Revelation Explained

This site contains my personal views on Revelation. I will be teaching through the book verse by verse. My teachings will be from a conservative evangelical background.

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Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Second Bowl of Wrath

"The second Angel poured his bowl on the sea: The sea coagulated into blood, and everything in it died." (Revelation 16:3 - The Message)

Verse three in the Greek, reads, “it became blood as of a dead man.” John clearly distinguishes the blood here from that in early passages. Blood, in the Bible, can refer to anything with a blood red color. In chapter eight, it referred to the Red Tide which is a natural occurrence in the ocean. In chapter fourteen, it referred to molten lava.

However, in this passage, John tells us that he is speaking of blood like the blood of a dead man. It seems clear that under the second bowl of wrath, God turns the oceans into actual blood. The natural result will be the death of all marine life.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The First Bowl of Wrath

"Then I heard a loud voice from the temple, saying to the seven angels, 'Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.' So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth; and it became a loathsome and malignant sore on the people who had the mark of the beast and who worshiped his image." (Revelation 16:1,2 - New American Standard)

God's patience with man will once again run out. He will pour out judgment upon mankind because they rebel against him. These seven bowls of wrath are poured out one after the other in rapid succession over a period of a few weeks. Any longer and no one would be left alive at the end of the Tribulation.

The voice in verse one must belong to God. No one else is allowed in the temple during this time. The angels are ordered to pour out their vials or bowls. This shows the speed with which these things will happen. The angels go together one after another to pour out their bowls.

The sores of verse two are loathsome, foul, evil, malignant and painful. They are not treatable and last at least until the fifth bowl is poured out and likely until the end of the Tribulation when these people are cast into torments. These sours afflict the majority of mankind; those who worship the beast and his image. Those who have not accepted the mark of the beast will be spared.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Seven Angels

"After this I looked and in heaven the temple, that is, the tabernacle of the Testimony, was opened. Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed." (Revelation 15:5-8 - New International Version)

The tabernacle that Moses built and the temple built by Solomon were both patterned after the true temple in heaven. John sees seven angels coming out of the temple. They have just left a personal and private audience with God. These angels are dressed in white with golden sashes. Some think they are dresses as priests; others that they are dressed as ancient generals.

One of the four beasts, who are constantly in God's presence, hands each of the angels a bowl. These bowls are filled with God's anger.

The temple fills with the glory of God in the form of a thick cloud of smoke. The fate of the earth has been sealed. God's judgment is about to fall. No man is allowed into God's presence during this time.

This chapter should remind us that God always acts in holiness and justice. When he pours out his wrath it is the right thing to do. It also shows how serious heaven takes these events. These plagues are not sent to the earth arbitrarily or hastily. Only after an audience with God himself in the heavenly temple do these angels take the bowls and go to the earth.

We should neither question God's character because of his anger, nor underestimate the horror of it. Sometimes what is right and true is not pleasant.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Victorious Ones

"And I saw as a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who do gain the victory over the beast, and his image, and his mark, [and] the number of his name, standing by the sea of the glass, having harps of God, and they sing the song of Moses, servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, `Great and wonderful [are] Thy works, O Lord God, the Almighty, righteous and true [are] Thy ways, O King of saints, who may not fear Thee, O Lord, and glorify Thy name? because Thou alone [art] kind, because all the nations shall come and bow before Thee, because Thy righteous acts were manifested.' " (Revelation 15:2-4 - Young's Literal Translation)

We were told in chapter four that the sea of glass is before God's throne. If the sea of glass in verse two is the same one then these people are standing before God's throne. These are the ones who had victory over the beast: the Tribulation martyrs. In God's eyes, we win the victory when we give up all for him. As Jim Elliot, one of the missionaries killed by the Auca Indians, said, “A man is no fool to give up that which he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

These men and women, of whom the world is not worthy, stand before the throne of God with harps. Verse three tells us what they sing. They sing the Song of Moses and the Song of the Lamb.

It is debated what the Song of Moses is. Some believe that it is the song that Moses and the people of Israel sang after crossing the Red Sea as recorded in Exodus fifteen. If this is the case then these saints in heaven would see the Pharaoh as symbolic of Satan and the forces of evil.

This is what Moses sang:
I will sing to the LORD, for he is highly exalted.
The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.
The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him.
The LORD is a warrior; the LORD is his name.
Pharaoh's chariots and his army he has hurled into the sea.
The best of Pharaoh's officers are drowned in the Red Sea.
The deep waters have covered them; they sank to the depths like a stone.
Your right hand, O LORD, was majestic in power.
Your right hand, O LORD, shattered the enemy.
In the greatness of your majesty you threw down those who opposed you.
You unleashed your burning anger; it consumed them like stubble.
By the blast of your nostrils the waters piled up.
The surging waters stood firm like a wall; the deep waters congealed in the heart of the sea.
The enemy boasted, 'I will pursue, I will overtake them.
I will divide the spoils; I will gorge myself on them.
I will draw my sword and my hand will destroy them.'
But you blew with your breath, and the sea covered them.
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Who among the gods is like you, O LORD ?
Who is like you— majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders?
You stretched out your right hand and the earth swallowed them.
In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.
The nations will hear and tremble; anguish will grip the people of Philistia.
The chiefs of Edom will be terrified, the leaders of Moab will be seized with trembling, the people of Canaan will melt away; terror and dread will fall upon them.
By the power of your arm they will be as still as a stone— until your people pass by, O LORD, until the people you bought pass by.
You will bring them in and plant them on the mountain of your inheritance— the place, O LORD, you made for your dwelling, the sanctuary, O Lord, your hands established.
The LORD will reign for ever and ever.
(Exodus 15:1b-18 – New International Version)

The Song of the Lamb is that which John records in Revelation. Notice that although these are martyrs who gave their lives for the Lord, they do not speak of the things which they suffered and endured. They do not praise their own faithfulness or courage. Instead their praise is centered upon God's greatness.

They praise him for being all powerful. They praise him for his pure character. They proclaim him King of the nations. They announce that all peoples will worship the Lord. Their song is a beautiful song of praise.

The character of God as praised in this song should be constantly in our minds as we continue in Revelation. His wrath comes from a pure heart. We need to remember this.

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Seven Last Plagues

"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." (Revelation 15:1 - New King James Version)

Chapter fifteen is a short interlude before God's wrath is poured out upon the earth. It reminds us that the judgment of God is not vindictive but just. It is not based upon anger but upon holiness. To lightly skip over this chapter would prevent us from seeing the wrath of chapter sixteen from the correct perspective.

Verse one is like a title for the chapter. The subject of this chapter is the seven angels who carry the bowls filled with God's wrath. John calls them a sign. These angels and their actions teach us about the holiness and justice of God.

There is a finality in the words of this verse. These angels carry the seven LAST plagues. These will bring an end to the Tribulation. The wrath or anger of God is filled up in these seven last plagues. The word for filled up or complete means finished. It is the same word Jesus used on the cross when He said, “It is finished.”

These plagues will finish the wrath of God. They will satisfy his justice.