Song of Moses and Seven Plagues
1And 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.
Like the woman and the dragon and the recent messengers, John sees another great and marvelous sign. It is another sign in that it is a symbol representing the same things that have already been shown in previous signs.
This sign is seven messengers with seven “last plagues” which contain the full wrath of God. Plagues again bring to mind Egypt, again associating the events here (i.e. the destruction of Jerusalem) spiritually with Egypt. They are the last plagues because there will be nothing like this ever again (Matthew 24:21). Further below this connection will be further substantiated.
2And 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.
A. I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire:Edit
The sea of glass is that sea representing separation between Gentiles and Jews as seen in chapter 4. That separation is mixed with divine judgment.
B. and them that had gotten the victory over the beast...Edit
The faithful Jews are pictured as standing on this fiery sea. They are triumphing over the separation, bringing about its end.
C. having the harps of GodEdit
These harps are the voice or word of God, the gospel. This is the means by which the firstborn of the earth are bringing about the end of separation. They are preaching the gospel to the Gentile nations.
3And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
The song of Moses again brings us back to Exodus 15. They sing of freedom from bondage from “Egypt” and they sing the new song of Rev. 14:3 now identified as the song of the Lamb. This song indicates the Justness and Power of God in executing judgment against the Jews.
4Who 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.
This and the last chapter are echoes of what we read in Matthew 25:31-46. God has the right to judge the universe and any and all nations in it.
5And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:
There is still a temple, a representation of the Old Testament, a representation that Judaism still existed and the OT still was passing away (Hebrews 8:13). Part of that testimony is that of the prophets of the end of Judaism (all those books of prophecy I took the trouble to go through prior to this book). To say that there are only “similarities” between Revelation and the Old Testament prophecies is a disingenuous treatment of the Bible. They aren’t just similarities, John is indicating time and time again that the Old Testament is being fulfilled in the events described in Revelation. They are direct references, not just similarities.
6And 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.
These seven messengers bringing the message associated with the Old Testament are dressed as priests (Exodus 28:15). Their message is the symbolic last plagues, the destructive end of the Jewish system.
7And 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.
Essentially this is John saying there are more details to come in the image of the golden vials which represent the wrath of God.
8And 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 smoke is “from the glory of God”, a blazing, fiery glory in His wrath because of the prayers (smoke of inscense) of the Christians praying for an end to persecution. His wrath is so intense that until it is satisfied, none can approach God. This indicates that at this time, there is no more longsuffering, no more prayers accepted on behalf of the Jews. There is no more opportunity to repent. The end is come.
In Truth and Love.