MP3: The Mighty Angels of Revelation 15-16
Hosts: Nathan Jones & Vic Batista
The Seraphim in Charge
Vic Batista: In Revelation 15:5-8, we see again another scene developing after the martyred Tribulation Saints have sung Moses’ song of praise to Jesus. We now see seven more mighty angels emerging out of God’s celestial Heaven.
“After these things I looked, and behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened. And out of the temple came the seven angels having the seven plagues, clothed in pure bright linen, and having their chests girded with golden bands. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls full of the wrath of God who lives forever and ever. The temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from His power, and no one was able to enter the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed.”
Vic Batista: Wow, what brilliantly adorned angels! The inhabitants of heaven are clothed in pure white. This description also reminds me of Revelation 1 where it described the gleaming appearance of the Lord.
Nathan Jones: Yes, bright white linens in the Bible symbolize purity and holiness. These angels are not demons obviously, for they haven’t rebelled against God. That is what sin is, it is rebellion. Instead, here are seven special angels donned in white who have been set apart to pour down the worst of God’s wrath.
In verse 7 we see the Four Living Creatures at work again. There are four special seraphim who stand before the Throne of God. They are like animal creature mixtures, almost like something out of Greek mythology in the way they look. They are weirdly all covered in eyes. One of these seraphim then gives to the seven angels the seven bowls of God’s wrath. Think of these four living creatures who stand before the Throne of God as special angels who are kind of like butlers. A butler is the servant over a staff of servants. These Four Living Creatures are like butlers and are “in charge” of God’s staff.
Or, think of the seraphim as being like the executive officer to the captain of a ship. A ship’s captain gives a command and the exec will then relay that order to the staff on the bridge. The captain rarely gives an order directly to his crew. He always waits for his senior staff to relay his order. Personally, I have never understood why the navy functions that way, but that is how the navy does it. And, this is how God does it as well. He relays an order through the Four Living Creatures and then they are the ones who give the marching orders to the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels.
Vic Batista: This scene reminds me of Acts 6 when the Apostle raised deacons so they themselves could focus on doing the work of prayer and preaching the Word. Likewise, Heaven has a chain of command with angels fulfilling different job responsibilities.
Nathan Jones: As we’ve been reading about the different angels in Revelation, we’ve discovered that there is definitely a hierarchy among the angels. They all have different responsibilities. They are all messengers and are all servants of the Lord, and they are not to be worshiped. They have very clear jobs to accomplish in the service of the Lord. There is a hierarchy under the Four Living Creatures and Michael the Archangel. There are also hints that there might be other archangels such as Gabriel, God’s main messenger. These are the angels who are clearly at the top of the hierarchy of angels.
Vic Batista: In the Apocrypha it describes Raphael and some other named angels, though we cannot take that non-inspired book as canon. God certainly has created a lot of angelic beings, and we are going to just be amazed when we get to Heaven and meet them all. I want to particularly meet the Four Living Creatures, for they are going to be awesome to behold!
Nathan Jones: The description in Revelation 4 of the Four Living Creatures reveals they are covered in eyes, even on their six wings. One seraphim has the face of a lion, one an ox, one a bird or eagle, and the last a man. The imagery is rather spooky when you think about it. I guess when we get up in Heaven we won’t be scared of them.
The Heavenly Temple
Vic Batista: I love verse 8 which talks a little about the Heavenly Temple. The passage says the Temple is filled with the smoke from the glory of God and from His power. No one was able to enter the Temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. This is an even more incredible scene when you consider Revelation 4 where it talks about the unbelievable size of the Temple in Heaven.
Nathan Jones: When the Jews built the Tabernacle, which was merely a tent that they traveled around with for a few hundred years, it was meant to be a symbol of the real Temple in Heaven, which is God’s throneroom. In the Tabernacle there was a little inmost section called the Holy of Holies, and that is where the Shekinah Glory of God dwelled. Later, when Solomon built the Temple, and then it was later rebuilt by Zerubbabel, the building of course wasn’t a tent anymore. God was very specific about the dimensions of both the Tabernacle and the Temple, and particularly about the Holy of Holies, because they were symbols, or an earthly representation, of the heavenly Temple.
