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Exploring Revelation
“Revelation 15:1”
by Art Sadlier   
February 7th, 2010

Prelude to Doomsday or Preparation for the last Judgment

In chapter 14 we have seven pictures (visions) of the events that will take place as the tribulation period concludes. One of the things not included in chapter 14 concerning the events that conclude the tribulation period are the seven vial (bowl) judgments which are involved in the final drama of the tribulation period.

In chapter 15 we have the preparation for the seven bowl judgments, the seven bowl judgments are actually poured out in chapter 16. Remember that the chronology (story line) of the book unfolds in seven seal judgments, in the seven trumpet judgments and in the seven bowl judgments.

"VIAL" = Bowl  = a vessel that can be poured out quickly or emptied suddenly.

Rev. 15:1 introduces the bowls, then after 8 verses of setting the scene chapter 16 records how they are poured out in quick succession. The plagues on Egypt are foreshadows of these in our text.

These final bowl judgments are the most intense and devastating. The seal judgments are the product of what God allows men to produce, though they are still judgments of God.  The trumpet judgments are what God allows Satan to produce, though they are still the judgments of God. The bowl judgments are direct acts of judgments of God, poured right from His hand.

The wrath of God has been storing up against men down over the long centuries of God's patience. God, in grace and mercy, has held back His wrath, now here in our text God's patience has finally come to an end and His wrath is poured out. This is revealed in Romans 1:18, "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness".

"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God."

"And I saw another sign", in chapter 12, there are two signs.

"A woman clothed with the sun," which represents Israel. Rev.12:1

"A great red dragon",  Which represents Satan. Rev.12:3

Here in chapter 15, we have another sign which is described as, "Great and marvelous".  Marvelous = amazing or terrible, this is a warning of the magnitude of the judgment that is about to fall.

"Seven angels having the seven last plagues", this is the sign which John saw. He saw seven angels each holding a bowl.

"For in them is filled up the wrath of God." The wrath of God has been poured out upon a rebellious world in the seven seal judgments and in the seven trumpet judgments. But now the final outpouring of God's fierce and unrestrained wrath is about to take place.

"Filled up" The final and total wrath of God against sinful men and nations is now to be administered. God's wrath against sinners has long been withheld but now it is released in total. Filled up means to be completed, nothing held back.

God's wrath will be poured out on all men and all nations. Away back in Zephaniah we are warned of this coming day.

"Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy." Zephaniah 3:8. What an awful day that will be. We saw last week that the blood will flow for 200 miles to a depth of some four feet, as the hundreds of millions of the men of Antichrist's army are slaughtered directly by Christ. See Revelation 19:11-21.

Notice the words, "my jealousy", in Zeph. 3:8.  God has made man in God's own image, so that He may fellowship with man, so that He may bless man, so that man might worship and love and serve Him. God, however is a jealous God and He will not accept anything less from man. The great and tragic sin of man today and in every age, is the sin of turning away from God and ignoring Him and disobeying Him. The sin of walking contrary to God's Word and Will, God will not let such sin and indifference go unpunished. The seven bowl judgments are the culmination of that judgment.

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