“Seven angels having seven plagues, [which are] the last, for in them is finished the
wrath of God” (Revelation 15:1 RV).
by James Parkinson
The chapters containing the seven last plagues (Revelation 15-16) reveal how the Exodus, the destruction of Jericho, and the dedication of Solomon’s Temple, typify the Day of Wrath (Zephaniah 1:14-18) — the judgment of this world.
Solomon’s Temple (1 Kings 8)
Solomon’s Temple was dedicated in the 7th month but was not completed until the 8th month. The dedication typifies the resurrection of the sleeping saints that had fallen asleep in death. This takes place at Christ’s return, although the faithful church will not be complete until many years later. Thus, in Revelation 15:5,8 the “opening” of the “Temple” describes the 7 plagues poured out before the church is complete. The description later says “It is finished” (Revelation 16:17).
On the Day of Dedication, smoke filled the Temple so that the priests could not stand to minister (1 Kings 8:10-11). This corresponds to the statement in Revelation that says, “and none was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues … should be finished” (Revelation 15:8 RVIC). This indicates that the resurrection of only the sleeping saints (the anti-typical priests) is not sufficient for Christ and His church to begin the New Covenant blessings to the world — not until the entire priesthood is complete.
Jericho’s 7 days and 7 times on the Last Day (Joshua 6)
Joshua rose early on the first day and the army and priests circled the city 7 days, and 7 times on the last day. Upon completion of the last circuit around the city, the Israelites shouted and the city was destroyed. The antitypical 7 days began at Jesus’ resurrection and corresponds to the 7 periods of the Gospel Age. “The last day” (harvest) is divided into the 7 parts and related to the 7 last plagues leading to the final destruction of all man-made systems.
Exodus’ 7 Last Plagues (Exodus 7:14-11:10)
The first three Exodus plagues fell on both Egyptians and Israelites, but the 7 last plagues fell only on the Egyptians (and Moses then took the dominating role to administer them). Seven
events on “the last day” are given in some detail in the 7 last plagues of Exodus. It is suggested here that the plagues of Exodus show us the major world events, while the 7 last plagues
of Revelation show us the intended effects on sectarianism (“Babylon”) in “the last day” of
the Gospel Age. The destructive effects on the world of these 7 last plagues have nonetheless
each had a beneficial effect on restoring Israel to their land:
Revelation 15 introduces a “glassy sea,” the great basin in the Temple, for the priests to
wash in. From Exodus 15, the song of Moses typified Christ’s final victory at Satan’s “little
season,” after which Jehovah God will be the undisputable “King of the Ages” and all the
world will praise Him forever.
The first Revelation plague was poured into the earth, which symbolizes the rich and
powerful. Those hurt worst are those with the mark or worshipping the image, of the beast
— religious people. In the Long Depression, many consecrated Christians felt called to leave
sectarian creeds and their organizations, while evolutionists and liberals arose in many denominations.
The second Revelation plague was poured into the sea — affecting people in general, suggesting
a world war. Around 16 million were killed in World War I. The church-states of Russia, Germany, and Austria were broken.
The third Revelation plague was poured into the rivers and fountains of waters, and they became
blood. The plague was to be on sectarian organizations and their seminaries. In the Great
Depression, Protestant liberalism came to dominate most denominations; Fundamentalists
who had rejected many Bible believers as heretics, were now themselves treated as heretics.
The fourth Revelation plague was poured upon the Sun, symbolizing the Gospel as preached. World War II showed that mankind is not evolving into a great peaceful society: Liberals were routed (although their doctrine was largely replaced with a compromise “neo-orthodoxy” doctrine).
The fifth Revelation plague was poured upon the throne of the beast. (The final beast of Daniel 7:3-8 is identified with the Roman Empire in a Douay Bible footnote, as well as by others.) The rise of the U.S.S.R. greatly damaged Catholicism, with its traditions and teachings.
