John emphasises how holy these final acts of judgement are. He describes carefully the preparations in heaven before these judgements begin. When they do begin, everything on earth will seem out of control (chapter 16). However, those events on earth will be the result of these sacred and serious acts in the most holy places in heaven.
The Ďtempleí means Godís house. The one in Jerusalem replaced the tent that Moses made at Godís command (Exodus chapter 26). That tent was a copy of the real one in heaven (Hebrews 8:5), which John saw here.
From that tent came the 7 angels (special servants of God) who would carry out this final series of judgements. Their clean white clothes and their gold belts emphasise how holy they are. The priests wore white clothes like those at the temple; Christ wore a gold belt in Revelation 1:13. Gold is a pure metal; it expresses the idea that something is holy (2 Chronicles 3:4-9).
The 4 living creatures are special angels. In Revelation 4:6-8, they are the guards of Godís throne (royal seat). Their position is, therefore, closer to God than anyone else in heaven. One of those special angels hands out the 7 bowls that will bring about the 7 judgements. Those bowls are also gold, like the bowls that the priests used for the most sacred purposes at the temple.
The bowls contain Godís anger. Godís anger, therefore, is also a most holy thing. God is angry against all that is evil. He is angry against the evil forces, rulers, powers and systems that control this world. For a long time, God has waited patiently (2 Peter 3:9). Now, at last, he acts to answer the prayers of his people (Psalm 13:1-2; Revelation 6:10). The judgements that will bring about Christís rule on earth must now happen.
Next part: The smoke of Godís glory (Revelation 15:8)
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© 2016, Keith Simons.