THE REWARD OF THE WICKED: A LOFTY
(Rev 15:1) And I saw another sign
[Gk: miracle, wonder] in heaven, great and marvellous,
seven angels having the seven last plagues [Gk: a stroke;
by impl. a wound; fig. a calamity]; for in them is filled up
[Gk: completed] the wrath [Gk: passion (as if
breathing hard):--fierceness, indignation] of God.
(Psa 91:8) Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see
the reward of the wicked.
Commentary: Of the ten plagues God put upon Egypt (Exo
chapters 7-12), which have similarities to the Tribulation and the Great
Tribulation, the Israelites suffered the tribulation of only the first
three plagues: the plague of water becoming blood, the plague of frogs,
and the plague of lice. Thereafter, the Israelites were protected from
the seven last plagues. The number “seven” in the Bible is most often
used to symbolize “completion” which agrees with the phrase: “in them is
filled up [Gk: completed] the wrath of God.”
(Rev 15:2) And I saw as it were [i.e., an
idealized vision of something more or less indescribable] a sea of
glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory
over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark,
and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass,
having the harps of God.
Commentary: “the sea of glass” = is the antitype
or fulfillment of the brazen (brass) laver filled with water which was set
forth in the courtyard of the Tabernacle of Moses for the priests to wash
their hands (their work) and their feet (their walk) before ministering to
any part of the Tabernacle “that they die not” (Exo 30:20).
The concept plainly illustrated is purification, not of
self-purification, but of purification of the self performed by the
Holy Spirit – the water (Phil 1:6; 2:13) before contact with a Holy God
“that they die not.” “The sea of glass” may also represent a picture
of evil judged (mingled with fire) and swallowed up by the Holy Spirit.
Further, “the sea of glass” is the antitype, fulfillment, or finished
work of “the pillar of fire and of the cloud” (Exo 14:24) that led Moses and
the Israelites not across (as on top of) but through the
waters of the Red Sea that they might “stand” upon the far shore and observe
(“only with thine eyes” Psa 91:8) the utter demise of the unbelieving
Commentary: “mingled with fire” = is an end-time final
representation of the defiling worldly debris, the flammable “wood, hay,
stubble” (1 Cor 3:12) that previously defiled us, now having been
washed off and out of us and burned. The worldly debris is signified by “the
beast, his image, his mark, and the number of his name” upon which all the
redeemed saints “stand” [in absolute total victory]
on the sea of [transparent, in stasis, i.e., without flow, frozen
forever in judgment] glass”.
(Rev 14:9-11) And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud
voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive
his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall
drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without
mixture [without mercy, i.e., without weakened strength] into
the cup of his indignation [Gk: wrath]; and he shall be
tormented with fire and brimstone [an image of the transparent
sea of glass] in the presence of the holy angels, and in
the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment
[Gk: torture] ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have
no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and
whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.
(Rev 15:3,4) And they sing the song of Moses
the servant of God [which all the redeemed shall sing (sheep – Gideon’s
9,700)], and the song of the Lamb [which only the hundred and
forty-four thousand “could learn” (Rev 14:3) and sing (shepherds – Gideon’s
300)], saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty;
just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints [a new
title: first biblical mention]. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and
glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come
and worship before thee [during the coming Millennium]; for
thy judgments [ending the Great Tribulation] are made manifest
[Gk: rendered apparent, manifestly declared /// shining, public].
Commentary: At Mahanaim (Heb: double camp) and under
the great pressure (tribulation) of his fear of retribution from his brother
Esau, Jacob said to God in prayer, “and now I am become two bands
(Heb: companies)” (Gen 32:10), and proceeded to divide his family into two
groups. Was the latter an archetype? Probably. Note also that God tested
Gideon’s saved 10,000 “soldiers” (2 Tim 2:3,4) through the Holy
Spirit (running water), and divided them into two groups of 9,700 support
troops and 300 front-line combat troops.
(Rev 15:5,6) And after that I looked
[“only with thine eyes shall thou behold and see the reward of the wicked”
Psa 91:8], and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the
testimony [Gk: (spec) the Decalogue] [the Ten Commandments, the
Law] in heaven was opened [i.e., activated in judgment]:
And the seven angels [“the seven spirits of God” Rev 1:4;
3:1; 4:5; 5:6] came out of the temple, having the
[power to produce the] seven plagues, clothed in pure and
white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles
(John 12:48) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words
[Gk: rhema] [the revelation of Grace], hath one that judgeth him:
the word [Gk: logos] [the literal Law] that I have spoken, the
same shall judge him in the last day.
(Gal 3:22) But the scripture hath concluded all under sin
[and thus the Law], that the promise by faith of [Grace in] Jesus
Christ might be given to them that believe.
(Rev 19:7,8) Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him:
for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath
made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be
arrayed [Gk: clothed] in fine linen, clean and white: for the
fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
(Rev 1:13) And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto
the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about
the paps [Gk: breasts] with a golden girdle [Gk: belt].
(Rev 15:7,8) And one of the four beasts
gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials [Dict: small
vessels, as of glass for liquids] full of the wrath of God, who
liveth for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the
glory of God, and from his power [the contents of the
seven vials represent Godly empowerment of the seven plagues]; and no
man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the
seven angels were fulfilled [and the saved men thereby perfected].
(Rev 4:6-8) And before the throne there was a sea of glass like
unto [transparent] crystal [the position in the
Tabernacle of the brazen laver]: and in the midst of the throne,
and round about the throne, were four beasts [Gk: zoon; a live
thing, i.e. an animal] [11x in Revelation as a unit, plus more
instances individually] full of eyes before and behind
[perception, i.e., seeing with understanding]. And the first beast was
like a lion, and the second beast like a calf
[Gk: a young bull], and the third beast had a face as a man
[this phrase is much more declarative than a distant “like,” perhaps
symbolizing the empowered us in the universe], and the fourth beast was
like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them
six wings about him; and they were full of eyes
[perception] within: and they rest not day and night,
saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to
Commentary: These four beasts occupy positions closest
to God and the throne which is an indication of their supreme authority. The
four and twenty elders form a secondary circle around the throne of
God. Thereafter, “many angels round about the throne and the
beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten
thousand, and thousands of thousands” (Rev 5:11), and then “every
creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and
such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing,
and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.” (Rev 5:13). In light of this graphic
hierarchy of power, exactly who might these most important
four beasts be? May they not be extra-terrestrials, not of this world? Ah!
We shall see anon.
(Rev 16:1) And I heard a great voice out of the
temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the
vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.