Chapter Fifteen

The Temple in Heaven Is Opened

We have had the Seven Seals, the Seven Trumpets, and the Parenthetical Section of Chapters Twelve through Fourteen is now complete. Now, in this Chapter, the final Seven Bowls are the Grand Finale for the chief, pre-Armageddon, judgments. Just as Chapters Four and Five showed us the heavenly scene before the Tribulation Period began; likewise, here, in Chapter Fifteen, the scene is placed in Heaven before the next series of judgments begin. John sees the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony open, before the bowls are poured out, in Chapter Sixteen.

Since the Bowl Judgments are even more harsh than the Trumpets, as the Trumpets were harsher than the Seals, we know that these judgments do not fall at the same time. These are the “last” before Armageddon. The Armageddon destruction comes after these, for the Beast’s kingdom only suffers attack in Revelation 16:2, 10, 19. In Revelation 19:11-21, at Armageddon, the Beast and all of his followers are forever destroyed.

Revelation 15:1.

“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God”( Revelation 15:1)

          “For in them is filled up the wrath of God.”

   The words “filled up” here are from the Greek word teleō meaning "to finish, to bring to an end" (telos, "an end"), and frequently signifies, not merely to terminate a thing, but to carry out a thing to the full.We know the destruction of One-World Religious System of Babylon, and the Antichrist’s Commercial Babylon, and the Battle of Armageddon are in the immediate future. This will be followed by the Judgment of the Nations at the end of the Tribulation Period, and before the Kingdom is set up.

Only those, who reject the Bible, deny the fact that a Holy God shows His wrath against sin and rebellious sinners. These are like the idol worshippers of the Old Testament, who carve out their own Gods according to their own imaginations. God speaks of them in Romans 1:32,

 “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”

During this time, men will seek to hide from the catastrophes to come, just as we prepare for times of catastrophe today. It will be the same as in Revelation 6:15 when the first judgments began to fall on Earth.

“And the kings of the Earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains” (Revelation 6:15);

All heads of government usually have a place prepared to run their governments from, in the event of an enemy’s attack. Saddam Hassain and Muhamar Quadafi had their bunkers, and our government has a place of refuge as well.

“The President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) is a structure that lies beneath the East Wing of the White House in the United States. Originally constructed for President Franklin D. Roosevelt during world War II, it is built to withstand a nuclear hit [and is likely to be the President's evacuation point in the event of an incoming ICBM (the main protocols of escape are highly classified).

It is not in the same location as the Situation Room, which is in the basement of the West Wing. However, it does possess several televisions, telephones and a communications system to coordinate with other government entities during an emergency. During a breach of White House security, to include P-56 airspace violators, the President and other protectees will be relocated to the executive briefing room, next to the PEOC.

Day to day, the PEOC is manned around the clock by joint service military officers and NCOs. Dramatized versions of PEOC were featured in the 2010 films “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra” and “Salt,” the 2013 films “Olympus Has Fallen” and “White House Down,” and the seasons four and six of the TV series “24.”

In Revelation 15:7, the word “vial,” actually, means “bowl.” These judgments will be the most severe. The judgments will not occur over a long period of time, but the bowls will be poured out upon the Earth,  suddenly. The Bowl Judgments, the last in the series of judgments, are direct judgments from God, Himself. In Revelation 6:17, the question is asked,

 “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6:17)

No one will be able to stand. There will be those who laugh at the idea of things like this happening; but, if they reject Christ, and end up in the Tribulation Period, it will be no laughing matter.

Revelation 15:2-4.

 “And I saw as it were 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.”

These are those who stood up against the multitude, and the demon controlled government of the Antichrist. They did not take the Mark, “666.” In this Grand Finale in Heaven, it is evident that both the Heavenly Choir and its orchestra are assembled, with its number increased by these new members receiving the “harps of God.” And what was their song? They sang of “Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb.” Revelation 15:3,4:

“And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (3). 

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; for thy judgments are made manifest” (4).

This “choir” seems to be made up of both Jew, and Gentile, who have been saved during this Great Tribulation Period. They sing both “the song of Moses” and “the song of the Lamb,” showing that those who have trusted Christ as their Savior are “one in Christ Jesus.” I can picture the great Apostle Paul handing out the harps to the new and victorious martyrs. He would remind them that believers are all one in Christ Jesus, as he wrote in Galatians 3:28,

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

 Many often ask, “Were people saved differently in the Old Testament than the New Testament?” Absolutely not! It is so simple. In the Old Testament, in Genesis 3:15, immediately after Adam and Eve sinned, we have the promise of the coming of the Messiah. They had the Lamb sacrifices which pointed to the Lamb of God, who was introduced by John the Baptist in John 1:29,

“The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”

Their bringing of the lamb sacrifice showed they believed the record God gave of His Son. They were looking forward to the appointed time when Christ would come to Earth, die on the Cross, and pay for the sin of the world. Their faith was looking forward to Christ’s coming. The blood that was shed by the lamb sacrifice, offered by the priests upon the altar for the forgiveness of sins, only provided a covering (atonement) for sin. The covering sacrifice diverted the punishment of Almighty God upon the people.

