Revelation 15:1-4

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Rev 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.
Rev 15:2  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.
Rev 15:3  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.
Rev 15:4  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.
Introduction
This fifteenth chapter of the book of Revelation is only 8 verses long and is essentially nothing more than the introduction of the sounding of the seventh trumpet which we are told is ‘great and marvelous’ because of the importance which scripture places upon this event within our lives. It consists of the pouring out of the “seven vials” or the seven bowls of the seven last plagues. This trumpet is part of a complete sounding of the trumpet which is called “seven trumpets, and it cannot be considered apart from the other six trumpets. To separate this trumpet from the others would be like saying the first six vials of God’s wrath are for most people, but the seventh is only for the really wicked. Or ‘the first six seals are for most people but the seventh seal is only for the extremely wicked’. God’s word is never to be handled in that way. We live by it all (Mat 4:4), and it is all for ‘he that reads, hears and keeps the things written therein’ (Rev 1:3). So these seven last plagues are brought into our spiritual view by “seven angels”, or messengers, and the very fact that the spirit has inspired the use of the number ‘seven’ tells us that if our understanding is to be complete, then every word is to be kept by those who are given to ‘read, and hear and keep what is written here’.
So we are about to finally discover what happens “in the days of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound…” We are about to discover what must take place before “the mystery of God [“which is Christ in you”] should be finished” within us. Here it is again:

Rev 10:7  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

Once again, we are reminded in verses 3 and 4 of this fifteenth chapter of Revelation, that these seven last plagues are the “works… ways… and manifest… judgments of our Lord”, and in 1Pe 4:17 we are told that God’s judgments “first begin with us.

1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

We know this is all “within” us because we are told that Christ is come to judge this world, and we are told that His coming is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” We are even told what qualifies him to judge this world within us:

Joh 5:25  Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they [ the dead] that hear shall live.
Joh 5:26  For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
Joh 5:27  And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

There it is. That is the qualification for those who will “execute judgment.” They must all be “the son of man”. “The hour now is that the dead hear the voice of the Son of God“, and that ability to “hear the voice of the Son of God”, and to understand “the mystery of God… is made manifest [ only] to His saints”.

Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

If we forget that it is the sounding of the trumpet of this seventh angel in our lives which facilitates the “finishing of the mystery of God” within us, then we will never realize the finishing of that work in our lives. If we deny that the sounding of the trumpet of this seventh angel with his seven last plagues has anything to do with the finishing of the mystery of God in our lives, then “we will be judged out of our own mouth”, and we will never “enter into the temple” of God, until “the seven plagues of the seven angels is fulfilled” (Verse 8).

Rev 15:8  And the temple [“which temple ye are” 1Co 3:16-17] 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.
Luk 19:22  And he saith unto him, Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up that I laid not down, and reaping that I did not sow:
Rev 22:18  For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
Rev 22:19  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book

So these seven plagues are going to be fulfilled in the lives of “every man” who has ever lived, and we are plainly told that it is a bitter experience for us all. Here are the verses from chapter ten which follow verse seven, and which tell us of the bitterness of having to “keep… every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.

Rev 10:7  But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
Rev 10:8  And the voice which I heard from heaven spake unto me again, and said, Go and take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel which standeth upon the sea and upon the earth.
Rev 10:9  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Rev 10:10  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
Rev 10:11  And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

As we have demonstrated, it is “the Israel of God”, including Gentile Galatians (Gal 6:15-16), who are “redeemed from every nation…” (Rev 5:9). We all rejoice to learn the truths we are learning. These wonderful truths are sweet in our mouths as we first hear and learn about them. But here is what happens when we “eat this book”:

Eze 2:3  And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.
Eze 2:4  For they are impudent children and stiffhearted. I do send thee unto them; and thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD.
Eze 2:5  And they, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, (for they are a rebellious house,) yet shall know that there hath been a prophet among them.
Eze 2:6  And thou, son of man, be not afraid of them, neither be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns be with thee, and thou dost dwell among scorpions: be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they be a rebellious house.
Eze 2:7  And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
Eze 2:8  But thou, son of man, hear what I say unto thee; Be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth, and eat that I give thee.
Eze 2:9  And when I looked, behold, an hand was sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein;
Eze 2:10  And he spread it before me; and it was written within and without: and there was written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe. [“the seven plagues of the seven angels”]

