We enter another chapter and as we do I’m wondering what happened to the dragon and the two beasts? We left them behind some time ago and they have been busy deceiving as many as possible. Is this just going to go on? Will the political powers and the religious powers simply continue to sweep across the seas and earth wreaking havoc? Will evil prosper? Look at the news this morning? Death, pain, suffering, anger, earthquakes, wars, the list continues every single day of this world. How long? That is our prayer surely. So we read chapter 15 …
“I saw in heaven another great and marvellous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. 2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvellous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
4 Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
5 After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. 6 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. 7 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. 8 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 v 1-8)
It is time to end this darkness, this evil that dominates, the dragon and his beasts and their freedom to roam. This is the last of the seven plagues. The completion, the fulfilment of God’s purpose, it is the end of evil.
Can you imagine a day without evil? Without pain and death? It is coming. It is here.
It is the showdown of all showdowns.
The 7 angels carry out the 7 last plagues. As we move forward into the next chapters we will see the culmination of the world’s history. These are not the plagues of the seven trumpets which cover the world’s history and whilst the gospel is being preached, intercessors are praying and the followers of Jesus are being martyred. Those plagues were to bring the world to repentance.
No. These are prior to the Second Coming of Christ. These are as the doorway of heaven shuts (see v8). These 7 plagues are not for repentance but for closure.
What’s the take-home for this morning? As the 7 angels prepare to move out into the world with judgment can you see the inhabitants of the heavenly temple?
The victorious ones may have suffered loss in their world by refusing to follow the beasts but it doesn’t look like that now!
The beasts defeat them by even martyring them but in that martyrdom they defeat the beasts because they did not deny Christ.
Eternal perspective, that’s what we need. Lift up your heads. Don’t look down in defeat when your eternity is full of victory. This world and what it offers may only be pain and trouble and hardship. But it is coming to an end and when it does you will safely be home!