When Christ came, He became our High Priest. There are no priests today in any religion. There are none in Roman Catholicism. Mormons, also, claim to have a high priesthood, but there are no priests in Mormonism, either.  All you have to do is read the Book of Hebrews. When Christ came, He became our High Priest. There are no more Old Testament priests. They have fulfilled their purpose and have been done away with. There are no priests after the time of Jesus Christ. He is our High Priest. As we are told in Hebrews 9:11,12,  

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building (11);  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (12).

You have elders, bishops, and deacons, but you have no priests. In fact, the Book of Hebrews tells us that the priesthood is “untransferable.” It will not be changed or transferred to anyone else.

 “But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable [un-transferable] priesthood”(Hebrews 7:24).

Therefore, when Christ was risen from the dead, and the Temple curtain was split right down the middle, that was showing us that we need no priest to offer any sacrifice for us, whatsoever. Hebrews 10:19, 20 tells us that we can go in ourselves.

“Having therefore, brethren,  boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, (19) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh”  (Hebrews 10:19-20);

 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Timothy 2:5).

We do not need a priest, a minister, a bishop, an elder, nor a Rabbi, to intercede with God for us. You have a High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ. And God also says, “I do not want you to call any man in the religious realm by the name of ‘Father’ today.”

 “And call no man your father upon the Earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven” (Matthew 23:9).

Christ rebuked the religious leaders, of that time, because they wanted to be called “Rabbi, Rabbi.” They wanted that position as “Father,” because that is a religious title they loved to have. They were soaking in their self-righteousness, and fed on the admiration of the people. Christ rebuked them for that. He said, “I am your High Priest, I am your teacher, I am your Messiah.”

While going through Bible College, I have asked a few priests why they wanted to be called “Father.” I got various answers, but one priest did respond in a very unusual way, “Son, I am going to tell you the truth since you ask. If we can get people to address us as ‘Father,’ we know we have their respect, and they will believe anything else we tell them.”

 “Neither be ye called masters [teachers] : for one is your Master, even Christ” (Matthew 23:10)

When Christ told them that he was Christ, that is “kristos,” that meant He was “the Anointed One, the Messiah.” Now, He wants us to come boldly before the Throne of Grace. The only Intercessor you have, between God and Man, is Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear about this in Hebrews 10:11,12.

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins (11):  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God”  (12);

Yet, people get mad at Pastor Younce for telling them what the Bible says. I did not write it. I did not make it up. But I’ll tell you one thing, I am going to preach it.

There is a very interesting verse in Proverbs 29:25. This is a good verse to commit to memory because this is a precept that can govern your life. It says,

“The fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the LORD shall be safe”

If you fear what any religious leader is going to do because you expose something, it will be a snare to you. You will fail to witness for Jesus Christ, because you have allowed someone to intimidate you.

Exodus 15:1-21 gives us the glorious song of Moses, referred to here in the Book of Revelation, and was given to commemorate the deliverance from the Egyptian armies. How well these verses fit the Tribulation Period. The enemy was wicked and rebellious against God. The situation was dire. They were up against the Red Sea and all seemed lost, but God intervened with a miracle. This will be the case in Matthew 24:21,22,

 “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (21).

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened” (22).

Exodus 15:11 is a glorious stanza in the Song of Moses. The theme and the title of this ancient hymn is “Me-ca-mo-cah,” meaning “Who Is Like Unto Thee?”

 “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?”  (Exodus 15:11).

In this particular period of time, just as Christians once faced lions in the arenas of Rome, the time will come when they, again, will face persecution and death. What a day of victory this verse illustrates of the Tribulation saints. At one moment, Satan has them in his grasp. Some are merely persecuted, but some are martyred. In the next moment, the redeemed arrive to a “sea of glass” in the glorious throne room of Heaven. The curses, the blasphemies, the trials, and the tears, will all be in the past. Suddenly, they will be singing the songs of victory. A familiar song that we often sing in our church is, “It Will Be Worth It All When We See Jesus. One line is especially comforting, “One glimpse of His dear face, All sorrow will erase,” as is a line from another familiar song, “What a day that will be, When our Jesus we shall see.”

Revelation 15:5,6.

“And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened (5). And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles” (6).

I would like for you to notice, in these two verses, that the sequence of the Book is continuing.  In Revelation 11:15, the Seventh Trumpet finally sounded, and in 11:19, the heavenly temple was revealed. After the parenthetical visions of Chapters 12 to 14 show us how evil will rule during the last half of the Tribulation, we again return to the judgments of the Seventh Trumpet. The heavenly temple opens with the final Seven Plagues coming out of it.