It is when we discover that we are required to “prophesy before many people” and live out these words in our lives that we all end up praying this prayer:

Luk 22:42  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

We will one and all “eat this book”, and in doing so, we will “fulfill the seven plagues of the seven angels” in our own lives. It is at our own peril that we think we can eat all but “the seven plagues of the seven angels”. We will eat this entire book, including the seven last plagues. It will either be while we live in these vessels of clay, or they will be fulfilled in our lives as resurrected spiritual bodies in a place called “the lake of fire”. But in the end, “the mystery which has been hid from ages and generations” will be fulfilled and realized in “every man”, and “every man” will experience that same “one event” which we have referenced so many times in Ecc 9:2.

Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.

Now let’s remind ourselves what that “mystery of God, which He declared to His servants the prophets” really is. Here are the scriptures:

Col 1:26  Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:
Col 1:27  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
Col 1:28  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:

Col 1:28, is the fulfillment of Rev 10:9-11. Let’s read it again:

Rev 10:9  And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.
Rev 10:10  And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.
Rev 10:11  And he said unto me, Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings.

“Thou must prophesy again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings”. It is this commission, to be a faithful witness to the words of this prophecy, which is an integral part of the experience of the seven vials of the seven angels, and the “finishing of the mystery of God” and the birth of “Christ in you”.
So “every man will be presented perfect in Christ Jesus” in his own time, and “every man” will, at his own appointed time, “enter into the temple, when the seven plagues of the seven angels are fulfilled” in his life. So there really is but “one event… which comes alike to all men”. All of “man[ kind really] shall… live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”, and “all things [ really] are ours, things present and things to come”, and “every day we live [ really] was written in God’s book before any of them ever were”.

Psa 139:16  Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. (NASB)
Ecc 9:2  All things come alike to all: there is one event to the righteous, and to the wicked; to the good and to the clean, and to the unclean; to him that sacrificeth, and to him that sacrificeth not: as is the good, so is the sinner; and he that sweareth, as he that feareth an oath.
Mat 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
1Co 3:21  Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours;
1Co 3:22  Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours;

With this Truth firmly in place, let’s begin our study of “the words written in this book” which we are instructed from the beginning of this prophecy to read, hear and keep (Rev 1:3).
Rev 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.
Here we are again plainly told that these seven angels with these seven last plagues are a “sign in heaven”. What does that mean? We will not again go through all the scriptures which demonstrate that “heaven” is the spiritual place of God’s dwelling within the hearts and minds of His saints. We have already demonstrated this to be what the scriptures teach. So what we are being told is that these seven angels with these seven last plagues are a sign to God’s elect which prepares our hearts for the fulfilling of these plagues within the hearts and minds of every man who will ever enter into the temple of God.
But what is the purpose of these “seven last plagues” and why are we told that they are a “great and marvellous sign” in [ our] heavens? Here is the purpose for all of God’s wrath upon our “ungodliness and unrighteousness”:

Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18  For [ Greek, gar, because] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

“The just shall live by faith because the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…” That wrath of God, is first revealed against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of those who are chosen to become “the house of God”, and that chastening fire is just as hot and burning against our ungodliness and unrighteousness as it is against those who are predestined to be in that lake of fire. There is “one event to all”.

1Pe 4:12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
1Pe 4:16  Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

Fiery trials are called “fiery” because they are painful. “Fiery trials” and “great earthquakes” are both symbols of how God speaks to and judges the ungodliness and unrighteousness within us. Both are “plagues” upon our weak, flesh and blood, “shapen in iniquity, conceived in sin” bodies.
Why are these plagues called the “last plagues”? The answer is clear. We are told that they are “the manifest judgments of God” (Rev 15:4), and we are told “for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” They are “last” because they are those experiences in our lives which are required to finally finish and “fill up the wrath of God… against our ungodliness and unrighteousness” (Rom 1:18). In other words, these are the experiences which are timed to be so earth- shaking and so severe as to change us from within, in our hearts.

Rev 16:18  And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

At this point we need to ask, is God’s wrath only against certain evil people whose sins are so egregious that they deserve God’s wrath, whereas others are not? Or is the experiencing of God’s wrath something that is common to all men? What do the scriptures teach about this seventh trumpet which “fills up the wrath of God”? Is there really just “one event that is common to all men”, or are God’s “very elect” to “read, hear, and keep the things written in this book”, except for this seventh trumpet? Stated another way, are we to see ourselves as sinners in need of a Savior and perhaps in need of some chastening from our heavenly Father, but never once in need of His wrath?
The answer to that is to simply ask if you or I have ever “held the truth in unrighteousness”?

