Revelation 15:8
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) And the temple . . .—Translate, And the temple (the same word—naos—is used as in Revelation 11:1) was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his might; and no one was able to enter into the temple until the seven plagues of the seven angels should be finished. As in the wilderness (Exodus 40:34-35), and as at the dedication of Solomon’s temple (1Kings 8:10-11), the tokens of God’s presence filled the temple, so it is now, but with a difference: it is smoke, not cloud, which is the symbol of God’s presence. But the vision which perhaps, under all circumstances, most nearly corresponds with the present is that of Isaiah (Isaiah 6); there the prophet beheld the vision of God. His train filled the temple, and the house was filled with smoke, and a message of judgment was given to the prophet; that message declared that the sin of the people had reached a climax: they had trifled with convictions, and henceforward the words of God’s servants would harden rather than awaken them. “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes,” &c. (Isaiah 6:9-10), till the desolating judgments had fallen. The general drift of the present vision is similar; the days of warning are over: the plagues which now fall will fall on those who have trifled with convictions: the sanctuary which was opened as a refuge is now closed: none can enter till the plagues have descended. The time has come when the judgments of God fail to stir the conscience which has been deadened by sin; the day when the gracious influences towards repentance was felt has passed. The word that has been spoken is about to descend in judgment (John 7:48). “Who shall not pray, with an agony of earnestness, From hardness of heart and contempt of Thy word and commandment, good Lord, deliver us?” (Dr. Vaughan).

Revelation 15:8. And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God — In the same manner the tabernacle, when it was consecrated by Moses, and the temple, when it was dedicated by Solomon, were both filled with a cloud, and the glory of the Lord; which cloud of glory was the visible manifestation of God’s presence at both times, and a sign of God’s protection. But in the judgment of Korah, when the glory of the Lord appeared, he and his companions were swallowed up by the earth. So proper is the emblem of smoke from the glory of God, or from the cloud of glory, to express the execution of judgment, as well as to be a sign of favour. Both proceed from the power of God, and in both he is glorified. And no man — Not even those who ordinarily stood before God; was able to enter into the temple — As neither Moses could enter into the tabernacle, nor the priests into the temple, when the glory of the Lord filled those sacred places; a further proof of the majestic presence and extraordinary interposition of God in the execution of these judgments: till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled — Or were finished: till they had poured them out by the divine command. 15:5-8 In the judgments God executes upon antichrist and his followers, he fulfils the prophecies and promises of his word. These angels are prepared for their work, clothed with pure and white linen, their breasts girded with golden girdles, representing the holiness, and righteousness, and excellence of these dealings with men. They are ministers of Divine justice, and do every thing in a pure and holy manner. They were armed with the wrath of God against his enemies. Even the meanest creature, when armed with the anger of God, will be too hard for any man in the world. The angels received the vials from one of the four living creatures, one of the ministers of the true church, as in answer to the prayers of the ministers and people of God. Antichrist could not be destroyed without a great shock to all the world, and even the people of God would be in trouble and confusion while the great work was doing. The greatest deliverances of the church are brought about by awful and astonishing steps of Providence; and the happy state of the true church will not begin till obstinate enemies shall be destroyed, and lukewarm or formal Christians are purified. Then, whatever is against Scripture being purged away, the whole church shall be spiritual, and the whole being brought to purity, unity, and spirituality, shall be firmly established.And the temple was filled with smoke - The usual symbol of the divine presence in the temple. See the notes on Isaiah 4:5; Isaiah 6:4.

From the glory of God - From the manifestation of the divine majesty. That is, the smoke was the proper accompaniment of the Divine Being when appearing in majesty. So on Mount Sinai he is represented as appearing in this manner: "And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly," Exodus 19:18. The purpose here seems to have been, partly to represent the smoke as the proper symbol of the divine presence, and partly to represent it as so filling the temple that no one could enter it until the seven plagues were fulfilled.

And from his power - Produced by his power; and the symbol of his power.

And no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled - Until those vials had been poured out, and all that was indicated by them was accomplished. The meaning here seems to be, that no one would be permitted to enter to make intercession - to turn away his wrath - to divert him from his purpose. That is, the purpose of punishment had been formed, and would certainly be executed. The agents or instrumentalities in this fearful work had been now sent forth, and they would by no means be recalled. The mercy-seat, in this respect, was inaccessible; the time of judgment on the great foe had come, and the destruction of the grand enemy of the church was certain. The point, therefore, at which this vision leaves us is, that where all the preparations are made for the infliction of the threatened punishment on the grand anti-Christian power which had so long stood up against the truth; where the agents had prepared to go forth; and where no intercession will ever avail to turn away the infliction of the divine wrath. The detail follows in the next chapter.