Angels bring the plagues out of the heavenly temple, and they are dressed in white, and have golden belts. In 15:6, the King James translates “girdles,” but the Greek word is “zone,” and it literally means a belt. The garments of the angels show that these plagues will be holy and righteous judgments. The temple, with its altars, speaks of God’s holiness, and the requirement that sin be dealt with. The white clothed angels speak of holiness. Even the golden belts remind us of God’s righteousness, and His faithfulness, as recorded in Isaiah 11:5,

 “And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.”

The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony.” This reminds us of God’s tent, that is His Tabernacle of the Testimony, which Israel carried with them when they were led by Moses on their wilderness journeys.

Then, in 15:5, we come to the words “after that.” The Greek is “meta tauta,” and, literally, means “after these things.” This seems to be one of John’s favorite expressions, and his consistent usage shows his desire to inform us as to when the different events are going to occur.

There are disastrous scenes of the dead from every war, but in the first three-and-a-half years of the Tribulation Period, it is going to take Israel seven months to bury the dead, of Russia, and her allies that come against Israel in the First Battle of Gog and Magog. That battle occurs, almost, immediately after the Rapture. You can find that in Ezekiel, Chapter 38 and 39. (You can look at this on the Chart on Page 46).

In Old Testament times, the Ark of the Covenant was of great importance to the nation of Israel. The Ark was made, after the golden calf was destroyed, in Deuteronomy 9:16-21. (The full account for the golden calf is found in Exodus 32.) The Ark was instrumental in the crossing of the Jordan on dry land for Joshua. We can find that in Joshua, Chapter 3. It was taken into battle against the Philistines, and they captured it. At that point, in 1 Samuel 4:21 we are told, “The glory is departed from Israel because the Ark of God was taken.” “Ichabod,” meaning “the glory is departed.” It was returned later, and David, eventually, brought the Ark to Jerusalem. Jeremiah prophesied that, in time, the Ark would no longer be significant for worship. (Jeremiah 3:16) When Christ came, He became our Ark of the Covenant, our Protector, and our Savior.

In Revelation 15:5,6, the Temple in Heaven is once again opened, as the Seven Angels prepare to release the most awesome judgments on sinful mankind.

Revelation 15:7, 8.

 “And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever (7).  And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled” (8).

We find, in Revelation 15:7, that one of the four beasts (the Greek word for beasts here is “zōon” meaning “livng creatures”) gave these Vials of Wrath to the Seven Angels. This again shows us that the holiness of God demands that the great sin of the Earth meet with these great punishments. We know this, because each of the four creatures was continually occupied night and day in praising God’s holiness saying,

 “…Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8).

“Smoke from the glory of God…no man was able to enter…” This reveals to us that the matter is now irreversable. Sentence has been passed, and nothing can turn it back. The Seven Bowls of Wrath are now about to be poured out on the Antichrist, and his followers. The Bowls, or the Vials of Wrath, convey to us an image of God’s wrath against sin being stored up in the bowls, fuller and fuller, until they are overflowing with judgment.

What we ought to see here is not one large angel pouring out seven little thimbles of judgment upon the corrupted Earth. We should see Seven Angels pouring out gigantic bowls, larger even than the angels themselves, filled with the boiling and smoking wrath of God against the rebel sinners who will not come to Christ for forgiveness. They would actually, rather, curse God and die in their sin.

We see that in people we witness to. We led one young man to the Lord last week and, as I was getting ready to leave, he put out his hand and said, “Thank you for coming.” We invited him to church. He lives in another town and I hope that he can come. He said, “Thank you for coming and for telling me about Jesus Christ.”

You witnesss somewhere else, and they will say, “Oh, I don’t want to hear that. Take your old cult religion and go somewhere else!” It all amounts to this. Do you want to know the truth? No one can do anything for you, if you do not have a desire to know the truth.

If an alcoholic cannot face himself and admit he is an alcoholic, there is not anything in the world that you can do for him. If you pamper him and baby him, he will go out and get drunk again. He will just keep on drinking. He has got to have a will to make a change. Someone addicted to drugs faces the same thing. You cannot do anything for them until they realize “I want more out of life than what these drugs or alcohol have taken away from me.” They must come to that point, and want to do something about it.

It all comes down to this, each one of us must give an account of ourselves to the Lord. I want to tell everyone I can that Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven. I don’t care what church you go to that supplements something else for the truth of God’s Word.  I am going to say, “You’re wrong, Brother, and that’s the way it goes. Here’s what the Bible says.”

 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6)

I would fight for your right, as an American, for you to believe contrary to what I do, but I expect you to fight for my right to preach, and stand on the convictions that I have from believing the Bible. It seems that the unbeliever wants all of his rights, but he does not want to give anyone else the right to disagree with him.

 “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (1 Peter 4:12):

 “If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye, for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified” (1 Peter 4:14).

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