Rom 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Have you ever been ungodly or unrighteous? Have you ever been an unbeliever? Have you ever taught anything contrary to the truth, while at the same time claiming to be a teacher of and a witness for the Truth? If you have ever done any of these things, and we are all born as sinful flesh and blood (Rom 7:17-21, and Psa 51:5), then this is the Truth concerning God’s wrath as it relates to each of us:

Joh 3:36  He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath [ Greek – orge] of God abideth on him.

Eph 2:1  And you hath he quickened [ given life], who were dead in trespasses and sins [ did not believe];
Eph 2:2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
Eph 2:3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath [ Greek – orge], even as others.
Col 3:5  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6  For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7  In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.

According to the apostle Paul, we have all been “the children of wrath” and “the children of disobedience” and were all “dead in trespasses and sins… hold the truth in unrighteousness, and are chief of sinners” before we were “given life in Christ Jesus”.

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Is this simply a rhetorical statement by the apostle Paul? Or is this not how we are all to come to view ourselves? There are those who contend that God’s wrath is never poured out upon his elect. God’s elect, they contend, are somehow raptured away, or in some way protected from and never, ever exposed to the wrath of God. The whole orthodox Christian world quotes 1Th 5:9 as proof that God has promised to keep his elect from ever having to endure or experience His wrath which is being discussed here in Rev 15-16. Let’s look at that verse and see if it really does guarantee that God’s elect never have and never will endure His wrath upon their ungodliness or unrighteousness. Here Isa 1Th 5:9:

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath [ Greek – orge], but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

It is pointed out by some that the Greek word translated ‘wrath’ in Rev 15:1 is ‘thumos’ and God’s ‘thumos’ wrath is said to be much more severe than God’s ‘orge’ wrath.
For those who make such a clamor and distinction between the Greek words ‘orge’, and ‘thumos’, it is interesting to note that the Greek here in 1Th 5:19, which is touted as proof that we are never to experience God’s wrath, is ‘orge’ and not ‘thumos’. But where in that verse are we told that we never have had and never will have God’s ‘thumos’ or his ‘orge’ wrath poured out upon our ungodliness and unrighteousness? One thing is very clear, there is nothing in 1Th 5:9 that states that God’s elect do not experience His ‘thumos’ wrath.
So is there really any Truth to the argument that the ‘thumos’ wrath of God is somehow disconnected from or different from the ‘orge’ wrath of God? To answer that question we need to remember what we read in the previous chapter of Revelation. Notice how these two Greek words are used in the same verse and are both experienced by all who receive the mark of the beast:

Rev 14:9  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,
Rev 14:10  The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath [ Greek – thumos] of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation [ Greek – orge]; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:

So the ‘thumos’ of God is poured out without dilution into the cup of His ‘orge’. This “cup of God’s ‘orge’, which is full of God’s ‘thumos’ is then drunk by “any man who has ever worshiped the beast and his image, and received his mark in his forehead, or in his hand”. That doctrine is in complete accord with all the rest of the New Testament writings on this subject. Notice who God’s thumos and orge are upon in the writings of the apostle Paul:

Rom 2:5  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath [ Greek – orge] against the day of wrath [ Greek – orge] and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
Rom 2:6  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
Rom 2:7  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
Rom 2:8  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation [ Greek – thumos] and wrath [ Greek – orge],
Rom 2:9  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

So ‘indignation’ and ‘wrath’, ‘thumos’ and ‘orge’, are as closely associated as “tribulation and anguish”. Now since we know that “all things come alike to all” (Ecc 9:2) and since “all things present and things to come are ours” (1Co 3:21-22), and since God’s thumos and His orge are “upon every soul of man that does evil”, and since “all have sinned” (Rom 6:23); How can we not conclude that we do indeed “fulfill the seven plagues of the seven angels”, and we “keep the things which are written” in this 15th and 16th chapters of Revelation?
Job is the Old Testament type of us as we endure these seven plagues which fill up the wrath of God against all of our “ungodliness and unrighteousnesses”. Just like every one of us, Job thought he was totally undeserving of God’s wrath upon his ungodliness and unrighteousness. Job considered himself to be anything but ungodly and unrighteous. If you have any doubt about that then please take the time to read Job 29. Job, just like each of us, despised the judgments of God in his life. Here is what Christ said to Job, in response to Job’s accusations against God’s righteous judgments”

