I’m ending today’s reading with this chapter on the final seven “vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”
In my Bible verse 15 is in Red, but I doubt that many of the so called “Red Letter” Bible pastors teach this chapter. I will let the read look up the reading and audio.
Jesus himself first taught this directly, not through a vision.
Mat 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Mat 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
Mat 24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
And here is the way another Apostle, Paul understood it. Note the same words wrath, thief and watch…..and that this is something that appears to be well understood even in the churches of his day.
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1Th 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1Th 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
1Th 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1Th 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1Th 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1Th 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
It’s quite possible that both Jesus as read in Matthew and Paul, were making direct reference to the coming destruction of Jerusalem, yet John’s vision focuses on the final last days of the “day of the Lord”. Often God’s prophetic word applies at two temporal levels…one more immediate the other far distance in the future. But that’s another discussion.
Matthew 24:42 Gill
Watch therefore,…. Since the time of this desolation is so uncertain, and since it will come upon the Jews unawares, and some wilt escape, whilst others perish; for the words are plainly an inference from what precedes, and clearly relate to things going before, and are not a transition to a new subject:
for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come; to avenge himself of the unbelieving Jews, and fulfil what he in person, and by his apostles, had predicted and warned them of: though I will not deny, but that what follows may be much better accommodated and applied to the second coming of Christ, and the last judgment, and the behaviour of men with regard to both, than anything said before; and it may be our Lord’s intention, to lead his disciples gradually, and as it were imperceptibly, to the last scene of things on earth, to make way for the parables and description of the future judgment, in the next chapter; still keeping in view, and having reference to, the subject he had been so long upon.
Revelation 16:15 Gill
Behold I come as a thief,…. These are the words of Christ, inserted in a parenthesis in this account, before it is concluded, to acquaint his people with his near and sudden approach, and to give them a word of caution and exhortation in these times of difficulty; for he is the Lord God Almighty, who sent forth these angels to pour out their vials, and whose judgments are applauded as righteous, Rev 16:1 and who so often in Rev 22:7 says “I come quickly”; and which is to be understood not of his spiritual coming, which will be already at this time, but of his personal coming: and which will be “as a thief”: as it is often expressed, 1Th 5:2 not in the bad sense, to steal and kill, and to destroy, though Christ’s coming will issue in the everlasting destruction of the wicked; but the phrase is designed to express the suddenness of his coming, and the surprise of it:
blessed is he that watcheth; against sin, the lusts of the flesh, and the cares of this life, lest they bring a sleepiness upon him, and so the day of the Lord come upon him at an unawares; and against Satan and his temptations, who goes about seeking whom he may devour; and against his emissaries and false teachers, who lie in wait to deceive; and blessed is he also who is wishing and waiting for the coming of Christ, and so, being ready, will enter with him into the marriage chamber, and partake of the supper of the Lamb:
and keepeth his garments: either his conversation garments, unspotted from the world, and whenever defiled washes them, and makes them white in the blood of the Lamb; and keeps them from being stripped of them, by those who would lead them into sinful ways; or that keeps and holds fast the robe of Christ’s righteousness, and garments of his salvation, which are the righteousness of the saints, that fine linen clean and white, that white raiment which only can cover their nakedness, that the shame thereof does not appear, Rev 19:8
lest he walk naked; ערום מן המצות (b), “naked of the commandments”, or good works, according to the Jewish phrase; having lost, or dropped his conversation garments:
and they see his shame; or lest, being naked, he be exposed to shame and confusion, yea, to everlasting ruin and destruction; see Mat 22:12 the allusion is to the burning of the garments of those priests who were found asleep when upon their watch in the temple: the account that is given is this (c);
“the man of the mountain of the house (the governor of the temple) goes round all the wards (every night) with burning torches before him; and in every ward where the person does not stand upon his feet, the man of the mountain of the house says to him, peace be to thee; if he finds he is asleep, he strikes him with his staff, and he has power to burn his clothes; and they say (in Jerusalem) what voice is that in the court? (it is answered) the voice of a Levite beaten, and his clothes burnt, because he slept in the time of his watch; R. Eliezer ben Jacob says, once they found my mother’s brother asleep, and they burnt his clothes:”
now imagine with what shame the poor Levite so served must appear the next morning among his brethren, with his clothes burnt, and he naked; and with greater shame and confusions must he appear at the last day that is destitute of the righteousness of Christ.
(b) Yalkut Simeoni, par. 2. fol. 91. 3. (c) Misna Middot, c. 1. sect. 2. T. Bab. Tamid, fol. 27. 2. & 28. 1. Maimon. Beth Habbechira, c. 8. sect. 10. & Cele Hamikdash, c. 7. sect. 4.