8. temple … filled—(Isa 6:4); compare Ex 40:34; 2Ch 5:14, as to the earthly temple, of which this is the antitype.

the glory of God and … power—then fully manifested.

no man was able to enter … the temple—because of God's presence in His manifested glory and power during the execution of these judgments.

And the temple; that is, the church, as temple most ordinarily signifieth in this book.

Was filled with smoke: by smoke, doubtless, is meant confusions and troubles.

From the glory of God, and from his power; caused by God’s glorious manifestation of his power, in bringing antichrist to ruin, who had so twisted his interest with that of the civil magistracy in several kingdoms, that there was no rooting him out, without a terrible shaking of all those parts of the earth where he set his foot.

And no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled; so as no part of the church could be at rest until God had fulfilled his ruin by these plagues: nor must any quiet state of the church be expected, until this great work be effected. And the temple was filled with smoke,.... Not with the smoke of false doctrine and superstition; that comes out of the bottomless pit, this from God, Revelation 9:2 and besides, Gospel churches will grow purer and purer, while the seven angels are pouring out the vials: but rather this may be understood of judicial blindness and hardness of heart, upon the antichristian party, which will come upon them from God in righteous judgment; so that they will not be reformed by the plagues, and vials of wrath, nor repent of their sins; but blaspheme God, who has power over the plagues, and so shall not be able to enter into the temple: or else this may design God's powerful and gracious presence in his church, in allusion to the cloud which filled the tabernacle, so that Moses could not enter; and which filled the temple, so that the priests could not minister, Exodus 40:34 since this is said to be

from the glory of God, and from his power; whose presence is the glory in the midst of his church, and a covert, a protection and defence, to the saints, so that none can come into the temple to hurt them: see Isaiah 4:5 or rather this intends "the smoke of the anger of God", as the Ethiopic version renders it, and which is intolerable; and it may have respect not only to the wrath of God, which is insupportable, but to that great affliction which will befall the saints in those times, through the last struggle of the beast; called the earthquake, and the hour of temptation, and a time of trouble, as never the like was, and which will be shortened for the elect's sake:

and no man was able to enter into the temple till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled. None of the anti-Christian party will attempt to enter in, because of their blindness and obduracy; nor can they get in to do any mischief, because the glorious and powerful presence of God is a defence against them: and this may also have some respect to the darkness of God's judgments, which will not be clearly manifest until these seven plagues are accomplished; till that time God's judgments on antichrist will remain a great deep, and be unsearchable; there will be no entering into the temple, so as fully to understand them, which is meant by going into the sanctuary of God, Psalm 73:17 and this makes the interpretation of the pouring out of these vials, in the next chapter, very difficult.

And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; {14} and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled.

(14) None of those seven angels could return, till he had performed fully the charge committed to him, according to the decree of God.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. smoke] Isaiah 6:4.

no man was able &c. Exodus 40:35; 1 Kings 8:11.Revelation 15:8. Καπνοῦ, smoke) The covering of the Divine majesty.[176]

[176] οὐδεὶς, no one) not even the angels themselves, who were furnished with the vials.—V. g.

εἰς τὸν ναὸν, into the temple) although it was opened, ver. 5. When the plagues are finished, approach to the temple is permitted.—V. g.Verse 8. - And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power. The "smoke" suggests

(1) the cloud, or Shechiuah, the symbol of God's presence and glory (cf. Exodus 16:10: 24:16);

(2) the sign of God's active operation (Exodus 19:18);

(3) the token of judgment and calamity (Isaiah 14:31; Psalm 18:8; Revelation 14:11). All three significations receive their fulfilment in this place. And no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were fulfilled; should be finished (Revised Version). Just as when God manifested his presence on Sinai the people were not allowed to approach, so here no one is allowed to approach the ναός, the dwelling place of God, while he is manifesting his judgments. The description is intended to convey an impression of the awful sacredness of God's presence. (For the explanation of the parts of this verse, see on previous verses.)



Smoke

Compare Exodus 40:34; 1 Kings 8:10; Psalm 18:8; Isaiah 6:4; Ezekiel 10:2-4.

None was able to enter

"God cannot be approached at the moment when He is revealing Himself in all the terrors of His indignation" (Milligan). See Exodus 19:21.

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