What does Revelation 15:1 mean?
ESV: Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues, which are the last, for with them the wrath of God is finished.
NIV: I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues--last, because with them God's wrath is completed.
NASB: Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels who had seven plagues, which are the last, because in them the wrath of God is finished.
CSB: Then I saw another great and awe-inspiring sign in heaven: seven angels with the seven last plagues; for with them God's wrath will be completed.
NLT: Then I saw in heaven another marvelous event of great significance. Seven angels were holding the seven last plagues, which would bring God’s wrath to completion.
KJV: And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
NKJV: Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
Verse Commentary:
John sees another awesome sight in heaven. It was another sign that John described as "great and amazing." In Revelation 12 he saw two signs: the sign of the woman, representing persecuted Israel, and the sign of the dragon, representing Satan. The sign of the woman concerns God's protection and preservation of His persecuted people until the end of the tribulation. The sign of the dragon concerns God's bitter foe, the Devil, who spews his hatred against the woman.

The angels of this verse represent God's agents who execute His wrath at the end of the conflict between the Devil and God's persecuted people. They carry out God's final vengeance at the close of the tribulation, "for with them the wrath of God is finished." God's judgment may not always fall on sin immediately, but it will fall inevitably. When it falls, there will be no further opportunity to repent and avoid it.
Verse Context:
Revelation 15:1–4 focuses on seven angels with seven plagues that conclude the outpouring of God's wrath on the wicked. The event causes the victors over the beast, his image, and number to celebrate. They play harps and sing the song of Moses and of the Lamb. These are songs of redemption, parallel to those seen in Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32. Their song of the Lamb praises the Lord for His character and deeds and anticipates the time all nations will worship Him.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter reports that the apostle John saw an amazing sight in heaven. First, he saw seven angels having seven plagues, which he said are the last plagues to occur to finish God's wrath. Next, he saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire. Those who had conquered the beast, its image, and its ''666'' number were standing in front of the sea of glass, and they were holding harps. They sang the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb. They addressed God as the Lord God Almighty and the King of the nations. Finally, John saw the sanctuary of the tent of witness in heaven open. The seven angels with the seven plagues emerged from the sanctuary. They were clothed in pure bright linen with golden sashes around their chests. He saw one of the four living creatures give each of the seven angels a bowl full of the eternal wrath of God. Then smoke from God's glory and power filled the sanctuary. No one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues were finished.
Chapter Context:
Revelation 15 falls between the trumpet judgments and the bowl judgments. Like the events described in chapter 14, the events given in chapter 15 do not occur in chronological order. Like the opened seals and the trumpets, the judgments introduced in this chapter number seven. They are said to be the final judgments. They involve terminal judgments on the empire of the beast from the sea and the beast from the land (Revelation 13).
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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