Reward and punishment are the themes of these two chapters. Reward for those who love God and judgment upon the unrighteous. Throughout scripture the Holy Spirit Lovingly, continually calls out in many different ways a warning, saying such things as, “To day if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart . . .” In these two chapters are found the answer to the cries of the Saints in Revelation 6:10 . . .“How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” The purpose of this time of “tribulation” is given in Revelation 3:10 (KJV) “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” That is a promise of blessings to God’s people and a warning to those who reject Him. Reward or Judgment, a personal choice for every individual.
We were placed here for a purpose. God’s people have a responsibility to bear witness to the world of His grace and mercy and to warn of the inevitable, impending judgment. What is saddest of all, we learn in Romans 1:32 that they “. . . 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.” We are tasked to sow seed among them and to water wherever possible. The Holy Spirit is tasked with convicting all those who will listen. What an awesome privilege to be co-laborers with the Holy Spirit for God’s glory! These two chapters emphasize the urgency for the Church, the Body Of Christ, to sow seed NOW, while there is still time.
Revelation 8:1, “. . . there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.” Could this be to show God’s incomprehensible Loving patience with a sin filled world? Could the silence be for all in heaven to be listening intently as not to miss the pleas of any last souls on Earth crying out for salvation?
Chapter 15 picks up from the interlude begun after 11:19 and continues with the 3rd and last Woe, which is the 7th and last Trumpet which releases the final judgments upon the Earth, the 7 bowls of “God’s wrath.” Verse 18 contains a warning and a blessing: “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Notice that “those who fear thy name” are rewarded before His wrath is poured out on the ungodly. Be assured, God keeps watch over His people -“For the eyes of the Lord [are] over the righteous, and his ears [are open] unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord [is] against them that do evil” 1 Peter 3:12 (KJV).
Revelation bring us full circle from the insurrection begun in Genesis and ending in the purging of all wickedness from the Earth. Such frightfully terrifying words are recorded here that they cause one’s heart to break and knees to buckle. Unimaginably, the Bible says that the wicked blasphemed God and repented not (Revelation 9:20; 16:9,11,21).
This same wicked attitude is pervasive throughout the Earth today. Each morning’s headlines are filled with stories of raging anger, madness and the “IRRATIONAL” hatred toward Christians, Jews, and the tiny nation of Israel – a demonic, irrational, groundless hatred. The “weeping and gnashing of teeth” seen in Mt 8:12; Mt 22:13; Mt 25:30, etc., is far from sorrow. They “weep” for what they perceive God has deprived them of. They hideously “gnash their teeth” in a satanic rage toward God. They are not sorrowful but are angry (Revelation 16:9, 11).
Jude says of them, “8. . . these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. 12. . . feeding themselves without fear . . . twice dead, plucked up by the roots . . . 14And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” Jude1:8, 12-15.
John consoles us, “12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” John 1:12-13.
Paul sums it up, “. . . giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. 13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” Colossians 1:12-13 (NASB).
The consistency of Scripture is evidence of Divine Design. There are over 635 allusions to the Old Testament in Revelation, over 30 in Chapters 15 & 16. Psalm 46 slips in here perfectly.
Psalm 46 “To the chief Musician for the sons of Korah, A Song upon Alamoth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. 4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. 5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. 6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. 7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. 8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. 9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. 10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. 11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.”
We cry out, Maranatha!
Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!