Third Sign in Heaven
The Wrath of God is Finished
15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
The third sign in heaven signals the finishing of God’s wrath. The details for the third sign are not provided as with the first two signs. The first sign is found in Revelation 12:1-2 and the second sign is in Revelation 12:3-6. We do know the third sign is great and marvelous. Seven angels come out from the temple in heaven (Revelation 15:6) with seven plagues. The timing of the third sign is either just prior to or just following the end of the Great Tribulation. We are told these are the last of the plagues. God’s wrath is executed through the seven plagues. The plagues are poured out on the earth, the sun, and air.
Is This the Only Time We See God’s Wrath?
In Revelation God’s wrath is executed four times:
- The Day of the Lord as described in the following:
- On those who worship the beast, his image or receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 14:9-11)
- In the seven plagues (Revelation 16)
- On those whose names are not written in the Book of Live. They are thrown into the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:15). See also John 3:36, Romans 2:5, Ephesians 5:6
Christians Singing in Heaven
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.
15:3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
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 saints are now standing in heaven on a sea of glass covered with fire. These saints have been victorious over the Antichrist because they have not worshiped his image, taken his mark or the number of his name. They sing the song of Moses with the harps of God,
“Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. 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 Saints Have Bodies
The glorious part of the rapture is the redemption of our bodies. If we were to die today our soul and spirits are transported to heaven but we seem to be without a body until the redemption of our bodies. At the rapture our bodies are again joined to our soul and spirit. More than this our bodies are changed from mortal, perishable bodies into immortal, imperishable bodies (I Corinthians 15:50-54). Our bodies will never again go through the aging process. Our glorified bodies will never die again. We will have bodies like that of Christ after His resurrection.
The rapture (the redemption are our bodies) must have taken place before the God’s wrath is poured out with the seven bowls of wrath. This makes sense because the saints are no longer underneath the Altar of Incense (Revelation 6:9-10), now they stand on the sea of glass in heaven. Revelation 7:9-17 likely describes the same event as those who have come out of the Great Tribulation being dressed in white robes and standing before the throne of God in heaven.
Some options to think about. In Revelation 6:9, at the fifth seal, the souls of the saints are underneath the altar thus the saints have not been raptured. The rapture must take place prior to the seven bowls or plagues of God’s wrath as we just learned. Yet the rapture of the saints comes after the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31and Revelation 7:15). The saints acquire bodies before the seven bowls or plagues but after the Great Tribulation. Daniel describes 75 days following the Great Tribulation (see Daniel 12:11-13). It is during this time I believe we will see the second coming of Jesus and the Day of the Lord. The events may sequence as follow: the Second Coming, the Rapture (Matthew 24:31), then the seven plagues. God’s Word is amazing as we try to more clearly understand future Biblical events. If you have different thoughts please respond.
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
15:5 And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
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.
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.
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.
The Temple in Heaven is Opened
Now the temple in heaven is opened. The temple was also opened in Revelation 11:19 during the seventh trumpet,
“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”
This seems to be the start of the transitioning from the kingdom of the world and into the kingdom of God on the earth as described in Revelation 11:15-19. This was not be the first time the heavens were opened. The heavens were also opened when the Spirit of God descended on Jesus after He was baptized in Matthew 3:16-17. God the Father made his presence known.
And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:16-17)
Jesus prophecies in John 1 the heavens would be open again at his coming.
And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man. (John 1:51)
It seems at Jesus Christ’s second coming we will see the heavens open and angels ascending and descending. For those who know Jesus this will be a glorious event.
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
The seven bowls of God’s wrath are about to begin. Seven angels exit from the temple. They are clothed in white with golden sashes around their chests. They have the seven plague of God’s wrath. One of the four beasts who surround the throne of God gives the seven angels seven golden bowls of the wrath of God. The temple is filled with smoke from God’s glory and power. No one can not enter the temple until the seven plagues have been completed.
The wrath of God is never poured out on the saints. Either the saints have been raptured prior to these events or the saints are preserved like they were in the land of Egypt (Exodus 11:7). God has not appointed us to His wrath,
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
- First Bowl 16:1-2 Sores on those without the mark of the beast
- Second Bowl 16:3 Seas turn to blood
- Third Bowl 16:4-7 Rivers turn to blood
- Fourth Bowl 16:8-9 Great heat scorches men
- Fifth Bowl 16:10-11 Darkness on the kingdom of the Antichrist
- Sixth Bowl 16:12-16 Battle of Armageddon
- Seventh Bowl 16:17-21 Day of the Lord
Written by Timothy BrownShare this: