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Revelation 15 Introduction to Seven Plagues

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Introduction to Seven Plagues

Revelation 15 is an interlude between the harvest of grain and grapes in Revelation 14 and the Seven Plagues which is also known as the bowls.

This is a Bible Study. Have your own Bible handy to look up the references mentioned.

If you do not have a Bible, I invite you to go to or another online Bible.

There are three categories of God’s Wrath:

(MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. [Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000], 122)

One thing to remember: God wants you to repent and turn to Him.

“If you are willing to accept His grace, then you can escape the Great Tribulation.” (McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: [Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983], 1016)

Are you willing?

Plagues – Bowl Judgments

1. The bowl judgments are coming.

This is “the final outpouring of God’s wrath on the wicked, unrepentant sinners of the earth.” (MacArthur, 123)

Seven angels have carried the seven seals and the seven trumpets.

“We have already seen the seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven personalities.” (McGee, 1016)

I had to refresh my memory!

The seven seals are in Revelation 6. Read the discussion on this site.

The seven trumpets are in Revelation 8 and 9 (select the next article at the bottom).

The seven personalities are in Revelation 12 and 13. Read the discussion on this site.

1. The Woman—Israel                Revelation 12:1-2

2. The Red Dragon—Satan        Revelation 12:3-4

3. Jesus Christ                            Revelation 12:5-6

4. Michael, the Archangel           Revelation 12:7-9

5. Dragon and the Woman         Revelation 12:13-14

6. Beast of the Sea                    Revelation 13:1-10

7. Beast of the Earth                 Revelation 13:11-18

I have trouble with number 5, The Dragon and the Woman, but McGee said there are seven personalities, so I added it. McGee and Easley both discuss them.

Now they have the seven last plagues.

“With these seven plagues God’s wrath is completed (NIV).” (Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. [Nashville: B&H, 1998], 270)

“The verb completed means ‘reaches its goal’ rather than ‘comes to an end.’” (Easley, 270)

Sea of Glass

2. Revelation 4:6 John saw before the throne there was a sea of glass.

That sea of glass is now mingled with fire

“Whenever an ocean’s appearance shifts, a change in the weather is at hand.” (Easley, 270)

Yes, a change is at hand.

This reminds me of Jesus discussing the weather in Matthew 16:1-4.

Look at those standing beside the sea (NIV).

These have been victorious over the beast.

Redeemed believers during the Tribulation

The false prophet told them in Revelation 13:14-15 make an image to the beast

He also required them to have the mark of the beast or be killed. Also they will not be able to buy or sell. (MacArthur, 125)

The redeemed believers will not participate in either of these.  Think about this now.

They have the harps of God.

They are giving praise to God and will sing praises to Him.

3. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,

The song of Moses is found in Exodus 15:1-21 and Deuteronomy 32:1-43.

“Both songs speak of God’s deliverance, salvation and faithfulness.”

“’The song of the Lamb’ is the ascription of praise to Christ as the Redeemer.” (McGee, 1018)

“The first line is similar to Psalm 111:2-3; the second like Psalm 145:17.” (Easley, 272)

Fear and glory      Psalm 102:15      Isaiah 59:19


“Three reasons for bringing glory to the name of the Lord God Almighty.

  1. You alone are holy (NIV)
    1. Perfect moral purity
    2. God’s perfect holiness throughout all eternity, he is to be worshiped.
  2. All nations will come and worship before you (NIV)
    1. Revelation 21:24-26
    2. All nations will worship Jesus.
  3. Your righteous acts have been revealed. (NIV)
    1. This refers to all righteous deeds of God throughout time, as well as those in the future. Including those Judgments that have occurred.

(Easley, 273)

“The prophet Habbakuk, speaking to God, put it this way, ‘Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and you can not look on wickedness with favor” Habakuk 1:13 (MacArthur, 131)

Isaiah 66:23      Philippians 2:10-11

5. John looked again.

He sees the temple of the tabernacle

“Naos (temple) refers to the Holy of Holies, the inner sanctuary where God’s presence dwells, emphasizing that God is the source of the plagues.” (MacArthur, 132)

Temple of the tabernacle of testimony

“It was so named because it contained the testimony, the two stone tablets on which God had written the Ten Commandments (Exodus 25:16, 21; 40:20; cf. Psalm 78:5).” (MacArthur, 132)

It was opened.

To see the Ark of the Covenant and the seven angels.

6. Seven angels have the seven plagues which are “the final, deadly judgments, to be poured out on the world (cf. Hebrews 10:31).” (MacArthur, 132)

“The word for linen is unusual and is not found elsewhere in the New Testament applied to clothing.” (Easley, 274)

“That it is clean and shining suggests the angels’ purity and they go about the task of judging impurity.” (Easley, 274)

“The royal appearance of the sashes matches the risen Lord as he first appeared to John (1:13).” (Easley, 274)

Four Beasts

7. We read about the four living creatures [NASB1995] in Revelation 4:6, 8-9; 5:6, 8,11, 14; and other verses in Revelation.

They gave to the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God

This “begins the final sequence of the wrath of God.” (Easley, 274)

McGee tells us, “again let me call your attention to the repetition of the number seven. I hear it said that seven is the number of perfection, which is not exactly accurate. It is the number of completeness, and sometimes completeness is perfection. For example, in six days God created heaven and earth and rested on the seventh day—not only because it was complete, but because it was perfect.” (1020)

“The word translated ‘bowl’ normally referred to a shallow cooking bowl for liquids.” (Easley, 274)

The contents of theses bowls will be “hurled down in an instant flood of judgment.” (MacArthur, 134)

“Because God lives forever and ever, He has the power to put an end to sin, so that it cannot exist again forever in His holy presence. “ (MacArthur, 133)

8. The smoke came from the glory of God, and from His power

Smoke filled the tabernacle when Moses and the Israelites set it up. (Easley, 274)

Exodus 40:34-35      1 Kings 8:10-11      Isaiah 6:1-4

No one was able to enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

“The glory cloud will remain in the heavenly temple until the earth is completely purged, cleansed, and prepared for the King and His kingdom.” (MacArthur, 133)


In this article Scripture quotations taken from KJV.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB1995. Copyright by The Lockman Foundation.

Scripture quotations taken from the NIV® by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Easley, Kendell H., Holman New Testament Commentary: Revelation. Nashville: B&H, 1998
MacArthur, John. New Testament Commentary: Revelation 12-22. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2000
McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible: Volume V: Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1983

Sharp Sickle                                                                    First Four Bowls of Wrath

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