In this chapter, the Revelation returns to the narrative of the order of events of the Last Days through the description of the Seven Last Plagues, which will be poured out of the Seven Bowl of God’s Wrath.
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. Rev. 15:1
The Seven Last Plagues will come in addition to the judgments of the Seven Trumpets and will complete the Wrath of God. As in previous events, the timing of the Seven Last Plagues is made known to us by who John saw at the Throne of God before the Seven Last Plagues were poured out.
And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb. “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” Rev. 15:2-4
In these verses, those who were victorious over the beast and the number of his name is a description of those who will refuse to take the Mark of the Beast and who will be killed in the events of the Great Tribulation. When John testified that he saw the pouring out of the Seven Last Plagues, after, he saw the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation, it tells us that the Seven Last Plagues will take place after the events of the Great Tribulation and will avenge the martyrs of this event. This follows the pattern of how John was shown the Ascension of Christ prior to the opening of the Seven Seals, and how he saw the Martyrs in Heaven before the sounding of the Seven Trumpets. In each case, who John sees at the Throne of God tells us when the next events on earth will take place.
More information concerning the timing of the Seven Last Plagues is given to us in the naming of the plagues themselves. In order to be the last plagues, the Seven Last Plagues must start after the plagues of the Fifth and Sixth Trumpets, and end during the final plague of the Seventh Trumpet.
The Purpose of the Seven Last Plagues
As mentioned above, the Seven Last Plagues will avenge the blood of the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation. This is in contrast to the plagues of the Seven Trumpets that will avenge the blood of the Martyrs in Heaven who have been killed since the time of Christ as repeated below.
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Rev. 6:9-11
When the Martyrs in Heaven, who have been slain since the time of Christ, pray for judgment and revenge, the First Three Trumpets will be sounded that will announce the plagues on the land, the sea, and the trees that will warn the Inhabitants of the Earth. When those on earth respond by attacking Jerusalem, as described in the events of the Fourth Trumpet, and by killing the full number of brothers and sisters in the Great Tribulation, it will fulfill the above condition given to the Martyrs in Heaven, and the Last Three Trumpets will be sounded that will avenge their blood. Following these events, the Seven Last Plagues will be poured out that will avenge the blood of the Martyrs of the Great Tribulation itself.
The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
The Seven Last Plagues are also known as the Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath because Seven Bowls will be given to the Seven Angels to pour out the plagues.
After this I looked, and I saw in heaven the temple—that is, the tabernacle of the covenant law—and it was opened. Out of the temple came the seven angels with the seven plagues. They were dressed in clean, shining linen and wore golden sashes around their chests. Then one of the four living creatures gave to the seven angels seven golden bowls filled with the wrath of God, who lives for ever and ever. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels were completed. Rev. 15:5-8
During the events of the Seven Last Plagues, the glory and power of God will be so great that it will prevent anyone from entering the temple until the Wrath of God is completed.
Order of Events of the Last Days
Wars, Rumors of Wars, Earthquakes, and Famines (Seals 1-4)
The Martyrs Pray for Judgment and Revenge (5th. Seal)
– 1/3 of earth is burned up in world-wide drought (1st. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of sea turns to blood, Satan’s kingdom defeated (2nd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of waters are poisoned, Satan cast out (3rd. Trumpet)
– 1/3 of Israel is struck, the Attack on Jerusalem (4th. Trumpet)
The Great Tribulation
The Wrath of God is Poured Out (6th. Seal)
– The Plague of Locusts (5th. Trumpet)
– The Plague of Fire, Smoke, and Sulfur (6th. Trumpet)
– The Pouring out of the Seven Bowls
– The Great Earthquake and Severe Hailstorm (7th. Trumpet)
Silence in Heaven (7th. Seal)