How exciting to know that there is a temple in Heaven! During the Millennial Kingdom, there will also be an earthly temple in Jerusalem, but the New Jerusalem which is the eternal Heaven that will come down to a New Earth during the Eternal State, that will be the true Temple of God. We will see actually get to see it one day. We will be inside it one day!
Revelation 15:8 reveals an odd thing. During the releasing of the seven last plagues, God vacates the Temple. That means that millions of angels, the 24 elders who sit before the Throne, the four seraphim who stand before the Throne, and all the different people that we just read who are worshiping before the Sea of Glass — all of them — will all have to vacate. For some reason, God makes them leave the Heavenly Temple. Clear the bridge! Only those seven angels, and I assume God Himself, will remain there to deliver the last of God’s judgments.
The Peace of Prophecy
Vic Batista: Wow! With such an incredible scene as we are looking at Revelation 15 concerning this third set of seven mighty angels, as we move about prophetically through the Word of God it can cause the reader to be a little bit fearful. For the believer in Christ, you don’t have to be afraid, for there is peace and comfort in a relationship with Jesus Christ.There is peace and comfort in a relationship with #JesusChrist. Click To Tweet
Nathan Jones: Jesus Christ died for our sins. Can you imagine that the God of the Universe loves us so much that He was willing to give up His one and only Son to die in our place? When we sin against God, His wrath falls upon us and the sentence of Hell hangs over us. But, Jesus died on the cross and then beat death by resurrecting Himself from the grave. When we put our faith and trust in Jesus as the Savior and Son of God, that judgment moves off of us and unto Jesus Christ. He is the Savior, meaning He saves us from ourselves and God’s wrath. Once saved, we can then stand pure before the Lord without the stench of our sins upon us. God’s judgment is gone and we can stand before the Lord in holiness and forever and ever dwell with Him. What a sacrifice!
Vic Batista: For those who do not have a relationship with the Lord, open up your heart to Jesus Christ.
Revelation is not all gloom, doom and fear, for there is always hope found in Jesus Christ.
Nathan Jones: We are about to enter into the worst time in all of human history as we study Revelation 16. But, the Bible always makes sure to bring us back to our hope in the Lord, for that is really what Bible prophecy is all about — victory in Jesus Christ! Also, we gain some perspective, for though we all go through some tough times in our lives, compared to the end of the Tribulation, our tough times will seem like nothing compared to the eternity of bliss of dwelling with the Lord forever.
When we look at Bible prophecy, it is supposed to bring us hope. We are not supposed to be caught up in the gloom and doom of it all, but many people when it comes to Bible prophecy are stuck in the horrific details. They are fascinated by all the destruction and death, but that is not what Bible prophecy is supposed to be about. It is about hope in Christ.
Vic Batista: It is about hope. There are always issues and scary events that are going to pop up in Revelation. What’s sad to me when I am looking at videos people send me, it seems the reason they want to learn about Bible prophecy is because of all the hype and the gloom and doom. But, there is so much hope in the message for the Church today. I believe Bible prophecy provides an evangelistic opportunity for us to go out and do something with our faith once we internalize that the Lord is coming soon.
Nathan Jones: That’s what Bible prophecy should drive us to do. It should drive us to, one, live holy lives because Jesus could come at any moment, and two, evangelize while there is still time. There are people who we want to see get saved. We don’t want them to have to live through the Tribulation. We want them to become saved and avoid the Tribulation and to grow in their lives with Christ forever. Bible prophecy should motivate us to do both of those things.
In the thirty-sixth segment of our series “The Mighty Angels of Revelation,” the Seven Bowl Judgment Angels of Revelation 16 will pour out God’s final wrath upon the world.