MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 15-16
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Victorious Tribulations Saints
Vic Batista: We are now entering Revelation 15 and will be introduced to the third and final group of seven mighty angels who deliver God’s judgments upon the world. We have been making our way through the book of Revelation highlighting the work of God’s mighty angels and how they are so involved in our lives today, and also how they will be greatly involved in the events that will take place during the Tribulation.
Nathan Jones: Revelation 15:1-2 reads from the New King James Version:
“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.”
Vic Batista: I love this passage! I get lots of videos from people regarding different views out there concerning the Tribulation. Many think that the Church is going to live through the Tribulation. More and more I encounter people who have this misconception of what this whole Tribulation period is about and who it is intended to affect. The entire seven-year Tribulation is about the wrath of God, and not just the Bowl Judgments.
Nathan Jones: The Tribulation, as Daniel calls it the Seventieth Week, is clearly according to Daniel seven years long. Revelation even tells us the amount of months — 42 — for the second half, equaling 3.5 years.
We know then that the Tribulation, this time of God’s wrath which He calls the “time of Jacob’s trouble” in Jeremiah 30:7, is the fated time when God will pour out His wrath upon the earth in judgment, rather like He did with the Flood. The time Noah lived in was incredibly, unbelievably evil. Noah and his family were the only righteous people out of an entire planet of people! God saved Noah and his family by putting them on the Ark, and so He protected them while He destroyed the earth. That judgment is going to happen again during the seven-year Tribulation, though not by water this time, but instead by 21 judgments of God. What we are going to read in Revelation 15 is the last seven of those 21 judgments. We began with the Seven Seal Judgments, next the Seven Trumpet Judgments, and now we are getting into the Seven Bowl judgments. Depending on your Bible’s interpretation, these Bowl Judgments could also read as Vial Judgments.
Vic Batista: Revelation 6:16 calls the Tribulation the “wrath of the Lamb.” This wrath is not for God’s faithful people, but for those who continue to reject Jesus Christ and His salvation.
Nathan Jones: Correct. The Rapture, as we can read about in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15, is meant for the Church. When I say Church I means those who have accepted Jesus as Savior. We are those promised to be taken out, meaning caught up from the Latin word rapio, to be raptured off this earth to meet Jesus in the clouds and there we will live with the Lord forever. The Church is not meant to endure the wrath of God. We are meant to be taken away before the flood of the Lamb’s wrath is poured out on the world yet again. The Tribulation is God’s wrath upon the evil of this world, and is not for the righteous.The #Tribulation is God's wrath upon the evil of this world, and it's not for the righteous. Click To Tweet
What of the many people who will be saved during the Tribulation time period? We saw in verse 2 a description of those who have accepted Jesus during the Tribulation, but they have been killed by the Antichrist for accepting Jesus. Interestingly enough, now they are considered victorious by the Lord. They are up in Heaven before the Throne of God and there is a great river of light that flows from His throne. The river is refereed to as the Sea of Glass. What a wild picture — a sea of glass — and fiery water, too! It must be an amazing sea to look at. That is where the Tribulation Saints go after death.
God’s wrath is not meant for those who have accepted Jesus as Savior before the Tribulation. But, after the Tribulation, they waited to accept Christ’s salvation until it was too late. Those left behind will have to endure the Tribulation, and more than likely once saved, they will be killed by the Antichrist for their faith.
There are indeed different yet not biblically sound views about the Church living on the earth through the Tribulation. I would counter that the Church is promised again and again, especially in Revelation 3:10, that the Church is not destined to endure the wrath of God in the Tribulation.The #Church is not destined to endure the wrath of #God in the #Tribulation. Click To Tweet
Notice how concerning the Seven Bowl Judgments, which out of the 21 are the last seven, verse one declares, “for in them the wrath of God is complete.” For those who would argue that the wrath of God starts with the Bowl Judgments, they have a dilemma with this verse. Those who hold to the Pre-Wrath Rapture view, that is they believe that God’s wrath starts at the end of the Tribulation during the Bowl Judgments, and some even add the Seventh Trumpet Judgment, have to contend with Revelation 15:1. God’s wrath is complete. It doesn’t say “started.” God’s wrath is completed with the Bowl Judgments, not beginning. No, God’s wrath began with Jesus opening the very first Seal Judgment and covers all 21 judgments from start to finish. The whole seven-year Tribulation in its entirety is the wrath of God.The whole seven-year #Tribulation in its entirety is the wrath of #God. #prophecy Click To Tweet
Vic Batista: Excellent point! When you go with a literal interpretation of Scripture, you end up understanding Revelation from a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, Pre-Millennial point of view. I believe this interpretation is the most accurate because you really look at the entire Word of God.
Some people try to twist the Scriptures. Doing so brings no comfort, it brings no peace, and they really do not rightly represent God. God is a God of justice, love, and order. But, He has another side; He has to judge sin. God is not going to judge His people along with the wicked. Even if the Bible didn’t make that point clear, Him doing so just doesn’t make any sense. That’s why when some try to put the Church into the Tribulation, or they say that the Rapture is merely a new theory invented back in the 1800’s, I stand up for what is biblically taught.
