Where will God’s People be during the 7 Last Plagues of Revelation 16?
After reading Revelation 15, I noticed an important message from John that most people overlooked and may not have studied it well. I noticed that the Saints of God were in Heaven before the 7-Last Plagues started. This is what John saw:
“And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. And 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 (Revelation 15:1-2)”.
What is important in these verses is that the event of seeing the Saints-them that had gotten the victory over the beast, came after John saw that the angels were ready to pour out the plagues and that the plagues had not yet started. Eventually, the order was given to pour out the wrath of God on the wicked “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth (Revelation 16:1).”
But who are the Saints John saw on the sea of glass? The sea of glass which is found in Heaven was first mentioned in Revelation 4:6, “And before the throne, there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.” John saw the saints standing on the sea of glass. These Saints were singing the Song of Moses, “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints (Revelation 15:3).” These Saints who were in Heaven before the plagues started were also described in Revelation 14:1-3.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him a hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sang as it were a new song before the throne and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth (Revelation 14:1-3).”
John continued to show us that these Saints were singing in Revelation 15:4-5. He said, “And after that (which is the singing of the song), I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened: And 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. And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth forever and ever. And 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.”
At this time, the seven plagues had not started. They eventually got started as stated in Revelation 16:1-2, “And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, ‘Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth’. And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth, and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast and upon them which worshiped his image.”
Where were these men who had the mark of the beast while the Saints were standing on the Sea of Glass? And since those who were standing on the sea of glass were part of the 1st resurrection; therefore, these men who were experiencing the plagues, which are the wrath-of-God, must be those who came alive at the 2nd resurrection: “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished… (Revelation 20:5).” So, to summarize what facts we have thus far:
There are a number of other Bible passages that support John’s vision. Let’s look at them:
In Revelation 16:14, “For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.” This event John saw was during the pouring out of the sixth plague is known as the “Battle of Armageddon”. It is the same event as Revelation 20:7-8, “And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.” This battle is after the thousand years, and after the battle, Satan and evil were destroyed from the face of the earth. This event is after the Millennium.
In Revelation 16:17 “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” The “it is done” shows a culmination of an intended process – which is an end of God’s wrath on the wicked. If this process ended on the 7th last-plague it shows that the last plagues were after the Millennium; if not, there is no mention of another time to apply more of God’s wrath on the wicked if the 7th plague terminated sin and wickedness on the earth. Here is another point.
In Revelation 16:20, “And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.” This is an event during the last (7th) plague. If there was an island or mountain on the earth at that time, it was leveled – destroyed. No saints or wicked would be there. This also shows that the 7th plague finished the existence of the old earth, and this only happens after the Millennium. Another point is this.
In Revelation 14:8-10, “And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb”. This passage shows that when the wraths of God are being poured on the wicked, it was done only in the presence of the angels and Jesus, the saints were not present. They were already taken to heaven in the first resurrection event.
Since the “7-Last Plagues” occurs on the wicked only, and that is after the Millennium, what is this “time of Jacob’s trouble” as was mentioned in the book of Jeremiah? Jeremiah 30:7 says, “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” These sequences of events will start with the plagues of the 7-Trumpets. In these events, God inflicted some plagues on 1/3rd of the earth, and only the wicked were affected. Since only the wicked were affected, they will begin to blame God’s people for these calamities, and thus begin to persecute the Saints. It is this persecution time that is called “Great Tribulation” or “Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. It is at this time, when Daniel said in Daniel 12:1, “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” These events will occur just before the 1st resurrection. It is the 1st resurrection that will deliver us from these troubles which the devil and the man of sin will be inflicting on God’s people. The plagues of the 7-Trumpets initiated these responses from the wicked.
The blowing of Trumpets shows a warning of the coming of God. In Joshua 6:8, “And it came to pass, when Joshua had spoken unto the people, that the seven priests bearing the seven trumpets of rams’ horns passed on before the Lord, and blew with the trumpets: and the ark of the covenant of the Lord followed them.” This passage shows that destruction was coming to the wicked and that God’s redemption was coming next. So, the blowing of the 7-Trumpets in Revelation 8 is a signal that destruction is coming and this is the time-of-the-end of the earth and wickedness. Revelation 8:2-5 says, “I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and they were given seven trumpets. Then another angel with a gold incense burner came and stood at the altar. And a great amount of incense was given to him to mix with the prayers of God’s people as an offering on the gold altar before the throne. The smoke of the incense, mixed with the prayers of God’s holy people, ascended up to God from the altar where the angel had poured them out. Then the angel filled the incense burner with fire from the altar and threw it down upon the earth, and thunder crashed, lightning flashed, and there was a terrible earthquake.” This only affected one-third of the earth.
In conclusion, the wrath of God comes in the form of plagues to the wicked only; however, the Time-of-Trouble or Tribulations are perpetrated by the forces of evil onto the people of God. The 7-Trumpets, which is the start of Tribulation, and the 7-Last Plagues, which ended the world, are two events that do not happen together. Tribulations will occur first, just before the time of the first resurrection, and the 7-Last Plagues will happen after the thousand years, which is after the second resurrection. God’s people will be on earth during the Tribulation plagues of the 7-Trumpets, but they will be in Heaven (during the ending of the Millennium) when the 7-Last Plagues will fall only on the wicked at the time of the 2nd Resurrection.