The sixth Revelation plague was poured upon the River Euphrates (upon which Babylon depended for its wealth). Worldwide, the Roman Catholic Church is thought to own multi-trillions worth of property; so liability is great. (“The kings that come from the sunrising” [RV] will be Christ and his faithful church.)
The seventh Revelation plague was poured upon the air; Armageddon will likely be devastating
to nations outside of Israel; so their organized religions will also fail. (“Hail” could suggest thermonuclear weapons. Yet we should wait and see.)
The seven last plagues and their intended effects may be summarized as in the chart at the
top of this page.
Seven Last Plagues of Exodus
|Effect on World||Dates||
Effect on Israel
|1||Flies Long Depression||1873-1890s||Return to “Palestine” begins, 1878 Oct.|
|2||Murrain* World War 1*||1914-1918||Balfour Declaration for Jews, 1917 Nov. 02|
|3||Blains on skin Great Depression||1929-1939||Jews blamed, flee Germany to “Palestine”|
|4||Hail* World War 2*||1939-1945||Jews flee Central Europe to “Palestine”|
|5||Locusts* East (comm.) vs. West*||1945-1989||Jews flee Eastern Europe to Israel|
|6||Darkness Deep Depression?||?||Jews flee the West & Americas to Israel?|
|7||Death of 1stborn* Armageddon*||?||God rescues Israel as only He can!|
The Seven Last Plagues and Their Intended Effects Plague Effect on Sectarianism
1 Into the earth – “Come out of Babylon”
2 Into the sea – Damaged Christendom’s Church-State systems
3 Into the rivers and fountains of waters – Damaged Protestant Fundamentalism
4 Upon the Sun – Damaged Protestant Liberalism
5 Upon the throne of the beast – Damaged Catholicism, especially its tradition
6 Upon the River Euphrates – Damages denominational wealth
7 Upon the air – Destroys support of the peoples
From the Mid 20th Century
After World War II, Soviet leftism plagued Catholicism and the West for forty-four years
until the “west wind” prevailed. From Egypt’s three days of darkness and Revelation’s drying up of the River Euphrates, it seems likely the next worldwide plague will be a Deep Depression.
(Many have been warning for years that the world’s financial system is heavily overleveraged,
“a house of cards.” The housing bubble of 2008 might have been a foreshock.)
Although we may see in a mirror darkly, we may surmise what could accompany a deep depression.
It may be heralded by hyperinflation (as in 1923 Germany). People’s bank accounts may become worthless, though their debts remain (as in 1930’s America). Businesses may collapse, and paying jobs become few. Printing and the media may be seized by the rulers in the name of “public good.” More authoritative governments may seize power in the supposed name of the people. Honest money will become scarce, and Christian sacrifice will be especially difficult.
The dominant forces (spirits) in the world may be Leftism, Islam, and institutionalized Christianity (perhaps with the former two allying themselves against the third). Calls to “Blame the Jews” and “Blame Israel” may intensify, as well as “Blame Christians.” (We will watch and see.) Happier times await the last three chapters of Revelation.
So what should we do?
(1a) Get out of debt.
(1b) Stay out of debt.
(2) Use new technology to put forth a witness to the world, while still we are able.
(3) As the anti-Jewish, anti-Israel, bandwagon accelerates, stay off it!
(4) The Christian’s duty is to proclaim Christ’s word and not the political philosophies
of the day.
And always so live that all accusations will have been false.
Rationale: (1) Being out of debt when a depression begins should be so that our Lord be not blamed, more than for our own sake. (2) When TV, Internet, and conference calls are available to discuss the word of God, we should use them. (3) Jehovah has determined to bring Israel back to their land (Amos 9:14-15); stay out of the way and encourage them. (4) A consecrated Christian is in training for the Millennial priesthood, thence to reconcile the world to God; so he should not entangle himself in the affairs of life (2 Timothy 2:4).