Nathan Jones: There are so many verses which show that the Church is not meant for the wrath of God. For instance, Revelation 3:10 promise, “Since you have kept my commandments and you were patient, I will also keep you for the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.” Or, check out 1 Thessalonians 1:10, “And to wait for His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from the dead, Jesus who rescues us from the coming wrath.” Or, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” I could go on and on with other verses.
The Bible is very clear — the Church is not meant to endure the Tribulation. Just like Noah’s family was not meant to be killed by the Flood, believers in Christ in this time period are not meant to have to endure the wrath of God during the Tribulation.
The Song of the Martyred
Vic Batista: When it comes to Revelation 15 revealing the seven mighty angels of the Trumpet Judgments, it’s very important for us to understand where they are placed in the order of events. The Tribulation started with the Seven Seal Judgments, followed by the Seven Trumpet Judgments, and now we are going to start the Bowl, also called Vial, Judgments.
Nathan Jones: Remember that the Seven Seal Judgments and six of the seven Trumpet Judgments actually happened during the first 3.5 years of the seven-year Tribulation. During the Seal Judgments the Antichrist was released upon the world causing global war resulting in a tremendous famine, pestilence, death, a terrible persecution of the Saints, and a terrible earthquake.
Then we got into the Trumpet Judgments and a third of both the fresh waters and the ocean waters become polluted. Demons who had been trapped in the Bottomless Pit are released to stomp around the world killing people. Four other demons follow and they destroy another third of the remaining world population.
Over and over again these judgments of God rain down upon the world resulting in less and less people remaining alive by the time we get to the Bowl Judgments. Revelation 15 is actually an introduction to the Bowl Judgments, because we officially read about the Bowl Judgments in chapter 16. The Bible in chapter 15 is setting the narrative up and painting a picture of what’s about to happen. John is telling the story of what he’s seeing, which becomes the introduction to these incredible seven angels who will release what is the worst of God’s wrath upon mankind. So far we have been reading about tremendous, terrible, devastating judgments, but these final seven which take place near the end of the Tribulation will be the worse that humanity has ever had to endure since the Flood.
Vic Batista: The Bible sets up the scene like a big drama that is about to take place, much like Revelation 8 did when there was silence in Heaven before the Trumpet Judgments came. We are in the calm before the storm yet again.
Nathan Jones: Revelation 15 is also meant to give people hope during the Tribulation, too, because as we read in verse 2 some people have victory over the Beast, over his image, and over his mark. In other words, they didn’t take the Mark of the Beast, which is the loyalty mark that the Antichrist and the False Prophet will require all the world to take if they wish to buy or sell. If the Tribulation inhabitants don’t swear loyalty to the Antichrist, he will have them killed.
We know from reading passages in Revelation that during the Tribulation there will be an obscene amount of people martyred. In verse 2, the Saints are shown standing before God and before an incredible vista — a burning sea! We are not describing Hell here, but a different kind of fire. Verse 2 tells of how those martyred are given hearts to praise the Lord, for they are victorious in the Lord, and so they are victorious over the Antichrist who killed them as well. It’s ironic to think that their deaths were actually their victory over Satan.
Vic Batista: Then there is going to be singing in Heaven, as Revelation 15:3 reads: “They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb saying…” Moses and Jesus both wrote songs The Saints sing:
“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.”
Vic Batista: Heaven is such a joyful place, and there’s going to be so much singing! God is not opposed to music.
Nathan Jones: True, God is an expert at everything. He is also an expert at music, songs and poetry. He loved King David especially who was a warrior poet. David spent a lot of time, when he wasn’t chopping heads off that is, writing poetry. The Lord loved his songs, and even today 3,000 years later, we can read the book of Psalms.
In Revelation 15, here the Tribulation Saints have died after they had accepted Jesus. They were killed for their faith or during the judgments that fell on the world, and now they stand before God singing His victory song. So, because these coming Bowl Judgments will be so horrific, the Bible takes a minute to stop and give the reader some pleasantness.
Vic Batista: I love verse 4 because it talks about how one day all the nations of the world shall come and worship before the Lord. It seems today that the governments of the nations think that they are running the show. We see Russia and America and so many others that really think they can do whatever they want and God will not hold them accountable for their injustices, but here the Bible responds differently.
Nathan Jones: Psalm 2 describes how the nations plot in vain, but that God sits up in Heaven and laughs. All our human administrations and powers and the corrupt governments and the little dictators are all trying to rule the world, but God sits up there and He laughs. God doesn’t laugh because He enjoys the suffering of people, but because He knows that whatever mankind tries to accomplish apart from Him, nothing we do can compare to His might, power, and His coming Kingdom.
Vic Batista: Excellent point, and how wonderful this heavenly song of Moses is! The Old Testament records other songs of Moses, but I really love Revelation 15’s wording here, for it foretells a time coming when Jesus will rule over the nations in peace, righteousness and justice.
In the thirty-fifth segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels of Revelation 15 will emerge from the Heavenly Temple.