Job 40:6  Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Job 40:7  Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Job 40:8  Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Job 40:9  Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
Job 40:10  Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Job 40:11  Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Job 40:12  Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Job 40:13  Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Job 40:14  Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

It is nothing less than “the pride of life” which leads us to think that  for some reason we ought to escape the “rage of God’s wrath” and “the indignation [ thumos] or God’s wrath [ orge] (Rom 2:8-9). Are we better and less deserving of God’s wrath than Christ?

Isa 54:7  For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
Isa 54:8  In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
Mat 27:45  Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
Mat 27:46  And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Are we better and less deserving of God’s wrath than the apostle Paul?

1Ti 1:15  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

No, of course we are not, and for those who think they are here is another warning from God, which we can add to Rev 22:18-19:

Jer 25:28  And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.
Jer 25:29  For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.
Jer 25:30  Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

If God’s own Son was “foresaken… in little wrath… for a small moment” who are we to declare that we will never know the wrath of God? We will all “certainly drink of His cup and be baptized with His baptism” and be tread out as “the grapes of the earth”.

Mat 20:22  But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, We are able.
Mat 20:23  And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but [ it shall be given to them] for whom it is prepared of my Father.

We are all the first generation of Israel that comes up out of Egypt before we die in the wilderness and become those who enter into God’s rest. So this is what we are told about our old man who refuses to drink the cup of God’s wrath which Christ drank of.

Psa 95:11  Unto whom I sware in my wrath that they should not enter into my rest.

“God’s rest” is in “His habitation” spoken of in Jer 25:30. We are God’s temple and His habitation, and no man will enter into God’s rest or His habitation or His temple “until the seven plagues of the seven angels have been fulfilled”.

Rev 15:8  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.

This last verse takes us back to the first verse. No man can enter the temple till the seven last plagues which “fill up the wrath of God… is fulfilled” in that man’s life.

Rev 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.

Verse 2 ties in perfectly with the seven last plagues as it speaks of the “sea of glass mingled with fire”.

Rev 15:2  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.
What is this “sea of glass mingled with fire”? We read about this same ‘sea’ back in Rev 4:6.

Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

If we fail to understand the symbolism of the “sea” which was part of the temple court, then we will never understand why we are speaking here in Rev 15:2 of “a sea of glass mingled with fire” in this vision of the heavenly temple and its throne and its court. So let’s take a quick look at the ‘sea’ that was between the altar and the tabernacle or the altar and the temple in ancient Israel. In the case of the tabernacle, it is called “a laver”.

Exo 30:17  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Exo 30:18  Thou shalt also make a laver of brass, and his foot also of brass, to wash withal: and thou shalt put it between the tabernacle of the congregation and the altar, and thou shalt put water therein.
Exo 30:19  For Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet thereat:
Exo 30:20  When they go into the tabernacle of the congregation, they shall wash with water, that they die not; or when they come near to the altar to minister, to burn offering made by fire unto the LORD:
Exo 30:21  So they shall wash their hands and their feet, that they die not: and it shall be a statute for ever to them, even to him and to his seed throughout their generations.

Exo 38:8  And he made the laver of brass, and the foot of it of brass, of the lookingglasses of the women assembling, which assembled at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
Exo 40:7  And thou shalt set the laver between the tent of the congregation and the altar, and shalt put water therein.

The word brass is really copper, and being copper, we know this part of our walk is all outside the temple, before any man “can enter the temple”.  Everything inside the tabernacle or the temple was all of gold. That this ‘laver’, or ‘sea’, is copper and is ‘without’ or outside of the temple, tells us that this part of our walk is not to be thought of as being within the tabernacle or temple. This is made clear by this, and many other verses:

Lev 8:11  And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them.

So the ‘sea’, or ‘laver’, is to be considered as part of the court of the temple, where the Levites, who were not the sons of Aaron, and who could not enter into the temple, performed their duties of ministering to the people, and where the priests themselves were to wash and cleanse themselves before entering into the temple “lest they die”, or “until the seven plagues of the seven angels are fulfilled”. That is the spiritual significance of “lest they die”.
It is at the construction of the temple to replace the tabernacle, that we first see this laver, greatly  increased, and in a “line upon line” fashion, we learn that it is now called a “molten sea”.

