Revelation Chapter Fifteen

Introduction: Chapter fifteen is grants us another picture of the 144,000 of Revelation 7 and of Revelation 14.This is the third picture of this special group. This set of threes is in harmony with the three angels messages of Revelation 14:6-12. This picture is presented in the context of the closing up of the Most Holy Place phase of the heavenly intercessory activities of Jesus. Verse 8 tells us that that the temple was filled with smoke and no man was able to enter into the sanctuary for its time has closed. It is closed for all people will have made their decision for or against Jesus. As a result of these decisions the intercessory ministry will have closed for no one else will repent of their sins, and the 144,000, as described in Revelation 14:1-5, will not be sinning thus there will no more need of cleansing of sin. The intercessory ministry of Jesus will have cleansed the temple in heaven, and will have cleansed the church temple on Earth, and thus each individual temple that makes us the church – God’s people.

Revelation Chapter Fifteen is an interlude between the closing of the temple in heaven and the pouring out of the seven last plagues. With these thoughts in mind lets us proceed into chapter Fifteen.

1And 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.

Author: The time of the seven last plagues has come. The wrath of God is about to be poured out upon the Earth and all those who have not accepted the opportunity of coming to Jesus and allowing Him to cleanse them of their sins. Once this door closes there will be no more opportunity to change. This closing is similar to the closing of the door in the story of Noah (Genesis 7:16) and the closing of the door in the time of Sodom. (Genesis 19:10). This is also similar to the issues spoken of in Revelation 3:7-9 in the church of Philadelphia.

 2And 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.

Author: This group, the 144,000, is presented as standing on the sea of glass. The sea of glass is a reference to the laver in the temple that Solomon had built called the Sea. (I Kings 7:23-26; II Chronicles 4:2-5). In the temple that Moses built the laver had the bronze looking glasses of the woman as a part of the laver. (Exodus 38:8). This was a type of the statement made in James 1:23-27 where a man can look into the looking glass and see himself and then promptly forgets what he sees, but if he looks into the law of God and then responds by being willing to come to Jesus and get help then he has done a good thing.

So the sea of glass is a place of judgment, revelation mixed with the fire of judgment. This place is a place of trust in Jesus and it also signifies a total trust in God. These people stand on this sea of glass, sort of like walking on water through faith in Jesus. This is the place that Ellen White speaks of in Early Writings 55:

“I saw the Father rise from the throne (Author – in the Holy Place of the temple in heaven), and in a flaming chariot go into the Holy of Holies within the veil, and sit down. (Author- this is the throne in the Most Holy Place). Then Jesus rose up from the throne (Holy Place throne), and the most of those who were bowed down arose with Him. (Author – 144,000 of Revelation 14:4). I did not see one ray of light pass from Jesus to the careless multitude after He arose, and they were left in perfect darkness. Those who arose when Jesus did, kept their eyes fixed on Him as He left the throne and led them out a little way. Then He raised His right arm, and we heard His lovely voice saying, “Wait here; I am going to My Father to receive the kingdom; keep your garments spotless, and in a little while I will return from the wedding and receive you to Myself.”…”

It is this writer’s opinion that the place where Jesus led His people out to was the place of the laver/sea. This place is a place of cleansing where God’s people can wash in the Word, and be cleansed in the blood of the Lamb of God. (Ephesians 5:26; Revelation 7:14). The place of the laver would be in the courtyard of the sanctuary here on Earth, a symbolic place of dedication to the Lord.

God’s people are willing to go to the place of the Sea because they have so followed Jesus as to be declared to have had victory over the Beast ( the Roman Catholic Church), over the Beast’s image (that system of apostate Protestantism that copies the behaviors of the Roman Catholic Church in persecuting God’s people by attempting to change the laws of God and forcing false worship), they have had victory over his mark (they have refused to accept the Sunday worship as a sign of loyalty to the Beast), and over the number of His name (they have refused to live a life of rebellion against God and therefore have been numbered as people obedient to Him).

The Sea of Glass is also a place in heaven where we will ascend to after the Second Coming of Jesus. The Sea of Glass in heaven is like a receiving area to get the final preparations for entering into the Heavenly City. (See Early Writings pages 16-17; Great Controversy pages 648-649).

This group of people has also been declared to be playing on the harps of God. This means that they are so in tune with Jesus – the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6) that they tell the truth in word and in life. (Psalms 71:22).

 3And 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.

Author: This group of people are so in tune with Jesus that He has prepared them to be able to go through an experience similar to that of crossing the Red Sea. They have trusted Jesus, and are willing to walk with Him anywhere and God is able to take them through His experience and thus they are enable to sing a new song of their experiences with Him. (Exodus 15:1-22).

They also sing the Song of the Lamb. This Song is a song of suffering and obedience and Jesus sang it in many different verses. First He sings over us with joy (Zephaniah 3:17); then He sees of the travail of His soul and is satisfied (Isaiah 53:11); then He is willing to drink the cup of His Father and surrender to His will (Matthew 26:39,42); then He was willing to submit His soul unto the care of His Father (Luke 23:46), and finally He could sing that verse of His song “It is Finished” (John 19:30). All of these verses the 144,000 will sing as well. They will have a total experience in the things of God.

 4Who 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.

Author: This is a comparison text to the testimony of God about Solomon. All the world sought out his wisdom and they were converted to God through his testimony. (I Kings 4:29-34; 10:1-10). God has so displayed His power through the truthful testimony of the 144,000 that the whole world has heard their testimony and seen the power of God in their lives and everyone has been able to make an informed decision either for or against God. Everyone in the world has made their decision and thus God can close up the sanctuary ministry for no one else will come to Him.

 5And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:

Author: Now God wants us to look at His Temple in heaven which is opened and the final events are being revealed.

 6And 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.

Author: Out of the temple come seven angels, having the vials of the seven last plagues. They are pure and holy and only come at the decree of God. This is not something that they are doing on their own.

 7And 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.

Author: The four beasts give the seven angels the golden vials full of the wrath of God – the seven last plagues.

 8And 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.

Author: As the priest could not minister in the temple of God when His Spirit had filled it (Exodus 40:33-38; I Kings 8:10-11) so when God closes this phase of the Temple in heaven no man can enter into the Temple until the seven last plagues are poured out on Earth. The Intercessory Ministry of Jesus has completed its task and all people have made their decision either for or against God. Nobody will change their decision for they are sealed into their decision. Revelation 22:11 has been fulfilled “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.”