His works. In Deuteronomy 33, Moses is given a song to teach to Israel. This song is a witness against the nation who would in years to come follow after other gods. This song like the book we are talking about, is a Suzerain Treaty in format. In it there are actually two names mentioned. One is Moses and the other is Hoshea, son of Nun. Now this man will layer turn out to be none other than Joshua, son of Nun. Now both the names Hoshea and Joshua have a very significant meaning. Of the names of Jesus we find an etymology. One of the variants to this is Yaweh Hoshea, another is Yashua or Joshua. Yeshua is a variant with Greek Iosus from which we finally have the English of Jesus. Now it is in the Yaweh Hoshea that we really find a meaning. For the meaning of The Lamb’s name is ” Yaweh or Jehovah Saves”. So then when the verse in Revelation 15 we read the words ” Song of Moses and of The Lamb” we needs to understand that Joshua who will lead the people into the Promise Land is a type of Jesus who leads us into the Eternal Promise of Life… Eternal Life by the Holy Spirit. Hence quite literally we have the actual song!
Rev 15:5 And after these things I saw, and the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
Rev 15:6 and there came out from the temple the seven angels that had the seven plagues, arrayed with precious stone, pure and bright, and girt about their breasts with golden girdles.
Now the above verse needs a little explaining. The words ” precious stone” is translated in older texts as “in linen”. Now when you consider that if indeed this linen with gold ties or girdling or sashes then the knowledgable will immediately see the priestly attire of angels. Lest we forget that angels are His ministers too. If then these with containers of plague, are playing a priestly role on the heels of the song of indictment sung by the martyrs, there is only one ceremony that uses white linen. Once per year a high priest dons white linen and enters into The Presence, with Blood and incense. This is Yom Kippur or the Day of Atonement. Now in this ceremony, an annual covering is provided for sin iniquity defilement et al. But in Jesus, we have permanent covering as it were. This would be considered a blood ritual. What we have now is seven angels functioning in a priestly role. This is also a blood ritual. But this is not a positive thing. Because the song is testifying against the false church. So now we find the response. In the Yom Kippur ceremony the priest is all in white. These angels are sporting gold at the middriff. Gold here might represent The Glory of God.
Rev 15:7 And one of the four living creatures gave unto the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Rev 15:8 And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and none was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels should be finished.
In chapter fourteen the grapes were reaped from the vineyard which we established to be the church. We have seen in scripture that the “fruit of the vine” is also indicative of the Israel. In a sense we are the continuation of that nation, spiritually. Yet these grapes are trod out alone and fill seven cups or containers to be poured out. I had surmised that this was the apostate church. Yet there is this in Isaiah.
“Isa 5:1 Let me sing for my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved had a vineyard in a very fruitful hill:
Isa 5:2 and he digged it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also hewed out a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes.
Isa 5:3 And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard.
Isa 5:4 What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
Isa 5:5 And now I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; I will break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down:
Isa 5:6 and I will lay it waste; it shall not be pruned nor hoed; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it.
Isa 5:7 For the vineyard of Jehovah of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for justice, but, behold, oppression; for righteousness, but, behold, a cry. ”
Now the text does clearly mark the vineyard of this passage as Israel. But we also have Him saying this to us…
“Joh 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh it away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it, that it may bear more fruit.
Joh 15:3 Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for apart from me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples.”
Now this is admittedly written to Jewish Disciples who in turn form the proto-church. Lest we forget that what we see today started out as a Jewish community of believers in Jesus and His Disciples. Yet if we are to understand the pastoral prayer of John chapter seventeen, it tells us that the intercession is not only for His Disciples of the day but for those who would believe because of their word, or Gospel message, and those are us today. Now Paul picks up this thread in extension in Galatians chapter five with the fruit of the Spirit.
“Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23 meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof.” What does Jesus say? “ Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples.” That we bear much fruit. The fruit of the VINE. But just as in the Vineyard of Isaiah’s day there were “wild grapes” that had a bad taste so then there are those whose fruit is that of the Deeds of the Flesh. A careful read of Paul’s letter to Corinth will tell of a church riddled with problems and deeds of the flesh. If in that time there were so many problems of morality and ethic and the Apostles were in force in that day, how shall we today be surprised to find pockets of problematic believers in the midst. Jesus Paul and even Jude spoke of those who would arise after their passing (Jude gives the description of such men) whose sole purpose was to lead astray. Consider then the grape that is trod out as being that which is not indicative of the Fruit of the Spirit but rather false. Consider also all these little celebrations and the SONGS being sung. All that blood is spilled on the ground by those who serve the first beast. This is what is in those containers. This is not the Wrath of the Father but of THE LAMB. You see the LAMB hung and took the wrath and curse of the Father, so that we might have fellowship with the Godhead, as we had once had in the beginning before Adam fell. (Only better) But this is the wrath now poured out on those who REFUSE TO BELIEVE in the Jesus. Interestingly enough we do have a list of plagues from Exodus. Blood, Frogs, Lice, Flies or Gnats, Pestilence, Boils, Hail, Locusts, Darkness, Death of the First born. Of these it is listed in the next several passages in Chapter sixteen which plagues are contained in the angelic containers.
Now in consideration of pure speculation here. John sees the Temple and the skies were rolled up like a scroll or boiling clouds way back in the beginning when the seals were being opened. Is it possible that the people of the Earth are now seeing the Temple? Remember that as far as Earth’s perspective is it is dark the sun moon and stars are “not giving forth their light” meaning “Not visible” so there is for all parts and practical purposes a pall of cover over the Earth. However what John sees Prophets in the Old Testament and men in the days of Solomon and Moses saw as well. The glory of the Lord and the smoke of His presence or rather the Column of Smoke indicative of the very personal visible presence of God (YHVH) or the LAMB is filling the Temple and the doors are shut. Noone is permitted entrance until the out pouring is complete.
Now there is only one other time when we ever see the Temple doors shut. It is the Temple in Jerusalem and the time is Yom Kippur. It is the DAY OF ATONEMENT when the Temple is shut while the High priest enters into the Holy of Holies, to MAKE ATONEMENT for the priesthood and the people.
This is the DAY OF RECKONING wherein recompensure is meted out to each as his deed warrant. There is no sacrifice being offered for this, no atonement being made for this, but there is the built up iniquity and sin that must now be dealt with. God measures out to all Creation the finality of judgment and punishment for all that has been done on the Earth and for all the unbelief therein. Thus we do not get to see God’s reaction. Also it occurs to include this characteristic of The Father. Hab 1:13 Thou that art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and that canst not look on perverseness, wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy peace when the wicked swalloweth up the man that is more righteous than he;
Hab 1:14 and makest men as the fishes of the sea, as the creeping things, that have no ruler over them?
Now in that this is the LAMB’s wrath or so it would seem this could be the Father turning away while the wrath is being poured out. Just as He turned away when He dealt with our sin in His Son on the Cross.
One last observation here:Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having seven plagues, which are the last, for in them is finished the wrath of God.
Please note the end of the sentence. …”for in them is FINISHED the wrath of God.” God’s wrath has been poured out many times over all of history. Israel was delivered in the WRATH of God on Egypt. Israel was AFFLICTED by the very same wrath when she sinned. Jesus took the wrath and curse of The Father for the sin and iniquity, et al, of The Elect of God, now it is being recompensed out on those who have rebelled or sided with the Rebel. This is most likely that of which we have been told we would be spared. It is most likely precisely this that Rapture Doctrine was conceived to explain. So far I am not seeing a clear cut Rapture but a lot of Martyrdom.