1Ki 7:23  And he made a molten sea, ten cubits from the one brim to the other: it was round all about, and his height was five cubits: and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
1Ki 7:24  And under the brim of it round about there were knops compassing it, ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about: the knops were cast in two rows, when it was cast.
1Ki 7:25  It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
1Ki 7:26  And it was an hand breadth thick, and the brim thereof was wrought like the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies: it contained two thousand baths.

Here are more very important details given us in the account of the construction of the “molten sea”, in the book of 2Chronicles:

2Ch 4:2  Also he made a molten sea of ten cubits from brim to brim, round in compass, and five cubits the height thereof; and a line of thirty cubits did compass it round about.
2Ch 4:3  And under it was the similitude of oxen, which did compass it round about: ten in a cubit, compassing the sea round about. Two rows of oxen were cast, when it was cast.
2Ch 4:4  It stood upon twelve oxen, three looking toward the north, and three looking toward the west, and three looking toward the south, and three looking toward the east: and the sea was set above upon them, and all their hinder parts were inward.
2Ch 4:5  And the thickness of it was an handbreadth, and the brim of it like the work of the brim of a cup, with flowers of lilies; and it received and held three thousand baths.
2Ch 4:6  He made also ten lavers, and put five on the right hand, and five on the left, to wash in them: such things as they offered for the burnt offering they washed in them; but the sea was for the priests to wash in.
2Ch 4:10  And he set the sea on the right side of the east end, over against the south.

A cubit is said to be 18 inches in length. So this molten sea was 15 feet in diameter. “from brim to brim”. It was 7 and 1/2 feet high, and it was 15 feet in circumference. “And the thickness of  it was a handbreadth.” It stood between the temple and the brasen altar, and only the priests were permitted to wash in this “molten sea”.
“But the sea was for the priests to wash in” tells us why those who are on this “sea of glass mingled with fire”, are God’s “kings and priest”, His very elect, who have overcome the image, name, number and mark of the beast. The Levites, who served the temple but were not the sons of Aaron the high priest, were never permitted to wash in this “molten sea” which is the shadow and type of this “sea of glass, mingled with fire” in the heavens here in Rev 15.
But why is this sea called a sea of glass? The Greek word here is ‘hualinos’, and it means clear or transparent. So those who are on this sea of glass know who they are, from whence they have come and how they have been placed where they are by the sovereign hand of their Lord and Savior. They themselves, like the sea on which they stand at this time in their walk, are completely transparent and have nothing to hide. While it is argued that glass, as we know it today, did not exist when the book of Revelation was written, it is interesting to note that this sea of glass is “like crystal” which was transparent and which did exist when the book of Revelation was written. It is also instructive to note that the glass of today is made of sand which has been melted, unified and purified and made transparent by means of the heat into which it is placed. That is the significance of the fire here as it is the significance of fire throughout God’s Word. God’s fiery Word is the fire mingled with this “sea of glass”. It is God’s Word which has purified and made transparent everyone who stands upon this sea of glass. It is through God’s Word, “Christ in us”, that any of us are given the victory over the beast, his image, his number, his name and his mark. Christ is the fire that is mingled with those who are standing on this clear and transparent “sea of glass”.
The only thing left to inquire of is the fact that everyone on this sea of glass has be given a harp, and the verse ends with these words: “… having the harps of God”. Who have we already been told has “the harps of God”? That is right, once again, this is but a symbol which is peculiar to those who are overcomers and who are Christ’s own “nation of kings and priests”, and who are worthy as Christ’s priests to “wash themselves” in this “sea of glass mingled with fire, before the temple in heaven. Here is why we are told that these people on this “sea of glass” are given harps:

Rev 5:8  And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.

Who are these “four beasts and four and twenty elders”? We are not left to wonder. In the next two verses, they themselves tell us who they symbolize, and we find that they are the symbols of the very ” redeemed… priests” who are worthy to wash themselves in the sea which is between the altar and the temple:

Rev 5:9  And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
Rev 5:10  And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

This same group of overcomers was mentioned in chapter 14, and are again called “redeemed… firstfruits… harping with harps”.

