Great & Marvelous Signs

GREAT & MARVELOUS SIGN IN HEAVENI saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues—last, because with them God’s wrath is completed. (Revelation 15:1)

Seven Last Plagues – With the “seven last plagues” (variously translated as being poured from cups, bowls or vials) God’s wrath is no longer partial or temporary (as they were with the seven seals and seven trumpets). They are “last, because with them God’s wrath is completed,” irrevocable and everlasting. The partial (one-third) judgments of the trumpets suggested that God uses the sufferings and evils of this life as a warning to draw humankind toward repentance and faith. But such tribulations also foreshadow the final hour of judgment, when God’s wrath is finished and there is “no more delay.”(1)

In addition to complete, a more literal translation might be finished, or consummated. Although the plagues are still future, their certainty and finality are such that they are described as if they have already taken place and are in the past. In other words, these judgments of God are so certain of fulfillment that the future can be spoken of in the present or past tense.

This portion of the text is a summary of the vision that follows, as the angels do not actually receive the bowls until Revelation 15:7. But here, in anticipation of receiving them, they are spoken of as having them. There are no more plagues after these until the Lord’s comes in final judgment.(2) These plagues are characterized as judgments that harden mankind’s hearts in much the same way as Pharaoh was hardened.(3)

Between the sixth and seventh seals and the sixth and seventh trumpets we were told of God’s protection of, and mission for, the people of God. But with the seven bowls there is no break between the sixth and seventh outpourings of judgment. Now only wrath remains. There is no more delay. Babylon the Great, the symbol for all who have set themselves against the Most High God, will fall.(4)

But before the angels pour out their judgments, there is an interlude of blessing. Before sending the third woe (the seven bowls of God’s wrath) that was announced in the seventh trumpet (Revelation 11:14), God once again reassures His faithful people.(5) 

Up Next – Sea of glass.



  1. Sloan, R. B. (1998). The Revelation. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (p. 677). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 587). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  3. Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 289). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
  4. Sloan, R. B. (1998). The Revelation. In D. S. Dockery (Ed.), Holman concise Bible commentary (p. 677). Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers.
  5. Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 608). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

How Small Is Your Strength?

Proverbs 24:10If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength! (NIV 1978)

My Musings – Our strength may not be up to the task, but God’s strength is more than equal to it. Our weakness can turn into strength if we recognize this and rely on His strength. Then we will not falter.

My Advice – Draw your strength from God through regularly studying His Word and by constant prayer. This will prepare you for times of trouble. Otherwise, you may rely on your own strength and falter.

Three Other Angels

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THREE OTHER ANGELSThen I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” A second angel followed and said, “Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great, which made all the nations drink the maddening wine of her adulteries.” A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand, he, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb. And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name.” This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:6-13)

The First Angel Proclaims the Gospel – Here the focus begins to shift from the Jewish people to the gentile world. Before the end the Gospel will be proclaimed to all “those who live on the earth.” This does not mean that all will be converted, but that all will have had a clear opportunity to choose whether they will be for Christ or against Him. This last measure of God’s grace is offered for them to repent during this age of God’s wrath before “the hour of His judgment” comes. If not, Continue reading “Three Other Angels”

Consumed by Accumulation

Proverbs 23:4Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – We often wear ourselves out accumulating things to own, only to find out that they own us.

My Advice – There is nothing wrong with wanting to get ahead, as long as it does not consume us. It is foolish to pursue wealth to such an extent that we do not have time to enjoy it, enjoy our friends and enjoy our life.

Following the Lamb

Following the Lamb[The 144,000] are those who did not defile themselves with women, for they kept themselves pure. They follow the Lamb wherever he goes. They were purchased from among men and offered as firstfruits to God and the Lamb. No lie was found in their mouths; they are blameless. (Revelation 14:1-5)

Description of the 144,000 – What follows is a multi-dimensional description of the 144,000.

Not Defiled by Women – In a literal sense, the Greek word means virgin. However, it could also mean Continue reading “Following the Lamb”

Conspiracy Theory


Hebrews 10:25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (NIV 1984)

2 Timothy 4:3-4For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Meeting together as fellow believers has always been important as we “encourage one another” with the truth.  But as the “Day” approaches it is “all the more” so.  Why?  Because “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine [the truth].”  This is Satan’s grand conspiracy.  Tell us want we want to hear in order to turn us away from the truth.  It was true in the garden (“you will not surely die”), and it is true in many so-called churches today.  The truth is being watered down, distorted and denied.  People are following the lies that appeal to them.  But just because they find it appealing does not make it true.

My Advice – God went to a lot of trouble to build His Church.  Let’s not exchange it for our church.  Don’t scratch that itch unless you are sure it is from God.


A Good Name

Proverbs 22:1 – A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold. (NIV 1984)

My Musings – Silver, gold and great riches cannot buy a good reputation. It is earned, not bought. As hard as it is to come by, it can evaporate very quickly. Rebuilding it is much harder than the original building of it.

My Advice – Whatever you do, whatever goal you pursue, always consider how it may affect your reputation (and God’s). Do not willingly be involved in anything that might tarnish either. Wealth, possessions and jobs are more easily replaced than a damaged reputation.