Rev 14:2  And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
Rev 14:3  And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
Rev 14:4  These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
Rev 14:5  And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

It is God’s elect who are symbolized by four beasts and four and twenty elders, who are symbolized by virgins who have not been defiled by women, who bow down to the Lamb and tell us that they are kings and priests, who are the firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, who were redeemed from among men, who stand on the sea of  glass mingled with fire, and who have the harps of God. But we are also told that they sing while “harping with their harps”. Here is what they are singing:

Rev 15:3  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.
The “song of Moses” is “the song of the Lamb”, because both sing about the victory of the obedience of the spirit over the rebellion of our flesh. It is a song about the wrath of God being poured out upon the armies of Egypt within us. Here is the song of Moses:

Exo 15:1  Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the LORD, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.
Exo 15:2  The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Exo 15:3  The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.
Exo 15:4  Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea.
Exo 15:5  The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
Exo 15:6  Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
Exo 15:7  And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble.
Exo 15:8  And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, [ and] the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
Exo 15:9  The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.
Exo 15:10  Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters.
Exo 15:11  Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?
Exo 15:12  Thou stretchedst out thy right hand, the earth swallowed them.
Exo 15:13  Thou in thy mercy hast led forth the people which thou hast redeemed: thou hast guided them in thy strength unto thy holy habitation.
Exo 15:14  The people shall hear, and be afraid: sorrow shall take hold on the inhabitants of Palestina.
Exo 15:15  Then the dukes of Edom shall be amazed; the mighty men of Moab, trembling shall take hold upon them; all the inhabitants of Canaan shall melt away.
Exo 15:16  Fear and dread shall fall upon them; by the greatness of thine arm they shall be as still as a stone; till thy people pass over, O LORD, till the people pass over, which thou hast purchased.
Exo 15:17  Thou shalt bring them in, and plant them in the mountain of thine inheritance, in the place, O LORD, which thou hast made for thee to dwell in, in the Sanctuary, O Lord, which thy hands have established.
Exo 15:18  The LORD shall reign for ever and ever.
Exo 15:19  For the horse of Pharaoh went in with his chariots and with his horsemen into the sea, and the LORD brought again the waters of the sea upon them; but the children of Israel went on dry land in the midst of the sea.

These two verses in Rev 15, summarize all of these first 19 verses of Exo 15:

Rev 15:3  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.
Rev 15:4  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.

The seven plagues of the seven angels are “Thy judgments… made manifest”, and until the seven plagues of the seven angels are fulfilled in our lives, “no man is able to enter into the temple of God in heaven” (Rev 15:8).
Summary

Rev 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.

In this verse we are reminded of the Truth that this is a book of signs and symbols of heavenly realities, and that the angels that bring us to see these heavenly realities are “in heaven” which is within our own hearts and minds. We saw that being seven in number, there is no way of separating the first six plagues from the seventh, and that just as we live all seven trumpets, we must also fulfill all seven vials or bowls of “the wrath of God against all ungodliness and unrighteousness” within each of us (Rom 1:18).

Rev 15:2  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.

In this verse we saw that the only people who are given to wash themselves in the ‘sea’ of God’s fiery words, are His priests. This fiery sea, is not that different from “the devouring fire, and the everlasting burnings” of “the lake of fire”.

Isa 33:14  The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?
Isa 33:15  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

In any case, those who stand on this “sea of glass, mingled with fire”, are certainly the same as “He that walks righteously and speaks uprightly…”
We also saw, that the four beasts, and the four and twenty elders, are also given “the harps of God” and are said to be “harping with their harps”, and they also tell us that they are symbols of God’s very elect.

Rev 15:3  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.
Rev 15:4  Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before the for thy judgments are made manifest.

In these two verses we saw that the song of Moses, celebrates the victory of the obedience of the spirit over the disobedience of the flesh. What is so often missed and what is so often denied is that God’s judgments are said to be “great and marvelous”, both here in verse three, as well as in verse one.  We are also told that “God’s judgments are made manifest” through the seven angels with these seven last plagues of God’s wrath upon all the ungodliness and unrighteousness of the lives of those who are found standing on this “sea of glass mingled with fire”.

Rom 1:18  For t he wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Next week, Lord willing we will cover these last four verses of this chapter, and we will be reminded of what the word “opened” means in this, the revelation of Jesus Christ within us.

Rev 15:5  And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
Rev 15:6  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.
Rev 15:7  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.
Rev 15:8  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.

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